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Which migrants would be most favored by Biden’s immigration reform?

The Democratic immigration reform plan was presented in Congress and thus President Joe Biden fulfilled his electoral promise to open the path to citizenship to more than 11 million undocumented immigrants and to reform a system that for decades has raised criticism but has not been managed to amend.

Senator Bob Menéndez, the highest-ranking Latino in the upper house, and Representative Linda Sánchez were in charge of introducing the draft of the American Citizenship Act of 2021, which faces an uphill climb by having to secure at least 10 votes Republicans in favor in the Senate.

The proposal aims to legalize millions of undocumented people who can prove their presence in the US before January 1, 2021 and have no criminal record.

These are 10 key points on which, and how, migrants would benefit if the plan is approved in Congress:

1 – Immigrants protected with the Deferred Action (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) programs would obtain immediate permanent residence and citizenship in three years.

Farmworkers who have worked in the fields for at least five years can also apply directly for permanent residency and three years later could access US citizenship.

The rest of the undocumented who meet the requirements would obtain a temporary permit of five years, after which they could apply for permanent residence and three years later for naturalization.

two- The plan allows access to permanent residence to some immigrants present with valid visas such as the H-2A, granted to farmers, or anyone who “has been involved in essential critical infrastructure services or labor,” the text specifies.

3- The process of petitioning relatives of permanent residents would be accelerated, which would favor a large number of so-called mixed couples, made up of a “green card” holder and an undocumented person.

4- It eliminates the punishment of 3 and 10 years that prohibits immigrants from returning to the US for having lived irregularly in the country.

5- No person who is eligible for the plan can be deported while in the process.

6- The bill would allow anyone who makes an application to legalize to obtain a work permit while the government processes the application, which, given the number of petitioners, could take a long time.

7- Eliminates the one-year deadline to file asylum applications, reduces delays in applications for this benefit, increases protection for U, T and VAWA visa petitioners, which protect victims of domestic violence and witnesses of crimes, among others .

8- The plan expands the number of visas granted to relatives of US citizens, eliminating years of waiting to legally enter the country.

9- The bill restores a blanket exemption for some grounds that make an immigrant inadmissible for permanent residence, and places him in removal proceedings.

10- The bill also creates a pilot program to stimulate regional economic development and incentivizes higher wages for highly-skilled nonimmigrant visas to avoid unfair competition with American workers, one of the most consistent criticisms from Republican lawmakers.