The ruling Democratic party has introduced the US Citizenship Act, a comprehensive immigration reform bill that aims to address various aspects of the immigration system. Congresswoman Linda Sánchez spearheaded the bill, which includes provisions such as eliminating country-specific green card quotas and making changes to the H-1B visa system.
The proposed legislation creates an earned pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants, offering immediate citizenship opportunities for Dreamers, TPS holders, and certain farmworkers. It also outlines a five-year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who pass background checks and fulfill tax obligations.
The Citizenship Act seeks to enhance the employment-based immigration system by facilitating the retention of STEM advanced degree holders from US universities, improving green card access for workers in lower-wage industries, granting work authorization to dependents of H-1B visa holders, and preventing age-out issues for children of H-1B holders.
Family-based immigration reforms are also included in the bill, aiming to unite families by addressing visa backlogs, recognizing spouses and children of green card holders as immediate family members, and raising per-country caps for family-based immigration. The Act further addresses discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ families, offers protection for orphans, widows, and children, and allows immigrants with approved family-sponsorship petitions to temporarily join their families in the US while awaiting green cards.
Congresswoman Sánchez, the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents, expressed her pride in introducing the US Citizenship Act and emphasized its potential to mend the broken immigration system. Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries echoed the significance of immigrants in shaping America and called for a comprehensive immigration solution based on the pillars of the rule of law and the nation’s identity as a diverse country of immigrants.