Biden’s immigration initiative grants legal status to 500,000 spouses of U.S. citizens.

Biden’s immigration initiative grants legal status to 500,000 spouses of U.S. citizens.

President Biden unveiled a significant immigration initiative aimed at providing legal status and an expedited route to U.S. residency and citizenship for approximately 500,000 undocumented immigrants married to American citizens.

According to senior administration officials, the Department of Homeland Security’s policy will enable these immigrants to apply for work permits and protection from deportation if they have resided in the U.S. for at least ten years and meet other specified criteria.

Crucially, this initiative will open a pathway to permanent residency — commonly referred to as a green card — and eventually U.S. citizenship for many participants.

“For those spouses and their children who have lived in America for a decade or more without documentation, this policy will permit them to apply for legal status, allowing them to work and stay with their families in the United States,” President Biden stated.

If upheld by the courts, this policy would be the largest government program for undocumented immigrants since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative introduced during the Obama administration, which currently protects 528,000 so-called “Dreamers” from deportation.

At a White House event on Tuesday, marking the 12th anniversary of DACA, President Biden revealed a new measure. This announcement included an additional step to simplify the process for employers to sponsor “Dreamers” and other undocumented immigrants for work visas.

This is the second time within a month that President Biden has enacted a broad and legally contentious executive order on immigration. Earlier in June, he employed a presidential authority often utilized by former President Donald Trump to bar the majority of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border from seeking asylum.

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