The Democratic Party is becoming increasingly concerned about the radical immigration policies President Joe Biden plans to implement for Latino illegal immigrants. Among them, the one that is generating the most fear is the “U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021.”
POLITICO reports that Democrats in Texas and other states where immigration is a key issue are increasingly showing their concern in the face of a White House that is determined to reverse any and all of the Trump administration’s tough policies -especially immigration ones.
Despite the bill that Biden and the Democratic majority will introduce, even former President Trump’s immigration policies remain in place. POLITICO reports that the vast majority of Latino migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border are not accepted; deportations continue and no path to citizenship has been established.
The media outlet also indicated that there is already a spike in the number of migrants heading to the border. El American reported how the immigration wave has also increased to 78,000 immigrants detained in January alone.
In light of the dire situation, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) criticized his own party’s approach to the Latino immigration situation. “The way we are doing it right now is catastrophic and is a recipe for disaster in the midst of a pandemic.”
“Our party should be concerned. If we go off the rails, it will be bad for us,” Gonzalez warned. “Biden is going to be dealing with a minority in Congress if he continues down some of these paths,” he added, hinting that he will not align himself to a blind allegiance to President Biden.
What is the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 and how does it affect Latinos?
The law pushed by Democratic Senator Bob Menendez provides for undocumented immigrants to apply for temporary legal status, with the option that they can apply for green cards (commonly called “Green Cards”) after five years if they pass criminal and national security background checks and pay their taxes.
Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and immigrant farmworkers will be eligible for expedited legal residency; three years later they will be able to apply for citizenship.
In this regard, the New York Times reports that such a proposal, introduced by Democrats on Capitol Hill, “offers an eight-year path to citizenship for most of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., eliminates restrictions on family-based immigration and expands worker visas.”
Do Latinos support this?
Polls such as the Washington Post poll reveal that most Latinos oppose mass immigration. An overwhelming 69% of Hispanics responded that they would support temporarily blocking almost all immigration to the U.S. during the coronavirus outbreak. Only 30% of Hispanics opposed the measure.
Roy Herrera, aide to Arizona democratic senator Mark Kelly, told POLITICO that Latinos are focused in jobs and salaries regarding migration to the U.S. “Migration is important but the focus for them is in jobs, the economy, the raise I had on my job, healthcare costs and if I can receive a credit for my business.”
Herrera, who was also an advocate for Biden in Arizona, added that Democrats must “be careful not to give the impression that we have open borders because otherwise, the numbers are going to start going up. And we are already starting to see the numbers go up.”