President Biden’s promise “to restore humanity and American values to our immigration system” is the basis for the U.S. Citizenship Act introduced Feb. 18 in both the Senate and the House. The bill would provide legal status and pathways to citizenship for Dreamers—people brought to the United States as minors who know no other country as home—and others allowed to remain here for humanitarian reasons.
“The introduction of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 is a necessary and good step towards transforming America’s inhumane immigration system into one that is more humane, functional, and centered in racial justice, and respects all people, regardless of race, religion, or birthplace,” said NEA President Becky Pringle. She noted that those who would benefit include “an estimated 15,000 educators who have continued to provide and sustain student learning during the pandemic.”
For participants in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Status Holders (TPS) since Jan. 1, 2017, the pathway to citizenship would be three years. For undocumented individuals in the United States since Jan. 1, 2021, the pathway to citizenship would be eight years—temporary status for five years, then Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) or green card status for three years. The bill would also eliminate restrictions on family-based immigration and expand visas for foreign workers.
Email your senators and representative and ask them to support the U.S. Citizenship Act.