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Biden’s immigration relief to benefit spouses, kids of many Indian-Americans

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A massive immigration relief move was announced by President Joe Biden on Tuesday (18) for non-citizens, offering a path to citizenship. Non-citizen spouses and children of American nationals can stay with their families together.

According to the White House, non-citizens can qualify if, as of June 17, 2024, they have lived in the United States for at least 10 years and are legally married to a U.S. citizen, meeting all necessary legal requirements. On average, eligible individuals have been in the U.S. for 23 years.

Those approved by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after reviewing their application will have three years to apply for permanent residency. They can stay with their families in the U.S. and get work authorization for up to three years. This applies to all eligible married couples.

“This action will protect approximately half a million spouses of US citizens, and approximately 50,000 non-citizen children under the age of 21 whose parents are married to a US citizen,” the White House said.

Amongst these millions, thousands are Indian-American. Biden has directed the Department of Homeland Security to take action to ensure that US non-citizen spouses and children apply for lawful permanent residence-status that they are already eligible for without leaving the country, the White House said.
The decision comes five months prior to the Presidential elections. The Indian-American population contributes the most to the US economy, as the statistics have proved.

“Recognizing that it is in our national interest to ensure that individuals who are educated in the US are able to use their skills and education to benefit our country, the Administration is taking action to facilitate the employment visa process for those who have graduated from college and have a high-skilled job offer, including DACA recipients and other Dreamers,” the White House said.

According to the White House, this program will protect about half a million spouses of U.S. citizens and around 50,000 non-citizen children under 21 whose parents are married to a U.S. citizen. Over 1.1 million undocumented spouses married to U.S. citizens, many of whom are Indian-Americans, have lived in the U.S. for an average of 16 years, with many being married for at least a decade.

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The announcement is expected to impact approximately 500,000 undocumented spouses and 50,000 undocumented children of U.S. citizens across the country.

However, the Trump campaign opposes the move, arguing that Biden’s mass amnesty plan will lead to more migrant crime, cost taxpayers millions, overwhelm public services, and divert Social Security and Medicare benefits from American seniors to undocumented immigrants.

“Biden has created another invitation for illegal immigration through his mass amnesty order,” said Trump campaign National Press Secretary Karoline Leavitt.

In contrast, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, praised Biden’s decision to offer relief to hundreds of thousands of immigrants, including DACA holders and undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens.

“Allowing those who have lived here at least ten years a chance to continue living here without fear of deportation is fair and long overdue. The Republican Party and its chosen leader see immigration in terms of fear and hate and ‘poisoning the blood’ of America. President Biden understands that, as challenging as it may be, immigration is at the heart of who we are as Americans. I commend President Biden for today’s announcement. It’s the right thing,” said Durbin.

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