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Biden Plans Sweeping Immigration Effort, Hawley Vows to Block Quick Approval of DHS Secretary Over Border Concerns

01-20-2021
Image Source: (Senate Television via AP)
Image Source: (Senate Television via AP)

From the inauguration to immigration, Joe Biden plans to release a sweeping immigration legislation on day one of his presidency.

The plan reportedly includes an 8-year path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally, affecting around 11 million people currently living in the country. 

It will also expand refugee admissions, end construction on Trump's U.S.-Mexico border wall, and include a plan to re-enforce security at the border with the use of technology. Immigration is an issue important to many in the faith community. 

"I do believe Republicans in the Senate saw how Latinos are independent voters who are committed to life, religious liberty and biblical justice, so this community is a critical community to engage via the conduit of passing immigration reform," said Pastor Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

And the rollout of Biden's plan includes nominating Alejandro Mayorkas for Homeland Security secretary.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (MO) said on Tuesday he would object to the expedited consideration of Mayorkas because he did not "adequately" describe how he would enforce border security.

Hawley stated that Mayorkas, "has not adequately explained how he will enforce federal law and secure the southern border given President-elect Biden's promise to roll back major enforcement and security measures."

At his confirmation hearing before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Mayorkas pledged to avert violent attacks resembling the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, Politico reports.

"If I should have the honor of being confirmed, I will do everything I can to ensure that the tragic loss of life, the assault on law enforcement, the desecration of the building that stands as one of the three pillars of our democracy, and the terror felt by you, your colleagues, staff, and everyone present, will not happen again," Mayorkas said to the senators.   

Under Biden's new immigration citizenship plan, immigrants living in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021, without official status would have a five-year path to obtain temporary legal status, or a green card. Those individuals must pass a background check and pay taxes. 

From that point there's a three-year path to naturalization, if they decide to seek citizenship.

The bill will be delivered to Congress after the inauguration.

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