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White House announces sweeping immigration bill

February 18, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 21.7%. 1 min read.

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 08: Asylum seekers from El Salvador wait at a bus station after they were released from U.S. immigration authorities on February 08, 2021 in Brownsville, Texas. Since the inauguration of President Joe Biden, increased numbers of asylum seekers, most from Central America, have begun crossing the Rio Grande into Texas, and immigration authorities have been releasing them to stay in the U.S. pending court hearings. The new policy is a reversal of former President Trump's "Remain in Mexico" policy, where immigrants had to wait in Mexico during the legal asylum process. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The White House announced a sweeping immigration bill Thursday that would create an eight-year path to citizenship for millions of immigrants already in the country and provide a faster track for undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children.

(CNN)The White House announced a sweeping immigration bill Thursday that would create an eight-year path to citizenship for millions of immigrants already in the country and provide a faster track for undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children.

Administration officials argued Wednesday evening that the legislation was an attempt by President Joe Biden to restart a conversation on overhauling the US immigration system and said he remained open to negotiating.

"He was in the Senate for 36 years, and he is the first to tell you the legislative process can look different on the other end than where it starts," one administration official said in a call with reporters, adding that Biden would be "willing to work with Congress. "

Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, and Majority Whip Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, for example, have reintroduced their DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for immigrants who came to the country illegally as children.

Administration officials said the best path forward and plans either to pass one bill or break it into multiple pieces would be up to Congress.

Biden's proposed bill, if passed, also would remove the word "alien" from US immigration laws, replacing it with the term "noncitizen. " The change, an administration official said, is "to better reflect the President's values on immigration. "

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