The IRC welcomes the introduction of the ‘U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021’ immigration bill to Congress today, helping build back humanity and competence to the U.S. immigration system.

The immigration bill, sponsored by Senator Bob Menendez and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, supports much of what the IRC proposed in its road map, including re-establishing the Central American Minors (CAM) program, greater capacity and funding for legal orientation and immigration courts; and a much-needed surge in aid to Central America, to name a few. The bill will also provide a pathway for status and security for 11 million undocumented immigrants, providing a shorter timeline for DACA and TPS recipients - all of whom already live, work, pay taxes, and contribute to American communities.

Nazanin Ash, Vice President of Global Policy and Advocacy at the International Rescue Committee, said: “This bill aims to both undo the damage and begin a much-needed overhaul of the immigration and asylum system. The previous administration left an unsafe, unfair and broken asylum system that assumes asylum-seekers are guilty until proven innocent - with life-altering and life-threatening consequences for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people. Beyond introducing a humane approach to ensure the dignity and safety of immigrants and refugees, the bill champions integration efforts such that communities have the resources to welcome new Americans and celebrate their contributions to society.

“This bill includes many of the provisions recommended in the IRC’s step-by-step road map for the new Administration to undo the damage wrought and restore humanity and order at the U.S. Southern border. We look forward to working with the Biden Administration and Congress to ensure that families remain united, to care for vulnerable populations at America’s doorstep, and to celebrate and cherish diversity in American communities.”

The IRC serves on average more than 6,500 clients with citizenship and naturalization services annually. IRC field offices across the United States have helped clients receive and renew their TPS status and have witnessed first-hand their positive contributions to local communities. The IRC had also helped more than 1,500 clients bring their at-risk children to the United States through the Central American Minors resettlement program before it was terminated by the previous administration.