WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Democratic lawmakers on Thursday introduced the US Citizenship Act, President Joe Biden’s vision for immigration reform with a path to citizenship for Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants.
New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez and California Rep. Linda Sanchez said the bill will help the US economy grow.
“They pick our fruit, they pack our meat, they keep our food supply strong, even in times of crisis like this pandemic,” Menendez said. “They are essential workers, so essential that our economy would not function without them.”
The US Citizenship Act “will increase worker productivity, create more jobs, improve the wages of all workers and reduce our deficit, and if you don’t believe me, just ask any economist,” Sanchez said.
In order to get through Congress, the bill will need support from 60 senators –- a challenge considering some Republicans, like Florida’s Rick Scott, are already expressing opposition.
“Granting amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants, on a timeline quicker than any major legislation offered in recent history, without including any funding whatsoever to enhance border security is reckless and would fuel a never-ending cycle of illegal immigration,” Scott said in a statement.
Democrats said their bill will modernize and improve border security and address the root causes of immigration from Central America.