President-elect Joe Biden is reportedly planning to unveil legislation on his first day in the Oval Office that would provide a legal path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants.
Four people briefed on Biden’s plans told The Associated Press the measure is among his top priorities during his first days in the White House, along with controlling the coronavirus pandemic and rejuvenating the U.S. economy.
Biden campaigned on creating a legal path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants during the 2020 presidential cycle.
“It is a moral failing and a national shame when a father and his baby daughter drown seeking our shores. When children are locked away in overcrowded detention centers and the government seeks to keep them there indefinitely,” Biden says on his campaign website. “When our government argues in court against giving those children toothbrushes and soap. When President Trump uses family separation as a weapon against desperate mothers, fathers, and children seeking safety and a better life. When he threatens massive raids that would break up families who have been in this country for years and targets people at sensitive locations like hospitals and schools. When children die while in custody due to lack of adequate care.”
President Trump took a hardline approach to immigration issues during his time in the Oval Office, suing to end Obama-era protections for young immigrants brought to the U.S. by their parents and promising to “build a wall” along the southwest border to slow illegal immigration.
A trip to the southern border was Trump’s most recent public appearance.
“This really does represent a historic shift from Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda that recognizes that all of the undocumented immigrants that are currently in the United States should be placed on a path to citizenship,” Marielena Hincapie, the head of the National Immigration Law Center, told the AP.