The Biden Administration is wasting no time in rolling out executive orders aimed at undoing the anti-immigration agenda of the Trump Administration. The Biden Administration is also collaborating with leaders in Congress to introduce legislation which will include a pathway to U.S. citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented people, permanent residence for people with temporary protected status, an extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and permanent residence for DACA recipients.
On his first day as President, Biden issued Executive Orders which included:
- Revoking blanket bans on immigration from certain countries, also referred to as the Muslim Ban and African Bans, abolishing the “extreme vetting” practices that were used to block eligible immigrants from being reunited with U.S. citizen spouses and family members and directing the State Department to restore fairness in visa processing and remedy harms caused by the previous bans.
- Directing an immediate halt to construction of the border wall along the U.S.- Mexican border and calling for a review of the legality of funding and suspicious contracting methods used by the previous administration. The order ended the fallacy of “national emergency” used to justify diversion of funds to the wall and will allow the new Administration to redirect money for border wall construction elsewhere.
- Directing the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice to strengthen the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) so that Dreamers – undocumented persons brought or sent to the U.S. as children – may be protected from deportation.
- Revoking the Trump’s orders to exclude undocumented individuals from the census and apportionment of Congressional representatives.
- Protecting Liberians by extending Deferred Enforced Departure and Venezuelans by extending Temporary Protected Status so that they are not compelled to leave the U.S. or be subject to forced return to countries in turmoil.
President Biden also announced his plan to send an immigration bill to Congress which would include:
- an eight-year pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants
- an elimination of the three- and ten-year bars and an expansion of legal immigration.
- the recapture of millions of previously unused visas to reduce green card backlogs,
- eliminating per-country ceilings on visas,
- accelerating the availability of green cards for children and spouses of permanent residents
- provisions for allowing cities and counties which are facing depopulation to sponsor immigrants
These efforts will undoubtedly face stiff resistance from those who refuse to acknowledge that America needs immigrants, that the American economy benefits from immigration and that immigrants bring vigor and entrepreneurial spirit to America’s towns and cities. For additional details of the Biden Administration’s immigration plans, click here.