The current administration has enacted sweeping changes to our immigration system, with many more promised for the near future. Among these changes was the reversal of the ban on immigration from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Venezuela.
In addition, they sent a proposed bill to Congress for consideration, which they will debate in the coming months. If Congress passes it, this bill – called the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 – will result in huge policy shifts that will change how this country deals with immigration for years to come.
The new bill proposes an expansion of immigration quotas
As things currently stand, Diversity Visas have an annual limit of 55,000. This bill would raise that limit to 80,000 a year, offering many more immigrants a chance to obtain one of these coveted visas.
It also would increase the per-country visa caps and solidify the effectiveness of family sponsorship petitions. That means that, if you are an immigrant with an approved family sponsorship petition, you can stay in the United States with your family temporarily while you await the finalization of your immigration status.
If this bill becomes law, millions of undocumented individuals in this country will have the ability to apply to become citizens, if they pass the necessary background checks and English proficiency tests.
The bill also aims to address the root causes of immigration
Another part of the bill allocates $4 billion towards a program designed to address the root causes of immigration.
The purpose of this program is to study how to help alleviate poverty in Central America. It will also expand family case management programs that will assist minor family members of immigrants to be reunited with their loved ones.
The current administration has promised many more changes to come to our immigration policy. If Congress signs the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 into law, it might be the first step in a monumental transformation of the way this country processes new arrivals. You and your family might see a drastic difference in the way you will go about applying for permanent residence and even citizenship in this country.