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How Biden plans to change the US immigration system

A truly significant comprehensive immigration reform is unlikely to occur in the first few years of the Biden administration. After all, politics is as controversial as ever, and Democrats have no control over the Senate. However, this does not mean that meaningful changes in immigration will not happen quickly. CitizenPath.

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There are many aspects of the immigration system that the Biden administration is likely to change. His immigration plan includes several piecemeal actions that could have an immediate impact, as well as a long-term ambition to rethink the system.

President Trump pursued the goal of limiting legal and illegal immigration to the United States. Since most of Trump's changes have been implemented through executive orders, it will be easier for the new administration to weaken them. Some measures will be quickly reversed, but others may take months or years to reverse. While Biden pointed out that comprehensive immigration reform could be one of his first big plans, the urgency of the pandemic and the state of the economy are likely to receive the most attention.

The first 100 days of Biden's immigration plan

The president can do a lot with executive orders. The Biden administration claims to take the following actions within the first 100 days:

Will repeal Trump's social burden rule

The social burden rule has long existed as one of the reasons for the inadmissibility of new permanent residents in the United States. The policy uses standards to prevent foreign nationals from obtaining a green card if they are likely to depend on public goods. The Trump administration has tightened the rule, making it what critics say is a "wealth test." Biden says he will end the new policy and return to the old rules. This will likely eliminate the need to file Form I-944 (Declaration of Self-Sufficiency) to adjust the status of applicants. Most new immigrants will likely need to file Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support).

On the subject: A record number of immigrants voted in the 2020 elections: who are they and where they live in the USA

Preserve DACA and Protect Families

The Obama-Biden administration created the DACA in 2012. This policy protects some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents. The Trump administration has made several attempts to derail and close the program. Although most of their policies have been blocked by courts, DACA has been scaled back to a renewable one-year protection period (instead of two years).

Biden is expected to immediately restore DACA to its original state and order new DACA applications to be accepted by USCIS. He also announced his intention to explore all legal options for protecting families from separation. Biden would like to establish a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and possibly some of their families. His administration wants “dreamers” to be eligible for federal student aid and included in community college access programs.

Will lift the travel ban

A 2017 Trump administration decree restricted travel to the United States to individuals from 13 countries, most of which are either Muslim or African. Biden said he would immediately lift the "Muslim ban" and rely on current immigration laws to regulate the entry of foreign nationals.

Stop construction of the border wall

Biden is expected to end the "state of emergency" declared by President Trump to raise money from the Department of Defense to build the wall. The Biden administration is supporting border security, such as improving inspection infrastructure at ports of entry.

Will change the asylum policy

The Trump administration has worked to limit the pool of asylum seekers in the United States. The Biden administration wants to re-establish the US's role as a safe haven for people fleeing persecution who cannot return home safely. Biden wants to raise the annual threshold for admitting refugees to 125, but that will likely require legislative assistance through Congress.

Biden is expected to immediately end policies that separate parents from their children at the border or keep asylum seekers waiting outside the United States. He also confirmed that asylum is a viable means of avoiding persecution in countries that are intolerant of the LGBT community.

Re-establish rules for priority protection

The Biden administration is expected to end its enforcement policy, which includes action against people who have never been convicted of a serious felony and have lived productive lives in the United States. The President-elect will focus the attention of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on threats to public and national security. This will restrict deportation to persons who have committed criminal offenses.

On the subject: Three ways to determine a person's immigration status in the United States

Provide protection for immigrant veterans

In recent years, some immigrant military veterans have been deported. Biden says he will create a procedure to bring these people back to the US.

Optimizes the naturalization process

Delays in naturalization are close to a record. According to the latest USCIS data, more than 740 permanent residents are awaiting a decision on the N-000 citizenship application. The Trump administration recently updated its citizenship test and tried to increase application fees. Biden wants to streamline and improve the naturalization process to make it more accessible to qualified green card holders. He can direct resource reallocations through USCIS to prioritize naturalization cases.

Within the first 100 days, the Biden administration is also expected to revise the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program, end Trump's green card ban, and may expedite status adjustments for key workers such as healthcare workers helping to fight the pandemic. ... All of these actions can be carried out through executive action or policy changes under the supervision of the president. Therefore, the list of the above actions is achievable during the first 100 days of the President-elect's office.

There are more complex immigration issues that require legislative changes and some degree of cooperation from the US Congress. The president-elect can have a big impact on the creation of the new law, but he will depend on the US Senate and House of Representatives to implement the next important comprehensive reforms in the field of immigration.

Long-term immigration reform plans

As vice president, Biden backed the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill of 2013, which failed in the House of Representatives. Biden's immigration plan will likely include many of the same proposals.

Many of his long-term immigration goals are based on maintaining family unity. The current system makes it difficult for many families to stay together during the immigration process. Biden is aware of this problem and hopes to improve many of the existing laws.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York.

Reconstruction of the temporary work visa system (H-1B)

Biden wants to work with Congress to reform the temporary visa system to establish a wage distribution process and create enforcement mechanisms to match the labor market and not be used to lower wages. After adjustments, it will also support an increase in the number of visas for highly skilled workers and the removal of country restrictions on the issuance of work-based visas.

This legislation will also benefit the families of holders of work visas such as the H-1B. Biden is likely to reverse the Trump administration's measures to revoke work permits for spouses of H-1B visa holders.

Extension of work-based visas

The number of visas issued for employment purposes is currently limited to 140 per year. Biden intends to seek an increase in this number. It will also exempt recent graduates of US STEM graduate programs from this restriction. Biden wants international graduates of doctoral programs in the US to be issued a green card showing their degree. He believes that the loss of these highly skilled workers is detrimental to the economic competitiveness of the United States.

Building a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants

An estimated 11 million people live in the United States without immigration status. They may not have documents, but they make a significant contribution to the economy. Many have family members who are US citizens or permanent residents. The Biden administration will explore ways to legalize this group so that they can contribute more fully to American society. Despite the fact that now there are very limited ways to legalize illegal immigrants, the official program will allow many of them to come out of the shadows.

There will likely be many changes in the next four years. While much of Biden's short-term immigration plan will focus on reversing the changes in the Trump era, significant progress is on the agenda.

Read also on ForumDaily:

How many green card holders in the USA: who they are, where they came from and where they live

Educational program for an immigrant: all types of green cards and conditions for obtaining them

Federal court overturns Trump administration 'public burden' rules and work visas

Former illegal immigrants: celebrity immigrants who could be deported from the United States

Miscellaneous In the U.S. Joe Biden immigrants immigration to the USA Immigration in the USA
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