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Changes to Immigration Policies 

Throughout the Trump administration, our immigration system was under assault by Trump’s misguided policies. From baring immigrants from Muslim-majority countries to wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on an ineffective border wall that grew to represent racism and bigotry more than sound policy. However, the incoming Biden administration is expected to address many immigration policies and reverse most, if not all, of Trump’s controversial orders. According to the official Joe Biden website page on immigration, “As president, Biden will forcefully pursue policies that safeguard our security, provide a fair and just system that helps to grow and enhance our economy, and secure our cherished values.” President-Elect Biden’s immediate actions should include:

Restoring DACA

Hundreds of thousands of young immigrants known as Dreamers have benefited from DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), created in 2012 during the Obama-Biden administration. DACA gave young people protection from deportation and the ability to receive temporary work permits. The actions of the Trump administration in its decision to terminate DACA created turmoil in the lives of millions of Dreamers and their families. According to the official Biden website, the program will be reinstated and the new administration will explore all legal options to protect families from inhumane separation. Biden also plans to ensure Dreamer eligibility for federal student aid to improve access to higher education and their contribution to the economy. 

Ending Detrimental Asylum and “Remain in Mexico” Policies

The Trump administration worked against refugees and asylum-seekers by restricting access to asylum in the United States via travel restriction specifically for those coming from Guatemala or Mexico and systematically prosecuting adult asylum seekers for misdemeanor illegal entry into the US. Starting with Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols, the Biden administration plans to end these policies and restore asylum laws meant to protect people fleeing danger and persecution. Further, the Biden administration intends to direct the resources needed to ensure asylum applications are processed efficiently and fairly.  

Ending Family Separation

Like most Americans, President-Elect Joe Biden believes that separating parents from their children is inhumane. Biden plans to end the Trump administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy of family separation, ensure ICE and CBP personnel abide by the rule of law in their treatment of immigrants, and hold both agencies accountable for human rights violations. 

Rescinding the “Muslim Ban” 

The Trump administration created a ban that targets people of Muslim faith or those coming from Muslim-majority countries and prevents them from entering the country. The Biden administration plans to immediately remove the ban, commonly known as the “Muslim ban.”

Restoring and Defending the Naturalization Process

The Biden administration plans to improve the naturalization process that has been obstructed and derailed under the Trump administration. Since 2016, processing times for naturalization applications have gone from 3-6 months to 18 months or longer, and the filing fee is projected to increase nearly 100%. The Biden administration plans to remove roadblocks to naturalization, address the application backlog, ensure quick application processing, and reject imposing unreasonable fees. 

Reversing the Public Charge Rule

President-Elect Biden believes that the public charge rule is antithetical to American values and our history as a nation of immigrants and refugees. If Biden follows through with reversing this rule, immigrants will no longer be required to pass an income or wealth test prior to obtaining permanent residency. 

Other Immigration Changes

There are many other changes the Biden administration plans to make when it comes to immigration policy including:

  • Providing a path to lawful status for agricultural workers who have worked for years in the U.S. agricultural industry. 
  • Reforming the visa program for temporary workers in select industries.
  • Creating a roadmap to citizenship for the nearly 11 million parents of American citizens who have been living in the US without status while strengthening our country for years.
  • Restoring sensible enforcement priorities within the US particularly focusing on violent criminals.
  • Use federal resources for smarter and more effective border enforcement efforts rather than wasting taxpayer resources on an archaic and racist symbol that Mexico will not pay for – the border wall. 

Questions about New Immigration Policies?

If you have questions or concerns about how you or your family may be affected by the changes to immigration policies under President Biden, feel free to contact Novo Legal. Novo Legal has a team of experienced and compassionate immigration attorneys who are ready to help.