Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

One his first day in office, President-elect Biden will propose legislation that would give an eight-year path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants.

Why it matters: The proposal — the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 — is a stark shift away from former President Trump's harsh policies and rhetoric on immigration and fulfills a campaign promise of Biden's.

The big picture: Biden’s proposal is just the starting point. Any immigration bill would need to get 60 votes in a 50-50 split Senate — and immigration has long proved a contentious and partisan issue especially as the Republican party has veered rightward on the issue.

  • Leon Fresco, an immigration attorney who worked in the Obama administration, told Axios that there is no chance of passage of Biden’s bill if Republican votes are needed. Republicans will use a more conservative 2013 immigration bill as their starting point. But the proposal gives soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer an aspirational goal to achieve.

What they're saying: "The American public know that our immigration system is not working the way it should be, and we need a complete overhaul that both protects American people but also consistent with our values," one incoming White House official told reporters on a call Tuesday evening.

Details: The plan has three goals, incoming officials said: Create paths to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants in the U.S., build out smart border controls and address the root causes of migration, particularly in Central America.

  • The bill provides green cards immediately for so-called Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status holders and immigrant farmworkers. This comes with a pathway to citizenship after three years.
  • It also would give other unauthorized immigrants who meet certain requirements the ability to apply for temporary legal status, which would allow them to apply for a green card after five years. From then, they would be able to apply for citizenship three years later. People must have been present in the United States on or before Jan 1 to qualify.
  • It also expands access for asylum seekers at the border, eliminates the one-year deadline for filing asylum claims, and would add processing centers for refugees in Central American countries.
  • The legislation proposes a different approach to border security rather than continuing with Trump's wall, although there is no set dollar amount for enhancing border security.
    • "The idea is that we're focusing on threats to national security and public safety, but we need to know how funds are being used now in order to be able to determine what else is needed," an incoming White House official said.
    • Enhanced security is a requirement for Republicans when looking at immigration legislation.
  • The bill also provides $4 billion over four years to help combat underlying causes of migration, including in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
  • On the legal immigration side, the bill would end per-country caps for employment-based green cards and raise the caps for family-based green cards.

Go deeper

Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.

Cuomo says words may have been "misinterpreted" following allegations of harassment

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a Feb. 22 news conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AF via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a lengthy statement on Sunday saying he " never inappropriately touched anybody" but acknowledged that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation," after two of his former aides accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Prior to Cuomo's statement, in which he adds that he "never inappropriately touched anybody" or meant to make anyone uncomfortable, the governor's office and the state attorney general went back and forth in a public disagreement about how to investigate the allegations.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!