DENVER (CBS4)– A bill unveiled by White House officials and Democrats would provide a way for some 11 million migrants living in the U.S. to achieve citizenship. It offers an eight-year plan for most, a shorter process for agriculture workers and those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program known as DACA.
Renato Fierro was born in Mexico but has been in the United States since he was 1 year old. He is is what is termed a “dreamer.”
That’s the name given those who crossed the border as children without documents but lived most of their lives in the United States.
Fierro told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger, “All of my life since I was one year of age, because of that piece of paper, it says I am not.”
He has lived at times in fear of arrest and of deportation. That’s what happened to his father who would not be eligible to return under this new proposed law.
But Gabriela Flora of the American Friends Service Committe says things are rapidly changing for those living in the country without proper papers.
“The fact that we have a new person in the White House who is not spewing hate and division and xenophobic rhetoric daily is very important and gives a sense of relief for our folks in the community,” she said.
Not all will back the immigration bill. It will require support from both Democrats and Republicans. It is likely to undergo numerous changes and even then, passage is far from certain.
But if it does become law, it would provide a path to citizenship for people like Renato which is why he is called a “dreamer.”
“That would be my biggest thing, citizenship. It would completely change my world, a lot of doors would be opened up for me, a lot of doors that have been closed in the past,” he said.
The bill not only would provide the opportunity for millions of people to become U.S. citizens, but as a matter of dignity the Biden administration is dropping the term “illegal aliens” preferring to use “noncitizens.”