Local advocates hopeful proposed immigration bill will provide path to citizenship for millions

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Biden Administration has come up with a sweeping immigration plan to offer undocumented immigrants the opportunity to apply for a legal status.

The proposed legislation, which still has a long way to go, is known as the “U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021.”

“There are thousands of undocumented immigrants who can benefit from this,” said Ruben Kihuen, of the Immigrant Home Foundation. “A lot of these folks are already the backbone to our economy in Nevada. They are our housekeepers, our janitors, our cooks.”

“I think the last four years of the last administration really showed us how back and forth we’ve been with immigration,” added Martha Menendez, a local Immigration attorney. “Things were very unclear for people that were here, no matter what your type of visa, how you got here or how long you’ve been here.”

According to the White House:

“The U.S. Citizenship Act would provide dreamers, TPS holders (also known as temporary protected status holders) and immigrant farmworkers the chance to get a green card effective immediately after the legislation. Then after three years, all green card holders who pass additional background checks and demonstrate knowledge of the English language can apply to become citizens.”

“If you pass an actual legislation and pass this bill through Congress, it is a permanent solution that is going to help 12 million undocumented immigrants,” said Kihuen. 

It would also expand worker visas and support asylum seekers, raising the cap on U-Visas from 10,000 to 30,000.

The bill was introduced by Representative Linda Sanchez and Senator Bob Menendez. In order to get through Congress, the bill will need support from 60 senators.

“I’m very hopeful that both parties, republican and democrat can come together and resolve this issue, because this isn’t a political issue,” said Kihuen. “This is a human issue.”

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