U.S. Citizenship Act Must be Accessible to All Immigrants
(Washington, DC)—The US Citizenship Act, introduced today in Congress, creates a pathway to citizenship for many members of the undocumented community and is a testament to the powerful organizing of many individuals and communities directly impacted by the immigration system. The bill also adopts a changed definition of conviction, eliminates several bars to relief, and provides avenues for people with criminal legal system contacts to seek discretionary relief. The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) will continue to conduct a more thorough analysis of the provisions within the massive bill.
“The ILRC calls for legislation that provides relief for all immigrants, including those who have had contact with the criminal legal system,” said ILRC policy director Sameera Hafiz. “While we welcome a pathway to citizenship, the pathway must be accessible to all members of our communities. As the American public’s awareness of how racial bias infects our criminal legal system grows, we will continue to push policy makers to reject immigration outcomes that rely on that system. In the meantime, we call on the Biden administration to immediately adopt the actions we have laid out in our blueprint, including immediately halting immigration enforcement activities, detention and deportation.”
Immigrant communities nationwide have been organizing for decades to win immigration policies that embrace compassion, equality and respect for people’s rights. Polls show that there is overwhelming support to transform the immigration system and we will continue to work with our partners and coalitions in these endeavors.
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC works to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities.