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Biden plans bill to offer legal status to 11 million immigrants without it; measure goes to Congress on day 1

President-elect Biden outlines policy initiatives while speaking with reporters recently.

UPDATE, Jan. 18: President-elect Joe Biden will now send his immigration bill to Congress on Wednesday, which is his inauguration day.

The Washington Post reported Monday afternoon that in addition to the pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, the measure also includes "a heavy focus on addressing the root causes of migration from Central America."

“Ultimately, you cannot solve problems of migration unless you attack the root causes of what causes that migration,” a Biden official told the Post, citing economic and safety concerns that cause many migrants to flee their home countries. Such is believed to be the case with a large caravan of migrants making their way from Guatemala to the U.S.

The Biden administration is seeking "a more humane and orderly process” after all the "processes that have been so gutted by the (Trump) administration,” the official told the newspaper.

ORIGINAL REPORT, Jan. 16: LOS ANGELES, California -- Within his initial days in the White House, President-elect Joe Biden plans to send a bill to Congress that would offer a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants who are currently living in the U.S. without legal status, according to a Los Angeles Times report on Saturday.

The newspaper, citing conversations between immigrant rights activists and the Biden-Harris transition team, outlined the measure in which immigrants would become eligible for legal permanent residence after five years and for U.S. citizenship after an additional three years.

In addition, the bill would also provide a shorter route for hundreds of thousands of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, recipients to become citizens.

The Times says unlike many prior immigration expansion bills sent to Congress, this one would not include any added mandates for stepped-up enforcement or security efforts.

If approved by what will be a slight Democrat-majority Congress, the Times says Biden’s plan would be "the most sweeping and comprehensive immigration package since President Reagan’s Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which granted legal status to 3 million people who were in the U.S. without documentation."

Article Topic Follows: On the Border

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Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.


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