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S. 348: U.S. Citizenship Act


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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 22, 2021.


U.S. Citizenship Act

This bill establishes a path to citizenship for certain undocumented individuals. The bill also replaces the term alien with noncitizen in the immigration statutes and addresses other related issues.

Specifically, the bill establishes a new status of lawful prospective immigrant. This status shall be available to an applying noncitizen who meets certain requirements, including being continually present in the United States from January 1, 2021, and passing background checks. After at least five years with this status, an eligible noncitizen may apply for and receive permanent resident status.

The bill also provides permanent resident status to certain applying noncitizens, specifically for eligible noncitizens who (1) entered the United States as a minor, (2) were eligible for temporary protected status or deferred enforced departure on January 1, 2017, or (3) worked a certain amount of agricultural labor in the five years prior to applying.

Among other things, the bill also

redefines for immigration purposes the term conviction to exclude convictions that have been expunged or vacated, requires the Department of State to implement a strategy to advance reforms in Central America and address key factors contributing to migration from the region to the United States, requires the State Department to establish refugee processing centers in Central America, requires Customs and Border Patrol sectors and stations to have a certain number of employees with certain qualifications such as paramedic training, generally prohibits religious discrimination in granting or denying immigration benefits, and establishes grant programs for providing training and services to immigrants.