In the last four years, the Trump administration has severely restricted immigration in many different ways—from increased application fees to lower annual caps to outright travel bans.
President-elect Joe Biden has promised to undo many of these changes and restrictions, and some of that work may occur in the first few months of his presidency. Let’s take a look at what Biden has promised to do for immigrants and their loved ones in his first 100 days.
1. Create a Pathway to Citizenship for Dreamers & Undocumented Immigrants
Biden has promised to produce legislation on the first day of his presidency that establishes a path to citizenship for both undocumented immigrants and DACA recipients (otherwise known as DREAMers). This would potentially benefit more than 11 million people currently living in the United States.
2. Reinstate DACA
Also on his first day, Biden plans to permanently restore DACA to its former operations. The Trump administration had tried to revoke the program entirely, and DHS began to reject first-time DACA requests even after the Supreme Court denied the administration’s attempt to end the program.
3. Reunite Families Who Were Separated at the Border
Biden has promised to end the separation of families at the border. Additionally, he plans to use an executive order to create a task force that will help reunite the hundreds of children who have not yet found their parents.
4. End the Muslim Travel Ban
In 2017, Trump issued an executive order banning travel from several predominately Muslim countries. Biden has said he will immediately revoke this order, and he plans to back any legislation that prohibits future restrictions like the travel ban.
5. Improve Conditions for Asylum Seekers
The Migrant Protection Protocols (i.e. the “remain in Mexico” policy) has forced thousands of asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their hearings. Biden plans to end both this policy and the potentially illegal metering system of asylum seekers. His plan also includes increased supervision of ICE and CBP in order to identify, end, and prevent inhumane treatment of asylum seekers.
6. End the Construction of the Border Wall
Biden plans to halt the construction of the border wall and, as a result, discontinue the diversion of funds from the Department of Defense. He does not, however, plan to take down the additions made to the wall during the Trump administration.
Facing Uncertainty in the Years Ahead
Despite the immediacy with which Biden may reverse some of the damage done to the U.S. immigration system, many of the biggest changes will need congressional support. Unfortunately, we may not find out what type of support Biden may have until Georgia’s runoff Senate elections, slated for January.
No matter what the future may have in store for the U.S. immigration system, you can count on Sebastian Simon Law Group, PLLC to provide the dedicated counsel and representation you need. Whether you are petitioning for a visa, defending yourself against deportation, applying for citizenship, or working toward any other immigration-related goal, we want to be your trusted advocates from beginning to end.