The U.S. Citizenship Act was introduced in February 2021 in the U.S. Senate by the Democratic Party. It is a comprehensive plan to reform the U.S. immigration system, based on a proposal from President Joe Biden.
Biden announced the measure, noting, “The legislation I sent to Congress will bring about much needed change to an immigration system where reform is long overdue. It will responsibly manage the border with smart investments. It will address the root causes of irregular migration from Central America. It will modernize our legal immigration pathways and create an earned path to citizenship for so many – including Dreamers, farmworkers and TPS holders.”
The Citizenship Act would allow many undocumented immigrants to eventually apply for citizenship, increase current levels of legal immigration, add increased measures to secure ports of entry and speed up the processing for asylum seekers. The Act would also invest $4 billion in the economies of Central American countries to reduce migration to America.
The proposal is seen as a signal from the Democratic Party to their voters that they are addressing one of the issues most important to them. Latinos are a major part of the Democratic coalition, as are immigration activists. For years those activists have been calling for comprehensive immigration reform.
When running for the presidency in 2020, Biden made immigration reform a key issue in his campaign. Democrats also have repeatedly contrasted themselves to the hardliner anti-immigration position of the Republican Party.