This is the most informed article on Biden’s plan to propose immigration reform in his first day of office. The Washington Post writes it includes an eight-year pathway to citizenship to all persons “without legal status” who have been in the country as of 1/1/21. There are about 10.5 million such persons. The plan gives them temporary status for five years and then grants them a green card once they meet certain requirements such as a background check and payment of taxes. They would be able to apply for citizenship three years later.
I expect that the steady increase in Hispanic vote and its significant shift towards Republicans will improve the odds of Republican support for this change. So long as the Hispanic vote was out of reach by Republicans (except for Cubans), the”amnesty” card was easy for Republicans to play against the Dems. Now Reps have to think twice. According to Pew Research, legalization is top political concern of Hispanics today.
There are many other provisions to be introduced. I focus on this one because it is the most politically challenging. Every major attempt to reform immigration since 2000 has included normalization of unauthorized status persons. The last attempt was in 2017 which never got anywhere; the one before that which received some measure of congressional recognition was in 2013.
The Post goes on, “To win passage, the administration would have to retain all Democratic votes as well as persuade at least 10 Republican senators to cross the aisle. Some proponents of the 2013 effort — such as Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) — remain in the Senate, although many others have since left.