Democratic senator unveils plan granting citizenship to immigrants in Minnesota
- US Senator Tina Smith unveiled the plan on Friday
- Immigrants who worked essential jobs would be granted US citizenship
- The framework could become law as part of a broader budget bill up for debate in Congress
Backed by US Senator Tina Smith, a proposal, which would grant immigrants in Minnesota who worked essential jobs in agriculture, food processing, health care and other fields during the coronavirus pandemic a pathway to US citizenship, was unveiled in the state on Friday, according to US media reports.
The legislation, which was revealed by the Democratic Senator alongside Minneapolis business leaders and frontline workers, would allow undocumented essential workers, Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and temporary protected status recipients and their families to immediately apply for a green card, according to Post Bulletin.
After five years, those individuals could apply for citizenship.
The framework could become law as part of a broader budget bill up for debate in US Congress. But that's only if it could gain enough support evenly split Senate to pass it. Smith said she and her colleagues were working to build support on both sides of the political aisle and remained hopeful that the provision would be included in a bill set to come up for a vote later this summer.
As part of a larger budget package now being debated in Congress, the framework may become law. But only if it can win enough bipartisan support in the Senate to pass. Smith said she and her colleagues were trying to gain support from both parties and were optimistic that the measure would be included in a bill that would be voted on later this summer.
"Undocumented workers have provided a national service to this country during the pandemic and we should create a fair path to citizenship for them in recognition of their service," Smith said reportedly.
Meanwhile, the news comes after earlier in the day, US District Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas ordered the end of the DACA programme that protected certain immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation.
Eight conservative states -- including Texas -- sought to stop the Obama-era programme ruled in their favour.
Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Carolina, and West Virginia, all of which had Republican governors or state attorneys general, joined Texas in the lawsuit.
People who have already enlisted will not lose their safeguards, but Hanen has put a stop to fresh applications being processed.