House Unveils Pathway to Citizenship for Up to 7 Million Immigrants

Last week, the House Democrats unveiled a budget reconciliation bill that would provide a pathway to legal status for 7 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. The bill would benefit four groups: childhood arrivals, people who have worked as essential workers since January 1 of last year, people with TPS status in January 2017 or later, people who are eligible for Deferred Enforced Departure.

Additional requirements apply for immigrants who arrived as minors, including needing to have been "continuously physically present" in the US since January 1, 2021, and proof of service in the Uniformed Services, graduation or two years of enrollment at a college or trade school, or 3 years of consistent income. As far as what counts as an essential worker, the bill would refer to the Department of Homeland Security's list of essential workers.

Other requirements under the bill include:

  • Needing to pass a background check
  • Proof they have not been convicted of a disqualifying crime
  • $1,500 green card application fee

The Senate Parliamentarian Has Not Approved the Bill for Budget Reconciliation

The Senate Parliamentarian is a for-hire lawyer that offers recommendations regarding whether certain measures can be pursued via budget reconciliation in a process called a "Byrd bath." As we mentioned on our blog previously, budget reconciliation allows (per Senate tradition) for a bill to pass via simple majority, rather than a two-thirds majority. Without it, the Senate Democrats have little chance of passing through such a sweeping immigration package. Despite the Parliamentarian's disapproval, the Senate has the option of overruling his decision with a majority vote.

For now, the pathway to citizenship for nearly 75% of all undocumented Americans is in Congress' hands.

For questions about your specific immigration case, call The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett Esq., P.C. for a confidential consultation as soon as possible. Se Habla Español.

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