Senate Sponsor of Biden Immigration Plan Says It Will Put 11 Million Illegal Aliens ‘Onto a Pathway of Citizenship’

By CNSNews.com Staff | February 19, 2021 | 1:13pm EST
Speaker Nancy Pelosi shakes hands with Mexican President Felipe Calderon as Joe Biden looks on, May 20, 2010. (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Speaker Nancy Pelosi shakes hands with Mexican President Felipe Calderon as Joe Biden looks on, May 20, 2010. (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Bob Menendez (D.-N.J.), who is the lead Senate sponsor of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, which would put into law President Joe Biden’s immigration reform plans, says that the proposed legislation would put 11 million people who are currently illegally in the United States “onto a pathway to citizenship.”

“First and foremost, this legislation aims to bring 11 million people out of the shadows and onto a pathway of citizenship,” Menendez said in a video briefing on the bill on Wednesday.

“Undocumented immigrants who pass criminal background and national security checks and pay their taxes will be able to apply for a new six-year lawful prospective immigrant—or what we call LPI—status,” he said.

“Lawful prospective immigrants will be authorized to work, to join the military, to travel, to live without the fear of deportation,” Menendez continued. “And this will encompass both their spouses and their children, which means that from Day One when you register with the government and you pass these essential elements of background, you have a temporary protected status, a lawful, prospective immigrant status. After five years, they can apply for lawful permanent residency, or what most of know as green cards.”

“And DREAMers, present TPS holders, and farmworkers who meet specific criteria, they will be eligible for green cards immediately,” Menendez added.

Menendez also emphasized how the bill would help family members immigrate and that this would include what he called “LGBTQ+ families.”

“The bill also strengthens the family-based immigration system that has served America so well,” he said. “The bill includes several provisions from the Re-united Families Act, which I introduced in the past Congress along with several of my House colleagues.

“I have always believed that families are the foundation of our society. Las familias son el nucleo de nuestra Sociedad,” said Menendes. “So, I am pleased that this legislation treats spouses and children of green card holders as immediate relatives so that they can immediately reunite with their families. And we eliminate discrimination again LGBTQ+ families.”

Here is a transcript of part of Sen. Bob Menendez video briefing on the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021:

“As I prepare to introduce the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 in the Senate, I know that President Biden and Vice President Harris are going to be strong partners. They want to get it done, and we will get it done.   Let me walk you through the legislation first. First and foremost, this legislation aims to bring 11 million people out of the shadows and onto a pathway of citizenship.

"Undocumented immigrants who pass criminal background and national security checks and pay their taxes will be able to apply for a new six-year lawful prospective immigrant—or what we call LPI—status. Lawful prospective immigrants will be authorized to work, to join the military, to travel, to live without the fear of deportation. And this will encompass both their spouses and their children, which means that from Day One when you register with the government and you pass these essential elements of background, you have a temporary protected status, a lawful, prospective immigrant status. After five years, they can apply for lawful permanent residency, or what most of know as green cards. And DREAMers, present TPS holders, and farmworkers who meet specific criteria, they will be eligible for green cards immediately.

"The bill also strengthens the family-based immigration system that has served America so well. The bill includes several provisions from the Re-united Families Act, which I introduced in the past Congress along with several of my House colleagues. I have always believed that families are the foundation of our society. Las familias son el nucleo de nuestra sociedad. So, I am pleased that this legislation treats spouses and children of green card holders as immediate relatives so that they can immediately reunite with their families. And we eliminate discrimination against LGBTQ+ families.

“After three years, all green card holders are able to pursue naturalization and earn their citizenship. And while it may be to some a symbolic change, we remove the word ‘alien’ from the immigration code and replace it with ‘non-citizen.’

“No longer will we dehumanize the undocumented.”

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