Biden Announce Path to Citizenship for Immigrant Spouses of U.S. Citizens
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Biden Announce Path to Citizenship for Immigrant Spouses of U.S. Citizens

Fights related to immigration never cease, however, on the 18-th of June, President Joe Biden plans to introduce a program that will grant a chance at obtaining citizenship to hundreds of thousands of the immigrants living in the United States without legal permits, married to the citizens of the country. This huge legalization drive is in contrast with Trump’s Republican campaign proposal to deport all immigrants in the country.

The programme, to be rolled out in still unforeseen months, will be available to an estimated half a million spouses and will eligible those spouses who have lived in the U. S for at least 10 years till June 17, the senior Biden administration officers stated on Monday. Also, it means that in the coming fiscal year 50,000 children under the age of 21 with an American citizen parent will get the chance for the immigration. It is expected that a majority of these beneficiaries will be of Mexican origin.

This initiative will replace the existing system that lets spouses and children reside abroad for years while awaiting a green card thus reducing the time taken and extending the chances of family separation. They will further be able to apply for a green card thus having the chance to apply for U. S citizenship once they meet the requirements.

Biden, who aims to secure another term as the president of the United States, assumed the presidency with a pledge of changing a multitude of Trump’s anti-immigrant policies. Still, in response to the high levels of apprehensions of migrants at the border between the United States and Mexico or in response to various crises, Biden has prepared a more hardline stance in the past months. In early June, Biden even extended the practice of denying asylum to the majority of the migrants from the Southern frontier, which was launched by Trump.

The plan proposed for legalization of spouses of US citizens is to emphasize Biden’s campaign agenda of a fairer system of immigration than Trump’s measures toward both legal and undocumented but unauthorized immigration. Report of the decision will be made during the White House event on Tuesday, falling on the anniversary of DACA program.

DACA began in 2012 when Obama was the president of the United States with Biden as his vice president, and offers deportation relief and work authorization to 528,000 eligible individuals who came to the country as minors. The Biden administration is also expected to release guidance on Tuesday that will help to expand the paths toward skilled-work visas for the DACA recipients.

”For [the] administration to do this now — especially when they’ve been recently cracking down on the southern border — I believe that this is a kind of approach to compensate,” he said. On the other hand, Karoline Leavitt who is the Trump campaign spokesperson dismissed Biden’s new program as amnesty before re-emphasizing Trump’s readiness to apply the rule of law including deportations should he win another term.

When polled by Reuters/Ipsos, approximately slightly more than half of the registered American voters are in favor of deporting all or nearly all immigrants residing in the US without proper documentation. [However, a survey that was conducted by the Immigration Hub, an advocacy group, revealed that 71 percent of voters in seven ‘swing’ states want spouses to be allowed to remain in the US if they have been living in the country for over five years.

Rebecca Shi, executive director of the American Business Immigration Coalition, highlighted that focus groups with independent and Republican voters showed support for legalizing spouses. “It boosts turnout among Latino and base voters and has support from the middle and the right,” she said, noting that many people assumed spouses could already legalize their status.

Living in Fear

One couple eagerly awaiting more details about the program is Megan, a social worker from Wisconsin, and her husband Juan. They met two decades ago while Megan worked at a restaurant with Juan’s relatives. Juan, originally from Michoacan, Mexico, has been living in the U.S. illegally, and they have struggled to regularize his status.

“I assumed maybe you would pay a fine or something,” Megan said, expressing frustration at the disproportionate punishment. With two young daughters, they face constant anxiety about Juan’s status. Wisconsin does not issue driver’s licenses to immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, and they fear that Juan, who works as a landscaper, could be pulled over and deported. Megan mentioned that the family would likely relocate to Mexico if Juan were ever deported. “It’s just a low-level stress that’s always there,” she said.

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