SAN DIEGO, CA — Today, members of Congress introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, a bold, inclusive, and humane framework proposed by President Biden to rethink immigration policy and border governance.
The bill provides pathways to citizenship for immigrant youth and their families, and expands the visa system to align with our values and meet the needs of our economy. The bill also calls for increased oversight and accountability of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It also humanizes immigrants as people, striking the word “aliens” and replacing it with “noncitizens”, and it recognizes individuals without legal status, most of whom have lived here for decades, as prospective immigrants.
The bill also calls for improved infrastructure at Ports of Entry. San Diego is home to one of the largest border crossings in the world, the San Ysidro port of entry, which is an engine of economic growth for the region as well as the nation.
It is important for immigrant communities to note that the bill is not yet in effect. This means that immigrant communities cannot yet apply for any of the changes proposed in the bill. For questions surrounding the U.S. Citizenship Act, please contact a trusted legal service provider.
Dulce Garcia, executive director of Border Angels and chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium said:
“The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 represents an important first step for immigrants in San Diego and the rest of the nation, but it is only a first step. The last presidency brought some of the cruelest and most inhumane immigration policies to our region, and this bill begins to undo some of those massive wrongs by reforming a broken system. We call on President Biden to continue to work towards policies that uphold the civil and human rights of immigrants and refugees, and recognize their importance in the fabric of our communities.
It’s also important for community members to remember that this is only a bill right now — none of the legal remedies in this bill are available to community members at this time. If community members have questions about their immigration status, we encourage them to reach out to trusted legal service providers.”
The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium is a project of Alliance San Diego. Since 2007, community, faith, labor, and legal organizations have come together as the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC). Through SDIRC, these organizations are pursuing four common goals: support comprehensive immigration reform; stop the spread of local policies and practices that target and violate the civil and human rights of immigrants; educate immigrants, and educate the public about the important contributions of immigrants. More at: www.immigrantsandiego.org.