One of President Joe Biden’s first acts was to send Congress the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, a long-promised immigration reform bill. Lauren R. Aronson, an associate clinical professor of law and the director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Law, spoke with News Bureau business and law editor Phil Ciciora about the legislative prospects of passing comprehensive bipartisan immigration reform.
How would you characterize the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021?
It’s a progressive bill, significantly more progressive than former President Barack Obama’s attempt at comprehensive immigration reform in 2013, and that makes it even less likely to pass as is in the current Congress.
It seems that the bill was crafted this way by design – not only to signal to voters that President Biden meant what he said on the campaign trail about taking action on immigration to improve the system by making it more humane, but also as an opening salvo that signals there’s an opportunity for negotiating with Republicans.
I still have my doubts about whether any sort of comprehensive immigration package will pass, but it’s possible this bill will move us a little closer.
Read the full interview at news.illinois.edu.