President Joe Biden will hold a naturalization ceremony Friday at the White House where 21 immigrants will become citizens while the administration is pushing more roads for citizenship.
Immigration was a political high point as Biden sought to renew visas and refugee programs that were cut or stopped during the Trump administration.
In February, Biden and Congress Democrats proposed a major immigration review that included an eight-year path to citizenship for about 11 million people living in the United States illegally. Republican lawmakers blocked the effort and criticized the administration for the increase in people trying to cross the southern border without visas.
The immigration debate involves fundamental issues of national security and economic growth. Republican lawmakers seeking to limit immigration say it will help keep the United States safe and protect jobs for native citizens. But economists – many associated with Democrats – say increased immigration would boost economic growth that actually weighs down in falling fertility rates.
On Friday, the president will also recognize Sandra Lindsay as an “outstanding American by choice,” a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services program that recognizes naturalized citizens. Lindsay believes she was the first American to be vaccinated against COVID-19 outside of a clinical trial. She works as the director of critical care nursing at Longwell Jewish Medical Center North Island Health in Queens, New York.
Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday discouraged Guatemalans from immigrating illegally to the United States.