Biden’s legislative proposal, which will be sent to Congress on Wednesday, also includes a heavy focus on addressing the root causes of migration from Central America, a key part of Biden’s foreign policy portfolio when he served as vice president.
The centrepiece of the plan from Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D Harris is the eight-year pathway, which would put millions of qualifying immigrants in a temporary status for five years and then grant 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.
To qualify, immigrants must have been in the United States as of Jan 1, a move meant to blunt any rush to the border.
Beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — which granted key protections for “dreamers” — and the temporary protected status programme for migrants from disaster-ravaged nations could apply for a green card immediately.