Joe Biden-Kamala Harris Around 8.30 pm IST Inauguration Day

Joe Biden-Kamala Harris Around 8.30 pm IST Inauguration Day

US President-elect Joe Biden plans to unveil a sweeping immigration bill on Day One of his administration, hoping to provide an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living in the country without legal status, a massive reversal from the Trump administration's harsh immigration policies.

Former US Vice President Joe Biden is set take oath as the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday, January 20. While 78-year-old Biden will be the oldest US President, Indian American Kamala Harris will make history as the first Black and South Asian woman to be the Vice President. Also Read - 'Not the Time': Biden Administration Drops Order as Trump Lifts Travel Ban With Europe, Brazil

It provides one of the fastest pathways to citizenship for those living without legal status of any measure in recent years, but it fails to include the traditional trade-off of enhanced border security favoured by many Republicans, making passage in a narrowly divided Congress in doubt.

The legislation puts Biden on track to deliver on a major campaign promise important to Latino voters and other immigrant communities after four years of President Donald Trump's restrictive policies and mass deportations.

Hundreds of pages are expected to run, the bill is to be tabled on Wednesday after taking oath of office, according to a person familiar with the law and given anonymity to discuss it.

As a candidate, Biden called Trump's actions on immigration an "unwavering attack on American values" and said he would "undo the damage" to maintain border enforcement.

Under the legislation, those living in the US as of Jan. 1, 2021, without legal status would have a five-year path to temporary legal status, or a green card, if they pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfil other basic requirements. From there, it's a three-year path to naturalization, if they decide to pursue citizenship.

For some immigrants, the process would be quicker. So-called Dreamers, the young people who arrived in the US illegally as children, as well as agricultural workers and people under temporary protective status could qualify more immediately for green cards if they are working, are in school or meet other requirements.

The bill is not as comprehensive as the last major immigration overhaul proposed when Biden was vice president during the Obama administration.

Nor does it create any new guest worker or other visa programs. For example, it does not include a robust border security element, but rather calls for coming up with strategies. 

Biden is expected to take swift executive actions to reverse other Trump immigration actions, including an end to the prohibition on arrivals from several predominantly Muslim countries.

It does address some of the root causes of migration from Central America to the United States, and provides grants for workforce development and English language learning.

During the Democratic primary, Biden consistently named immigration action as one of his “day one" priorities, pointing to the range of executive powers he could invoke to reverse Trump's policies.

Biden allies and even some Republicans have identified immigration as a major issue where the new administration could find common ground with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and enough other GOP senators to avoid the stalemate that has vexed administrations of both parties for decades.

That kind of major win — even if it involves compromise — could be critical as Biden looks for legislative victories in a closely divided Congress, where Republicans are certain to oppose other Biden priorities that involve rolling back some of the GOP's 2017 tax cuts and increasing federal spending.

As a candidate, Biden went so far as to say the Obama administration went too far in its aggressive deportations.

  • Around 8.30 pm IST (10 am EST), the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) will start by hosting the first ever curated livestream for young Americans before and during the inaugural ceremonies.
  • The livestream will be hosted by award winning entertained and advocate Keke Palmer.
  • The livestream will feature a special message from incoming First Lady Jill Biden and a commentary from leading historians.
  • The inaugural ceremony will begin with the American national anthem and invocation around 10 pm in India (11.30 Eastern Time)
  • US President-elect Joseph R Biden will be sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts on the US Capitol’s West Front as per tradition. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
  • After Joe Biden takes oath as US President, he will then deliver his inaugural address.
  • The newly sworn-in US President will then move to the Capitol’s East Front for ‘Pass in Review’, which is a longstanding tradition where the new President assesses the military troops.
  • Following this, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and former US President Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton along with their wives will travel together to Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
  • Before an evening of virtual activities, Joe Biden will receive a military escort from 15th Street to the White House with every branch of military represented.
  • After the conclusion of the official ceremony, there will be a 90-minute-long bonus celebration called “Celebrating America” which will be hosted by actor Tom Hanks.