Biden Unveils Citizenship Path for Migrants: Key Details

Biden Targets Comprehensive Immigration Reform for Mixed-Status Families.

by Nouman Rasool
Biden Unveils Citizenship Path for Migrants: Key Details
© Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The Biden administration developed a new progressive immigration policy that grants status and the possibility of applying for citizen about 500000 immigrants married to Americans but did not have their permit to work in the US This policy is one of Biden’s most significant changes to immigration laws ever since he took office and serves major advocacy as well.

Earlier, a citizen could help a non-citizen spouse gain a green card, though it became problematic if the spouse was an unlawful resident. Traditionally, these spouses were required to leave and reapply for permission to reenter the home of the other spouse, a process, which could take from 3 to 10 years because of residence requirements, waiting periods and highly involved waiver procedures.

The new initiative allows eligible spouses to bypass leaving the U.S., enabling them to apply directly for lawful permanent residence and, subsequently, citizenship. To qualify, individuals must have resided in the U.S. for at least ten years, pose no security threat, and have been married by June 17, 2024.

The Department of Homeland Security will assess each application, scrutinizing previous immigration violations and criminal history to ensure authenticity.

Expanding Legal Pathways

This policy could affect approximately 550,000 people, granting them and about 50,000 children potential stability and work authorization for up to three years while pursuing permanent residency.

This measure aligns with the administration's broader immigration agenda, which includes tightening southern border asylum rules while expanding legal immigration pathways, evidenced by the 2022 initiative for specific nationalities to enter the U.S.

with proper vetting. Also, the Biden administration would seek to improve the DACA program concerning easier access to work visas for the so-called ‘Dreamers.’ This spousal policy has not yet been put into practice, owing to the plan of placing it into action at the end of the summer.

This process, once again, will be performed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Another agency here is facing issues such as a lack of funding and may seem to be overburdened by the volume of applications that it receives.

However, with the new policy, immigration advocates have applauded the move. At the same time, the GOP and its allies had vented their anger over the policy change. They even warned that it would face resistance through the courts, thus depicting that the details of the reform of the latter country’s immigration policy remain highly charged.