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Sunday July 14, 2024

Biden offers path to citizenship to spouses of US citizens

Biden criticised Trump for separating migrant families at the US-Mexico border and using incendiary language about immigrants in the US illegally

By Reuters
June 20, 2024
US President Joe Biden laughs during a bilateral meeting with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of NATO in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, June 17, 2024.— AFP
US President Joe Biden laughs during a bilateral meeting with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of NATO in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, June 17, 2024.— AFP  

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced a sweeping effort to provide a path to citizenship to hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the US illegally who are married to US citizens, an election-year move that contrasts sharply with Republican rival Donald Trump’s plan for mass deportations.

At a White House event, Biden criticised Trump for separating migrant families at the US-Mexico border and using incendiary language about immigrants in the US illegally, including comments that they were “poisoning the blood of our country.”

“It’s hard to believe it’s being said, but he’s actually saying these things out loud. And it’s outrageous,” Biden said. “I’m not interested in playing politics with the border or immigration. I’m interested in fixing it.”

The new Biden programme will be open to an estimated 500,000 spouses who have lived in the US for at least 10 years as of June 17, officials said on Wednesday. Some 50,000 children under age 21 with a US-citizen parent also will be eligible.

Biden, a Democrat seeking a second term in the Nov 5 presidential election, took office vowing to reverse many of Trump’s restrictive immigration policies. But faced with record levels of migrant arrests at the US-Mexico border, Biden has toughened his approach.