Congressman Gomez Cosponsors the Bicameral U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) cosponsored the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, President Biden’s plan to overhaul the American immigration system with a bold, inclusive, and humane framework for the future. This bicameral legislation was introduced by Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38) in the House and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) in the Senate.

The U.S. Citizenship Act would provide millions of hardworking, undocumented immigrants with a pathway to earned citizenship, including DREAMers, Temporary Protective Status (TPS) recipients, and essential workers who have made enormous sacrifices during the pandemic; prioritize family reunification and keeping families together; and bolster the country’s long-term economic growth. The bill would also equip the country to address root causes of migration that force people to leave Central America and restore the U.S.’ commitment to human rights.

“As the son of Mexican immigrants, my career in public service has long been focused on championing uplifting policies that recognize the dignity of our immigrant communities,” said Congressman Gomez. “For immigrants across the country, the last four years of the Trump administration have been nothing short of a living nightmare. But with the introduction of the U.S. Citizenship Act, millions of hardworking individuals – including asylum seekers and DACA and TPS recipients – can now take comfort knowing a clear pathway to citizenship is finally within their grasp. I fully support this historic legislative package as it both reflects the many contributions immigrant communities have made to our nation and addresses the root causes of migration, including violence, poverty, corruption, and more. With this bill and President Biden’s leadership, my Congressional Hispanic colleagues and I are looking forward to delivering inclusive reforms that safeguard our immigrant communities, reinforce humanitarian aid, and refocus American immigration policy as a moral imperative.”

The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 would:

  • Create an Earned Roadmap to Citizenship for Undocumented Individuals:
    • Dreamers, TPS holders, and farmworkers would be immediately eligible for permanent residency;
    • All immigrants would be eligible to apply for citizenship three years after receiving green cards;
  • Keep Families Together:
    • The bill reforms the family-based immigration system by clearing backlogs, recapturing unused visas, eliminating lengthy wait times, and increasing per-country visa caps;
    • It also eliminates the so-called “3 and 10-year bars,” and other provisions that keep families apart;
    • The bill further supports families by more explicitly including permanent partnerships and eliminating discrimination facing LGBTQ+ families;
  • Promote Immigrant and Refugee Integration and Citizenship:
    • The bill provides new funding to state and local governments, private organizations, educational institutions, community-based organizations, and not-for-profit organizations to expand programs to promote integration and inclusion, increase English-language instruction, and provide assistance to individuals seeking to become citizens;

  • Grow our Economy:
    • This bill clears employment-based visa backlogs, recaptures unused visas, reduces lengthy wait times, and eliminates per-country visa caps. The bill makes it easier for graduates of U.S. universities with advanced STEM degrees to stay in the United States; improves access to green cards for workers in lower-wage sectors; and eliminates other unnecessary hurdles for employment-based green cards;

  • Protect Workers from Exploitation and Improves the Employment Verification Process:
    • The bill requires that DHS and the Department of Labor establish a commission involving labor, employer, and civil rights organizations to make recommendations for improving the employment verification process;
  • Support Asylum Seekers and Other Vulnerable Populations:
    • The bill eliminates the one-year deadline for filing asylum claims, reducing asylum application backlogs, increasing protections for U visa, T visa, and VAWA applicants, including by raising the cap on U visas from 10,000 to 30,000;

For a full text of the legislation, please click here.

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