Pathway to Citizenship and Legalization for Illegal Immigrants a Priority for Biden Administration Amid Southern Border Crisis

US-Mexico Migration Talks Included Benefits of ‘Regularizing’ Illegal Immigrants Living in US

Amid the record-breaking crisis at the southern border, the issue of a pathway to citizenship or other legalization for illegal immigrants already in the U.S. remains a priority for the Biden administration and many Democrats.

High-level discussions were held during a crucial U.S.-Mexico meeting in Mexico City, where Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas met with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Dealing with the Border Crisis

During the discussions on the migrant crisis, the countries said they explored the option of “regularizing” illegal immigrants who have been living in the United States for years, including those protected by the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order signed by President Barack Obama.

Contention Over Policy

The inclusion of the statement, during a month in which there have been record numbers of encounters at the southern border, drew immediate anger from House Republicans, who believe the focus should be on deterring illegal immigration rather than granting amnesty to those already in the country.

However, the Biden administration has made no secret of its desire to grant legal status to millions of illegal immigrants. It has proposed an eight-year path to citizenship for illegal immigrants as part of a sweeping immigration reform bill.

Democrats’ Support

Many Democrats have also shared the administration’s goals of passing a pathway to citizenship for those who have entered the country illegally. Senate Democrats recently stated that any changes to the asylum system demanded by Republicans must be combined with legalization for illegal immigrants.

“We remain committed to working in good faith to modernize our outdated immigration system on a bipartisan basis and through a deliberative process,” they added. “We cannot truly secure our border and help American communities without increasing lawful pathways for migration and legalizing long-time undocumented immigrants who put food on our tables, care for our elderly, and form the fabric of our communities.”

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