27 Jan The Citizenship Act of 2021 as proposed
By Atty. Chris Caday Lozano
The Biden Administration submitted to congress its proposed bill on immigration reform that will give undocumented persons a Pathway to U.S. Citizenship. Certain undocumented individuals who have paid their taxes and passed criminal background checks would be able to apply for temporary legal status in the U.S. After 5 years, they would be able to apply for green cards. Dreamers, TPS holders and H-2A farm workers would be able to apply for green cards immediately.
After 3 years, all green card holders who pass additional background checks and demonstrate knowledge of English and U.S. civics could apply to become U.S. citizens.
The bill requires that applicants must be physically present in the U.S. on or before January 1, 2021. However, the DHS Secretary may waive the presence requirement for those deported on or after January 20, 2017 who were physically present for at least 3 years prior to removal for family unity and other humanitarian purposes.
The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 would allow beneficiaries with approved I-130 visa petitions to enter the U.S. while waiting for their priority dates to become current. Per-country family-based caps would be raised and unused immigrant visas would be recaptured thereby reducing lengthy waiting times. The bill would eliminate discrimination against LBGTQ+ families and provide protections for orphans, widows and children as well as Filipino war veterans who fought alongside Americans in World War II. The 3 and the 10-year unlawful presence bars would be eliminated.
The number of green cards for the Diversity Visa Lottery would be raised from 55,000 to 80,000 annually. The word “alien” would be changed to “noncitizen” in our immigration laws.
The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 would reform the employment based immigration. It will clear employment-based visa backlogs, recapture unused visas, reduce lengthy wait times, and eliminate per-country visa caps. It will also make it easier for graduates of U.S. universities with advanced STEM degrees to stay in the United States;
Improve access to green cards for workers in lower-wage sectors; and
Eliminate other unnecessary hurdles for employment-based green cards. The bill would also provide EADs for H-4 visa holders; prevent children from “aging out”; create a pilot program to stimulate regional economic development; Give DHS the authority to adjust green cards based on macroeconomic conditions; and incentivize higher wages for non-immigrant, high-skilled visas to prevent unfair competition with American workers.
In addition, the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 would reduce immigration court backlogs;
Expand training for immigration judges; improve technology for immigration courts; restore fairness and balance to our immigration system by providing judges and adjudicators with discretion to review cases and grant relief to deserving individuals; and provide funding for legal orientation programs and counsel for children, vulnerable individuals and others.
Further, the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 would eliminate the one-year deadline for filing asylum applications; provide funding to reduce asylum application backlogs; increases protection for U visa, T visa, and VAWA applicants; raise the cap on U visas from 10,000 to 30,000; and expand protections for foreign nationals assisting U.S. troops.
Note: This is not a legal advice and for information only.
1. For the month of November and December 2020, we received approvals of four K-1 Fiancé visa, five green card applications and one I-601 Hardship waiver.
2. For the month of October 2020, we received from USCIS seven approvals of Family petitions, and one Removal of Condition on residence.
3. For the month of September 2020, we received three naturalization approvals, four I-130 petition approvals and one DACA approval.
If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation.
Chris Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers. He practices immigration law, bankruptcy and personal injury law since June 1999. His contact phone is 1-877-456-9266, email: info@CCLlaw.net