With the election of President-Elect Joe Biden, the United States will enter into a new era on immigration. During last almost four years of the Trump administration, we have seen an immigration policy which separated families, demonized immigrants, instillation of the so called Muslim Ban and other restrictive and harsh policies. President-elect Biden has promised to undo many of the Trump’s policies and return back to the President Obama era on immigration. He has promised to review many of the changes in the first 100 days of his administration.
One of the first things that President-elect Biden has promised is to protect Dreamers and their families. Dreamers or DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients are children who arrived in the United States without being inspected at the border. Having been undocumented, President Obama implemented DACA in June, 2012. DACA has enabled many young immigrants to gain temporary legal status, enabling them to work, receive an education and not have to hide in the shadows. This all too important policy has helped previously undocumented aliens obtain college degrees, many of whom have become doctors and nurses who have been in the front line during the COVID-19 pandamic.
Unfortunatley, President Trump chose to terminate the program through an executive action, leaving many without an opportunity to sign up for the program. President-elect Biden has promised that DACA will be reimplemented once he is sworn into office. He is also focused on obtaining a path to citizenship for the Dreamers.
RESCIND THE MUSLIM BAN
In early 2017, soon after taking office, President Trump implemented the so called Muslim Ban. After many legal battles, the Supreme Court upheld the ban in a 5-4 decision. The countries included in the ban are Libya, Somalia, Iran and Yemen. Although not Muslim countries, the ban also extends to Venezuela and North Korea. President-elect Biden has promised that soon after taking office, he will rescind this policy.
REVERSE TRUMP’S PUBLIC CHARGE RULE
In early 2020, USCIS implemented the public charge rule for those seeking a visa or permanent residency (Green Card) in the United States. As part of the green card application, it is now required that the applicant complete form I-944. This is the public charge form. As part of the application, the immigrant must demonstrate that they are employable either by demonstrating their educational history or employment history. If the immigrant cannot work for some reason, i.e. a disability, they might not be allowed to be reunited with family members here in the United States.
REVERSE CHILD SEPERATION
In one of the most extreme and cruel actions of his presidency, President Trump implemented the sepration of families of who entered the United States without being inspected at the border. We have seen the disturbing pictures of young kids locked up and fenced in without their parents. Many of the parents of these children have been deported, without knowledge of where their children are or if their children are safe. President-elect Biden has promised that one of his first acts as president is release the children from immigration custody and reunite them with their families if possible.
STAY ON DEPORTATION
Under President Trump, deportations have not only increased, but have been indescriminate. Biden will freeze deportations for 100 days while his administration issues guidance on who can be deported. Biden will also work on returning those men and women who served in our military but have been deported.
The new incoming administration will have a vastly different immigration policy than the outgoing administration which lost the election. President-elect Biden has many things that will have to be undone. The outgoing administration has spent nearly four years creating an environment of fear of immigrants and draconian policies which not only impacted immigrants but the values of the United States. But as President-elect Biden recently said, ““It’s about making sure we can both be a nation of immigrants as well as a nation that is decent.”