Six Key Elements of Biden’s Immigration Plan

Nov 11, 2020

President-elect Biden has big plans for immigration in 2021. He plans to renew DACA, improve employment-based immigration, make positive adjustments to family-based immigration, and bring humanity back to our asylum policies.

What are the key elements of President Elect Biden’s Immigration Plan for 2021?

I’m Eric Widman, I’m an immigration lawyer.

And our new President Biden taking office in January of next year, we’ll be laying out we’ll be pursuing a number of key points for his immigration plan. He’s listed these out in his campaign materials. He’s talked about them in the debates with President Trump. And he’s made himself quite clear. And he has some credibility for doing that with President Obama that he’s going to pursue these things. He was Vice President, of course, with President Obama, when none of these policies were instituted.

So the first thing that we’ve identified that he is going to pursue first key element is to act upon DACA, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. President Obama had initiated this program, giving dreamers, younger kids who came to the US without status, and DACA gave them work authorization DACA gave them the ability to have a form of immigration status. So it was a huge win for millions and millions of dreamers.

So President Biden would be able to reinstitute that, and is committed to do that quickly, and get work authorization for DACA holders. Similarly, TPS, temporary protected status, he a President Biden, would improve that and undo many of the harmful changes to TPS that President Trump had instituted phasing out categories and taking really harmful steps over the last several years. priority number two, is to get rid of the travel ban. So Muslims were certainly targeted in three different iterations of the first few travel bans, there’s been a number of changes like this, that President Trump instituted, but the Muslim travel ban will be cut off. It’s a presidential proclamation.

So President Biden would be able to immediately get rid of that rescind it, and move forward with a more sensible immigration approach for travelers that doesn’t focus upon people’s religion, or specific qualities like that. third key element of the plan would be to reform family based immigration. One of the main things that he has spoken about which is rather exciting, is to elevate a couple preference categories to immediate relative, right now, if you’re the child of a green card holder, or the spouse of a green card holder, you’re still within a preference category, even if you’re current on the visa bulletin that fluctuates, if you’re an immediate relative, that’s outside the preference category system, there’s no quota, there’s no waiting period, just the standard bureaucratic delays, but at least you’re not held hostage by the visa bulletin. Priority four would be to reform key elements of employment based immigration. And one key element that we wanted to highlight is a really intriguing option for cities and counties to actually petition and receive additional visa numbers for immigrants who could benefit their economy locally. So that would be a key step forward.

Now, there’s also a desire to pursue reform with immigration enforcement and the court system, there’s a massive backlog of cases in immigration court, they need to hire more judges, in addition to that, enforcement priorities need to be changed. And one key thing that absolutely must happen, ethically, morally, is to end a for profit detention system. There is no excuse to incentivize people to put people in jail and get paid for it. So the for profit detention systems is going to end he’s committed to do that, too. So finally, the sixth point is a silo that will make a massive human rights positive impact for so many asylum seekers that have been hoping to receive assistance from the United States as we’ve done for decades and decades, but have been turned away because the quota has been dropped to a unreasonably low level over the past several years, down to 15,000. applicants for asylum as opposed to 10s of thousands more that we have had in the past and President Biden’s committed 225,000 asylum applicants who would be received into the US. Remember asylum has to be something you prove. You can’t just get it and make up a reason and qualify for it that way. You have to be vetted thoroughly and truly be fleeing persecution and prove it. And if someone is truly fleeing persecution, we owe it to them to help them

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