Tag: rights of the immigrants

President Biden Sends Progressive Immigration Bill to Congress

Shortly after taking office, Biden introduced his immigration bill to Congress as part of a wider effort to modernize the current immigration system. The bill, titled the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, has the power to change millions of lives. This legislative proposal would:

 

  1. Create a Pathway to Citizenship for Undocumented Individuals
  2. Change Government Rhetoric Regarding Immigrants: Immigration laws will now use the word “noncitizen” instead of “alien.”
  3. Keep Families Together: The bill allows immigrants with pre-approved family sponsorships to temporarily live with family in the United States while waiting on a green card.
  4. Optimize the Current System
  5. Embrace Diversity: The bill introduces the No Ban Act which would prohibit religious discrimination and limit presidential power to impose bans based on religion. The number of Diversity Visas will also be increased.
  6. Promote Integration: Government funds will be allocated to organizations promoting integration, teaching English, and helping immigrants on their pathway to citizenship.
  7. Protect Workers from Exploitation and Improve Employment Verification Process
  8. Grow our Economy: The bill helps those who graduated with advanced STEM degrees from U.S. universities and dependents of H-1B Visa holders stay in the U.S. It also eliminates unnecessary hurdles for employment based green cards.
  9. Supplement Existing Border Resources with Technology and Infrastructure 
  10. Manage the Border and Protect Border Communities: The bill provides funding to promote officer professionalism and to DHS to develop protocols for the safety of individuals in CPB custody.
  11. Crackdown on Criminal Organizations
  12. Increase Assistance to Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala
  13. Support Asylum Seekers and Other Vulnerable Populations: Eliminates the one-year deadline for filing asylum claims and raises the cap on U Visas
  14. Create Safe and Legal Channels for People to Seek Protection
  15. Improve the Immigration Courts

 

The bill still must face Congress, and its future is uncertain. There will be much to follow in the weeks ahead. Still, this bill provides hope for many, and is a promising beginning for the Biden administration. In this nation of immigrants, it is time for the government to uphold the idea of equal opportunity for all.

 

More information can be found at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-

releases/2021/01/20/fact-sheet-president-biden-sends-immigration-bill-to-congress-as-part-of-his-commitment-to-modernize-our-immigration-system/

Biden’s Preservation and Fortification of DACA Memorandum

steps to become a naturalized citizenOn his very first day in office, President Joseph R. Biden began to act on his campaign promises of immigration reform. Within hours of inauguration, the White House released a presidential proclamation titled “Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.” In Section 1 of the memorandum, Biden refers to former president Barack Obama’s original 2012 initiative to temporarily defer the deportation of certain undocumented immigrants who were brought into the country as children. Obama’s 2012 executive memorandum, titled “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA),” offered no pathway to permanent residency or citizenship, and was described by Obama as a “temporary stopgap measure” as he awaited legislative approval for the more comprehensive DREAM Act. This DREAM Act was not passed, and as of today, legislators have yet to develop a pathway for citizenship for Dreamers, the undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as minors. However, the Biden administration shows promise on this front. In Section 2 of Biden’s 2021 DACA memorandum, Biden directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to “take all actions he deems appropriate, consistent with applicable law, to preserve and fortify DACA.” This memorandum offers hope to the millions of Dreamers in the country, and hopefully, with Congressional legislation, they may begin to visualize a stable future in the United States they have grown up in.

January 6th Insurrection: A Different Perspective

The past four years have been extremely painful for many communities, including the varied and diverse communities of immigrants and noncitizens in the United States. Racism and xenophobia (not to mention sexism, heterosexism, and classism) targeted and harmed immigrants and people of color on a daily basis. January 6th was a horrendous but predictable culmination of the despicable policies and practices of the Trump administration and its base supporters. Make no mistake: Trump’s base supporters are white supremacists.

Yesterday, after two weeks of learning more and more about the horrors of January 6th Insurrection, I heard a different, uplifting perspective on what that insurrection means for Trumpism and white supremacy: January 6th was a desperate last act of a people who know that their beliefs, their tactics, their movement have reached the end. January 6th was not the beginning of a movement; it was a funeral. Trump and his supporters have no hope, no vision for the future; they only have anger and a tortured attempt to hold on to a past that they never had. (White supremacists may have ruled the US, but they were never the only Americans.)

Sometimes at a funeral we celebrate the life of the deceased. Here there is no cause to celebrate the life of the white supremacy movement. However, if January 6 was the funeral for the Trump era and the rule of white supremacy, then at least I find solace knowing that, freer from the chains of white supremacy, we can work to build a country that we love. Let’s get to work.

Thank you to Egberto Willies for posting Anand Giridharadas’s perspective on the events of January 6, 2021. My thoughts on the funeral for the Trump era come directly from this Facebook post: In strikingly optimistic prose, Anand… – Politics Done Right with Egberto Willies | Facebook.

 

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