Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Joe Biden’s new citizenship plan to offer relief to half-a-million immigrants

President Joe Biden is taking an expansive, election-year step to offer relief to potentially hundreds of thousands of immigrants without legal status in the US aiming to balance his own aggressive crackdown on the border earlier this month that enraged advocates and many Democratic lawmakers.

The White House announced on Tuesday that the Biden administration will, in the coming months, allow certain spouses of US citizens without legal status to apply for permanent residency and eventually, citizenship. The move could affect upwards of half a million immigrants, according to senior administration officials.

To qualify, an immigrant must have lived in the United States for 10 years as of Monday and be married to a US citizen. If a qualifying immigrant’s application is approved, he or she would have three years to apply for a green card, and receive a temporary work permit and be shielded from deportation in the meantime.

About 50,000 noncitizen children with a parent who is married to a US citizen could also potentially qualify for the same process, according to senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the proposal on condition of anonymity.
There is no requirement on how long the couple must have been married, and no one becomes eligible after Monday.

That means immigrants who reach that 10 year mark any time after June 17, 2024, will not qualify for the programme, according to the officials.

Senior administration officials said they anticipate the process will be open for applications by the end of the summer, and fees to apply have yet to be determined.
Biden will speak about his plans at a Tuesday afternoon event at the White House, which will also mark the 12th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme, a popular Obama-era directive that offered deportation protections and temporary work permits for young immigrants who lack legal status.

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