Existing Anti-immigration Policies Likely to be Dismantled Under a New U.S. President

By Caroly Pedersen Immigration Attorney and CNW Legal Analyst

oe Biden on July 14, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Over the past three and a half years, the Trump administration has waged an ongoing war against immigrants, including imposing policies, which resulted in deep cuts in family immigration, reduced by nearly 50 percent in 2020. Policies against innocent Dreamers have left a precious generation of children with little hope or sense of security, as efforts persist to cancel DACA and reduce benefits, in violation of court orders.

Under the incumbent administration, children have been caged, families separated and Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) has terrorized immigrant communities, and arrest otherwise law-abiding immigrants who lack legal status.

The Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Joe Biden’s policies towards immigrants are totally different than those of President Donald Trump.

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Biden values immigrants and understands they are the backbone of our nation, which gives us our strength and resiliency.

According to Biden’s proposed immigration policy, “… Generations of immigrants have come to this country with little more than the clothes on their backs, the hope in their heart, and a desire to claim their own piece of the American Dream. It’s the reason we have constantly been able to renew ourselves, to grow better and stronger as a nation, and to meet new challenges. Immigration is essential to who we are as a nation, our core values, and our aspirations for our future. Under a Biden Administration, we will never turn our backs on who we are or that which makes us uniquely and proudly American. The United States deserves an immigration policy that reflects our highest values as a nation.” 

As part of his plan to undo the harm imposed against immigrants by the Trump administration, Biden, if elected,  plans to immediately reverse Trump’s proclamations and executive orders. Major priorities include:

Reverse Trump’s immigration bans which have caused thousands of family members and other immigrants to languish abroad, unable to obtain visas to immigrate to the US. The current bans prohibit most immigrants and family members from immigrating to the US through December 31 and may be extended indefinitely if Trump is reelected.

Reverse the public charge rule and health insurance mandate which requires immigrants to provide financial data and health insurance documentation to demonstrate their financial resources and prove they’ll not obtain government assistance or need noninsured healthcare in the future. This rule allows USCIS to arbitrarily deny residency to immigrants it deems to become a “public charge” (or need government assistance). Courts blocked the rules, but the administration appealed and won.

Restore DACA and protect Dreamers and their families while creating a plan for Dreamers to obtain green cards and the U.S. citizenship that they so richly deserve! The plan would include legal protections for parents of Dreamers, including work permits and eventual green cards.

Rescind the “Muslim bans” which unreasonably and inhumanely separate family members and target individuals based upon their religious faith and origin.

Restore America’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program to provide protections for immigrants fleeing from terror and disasters, including those from Haiti and Venezuela, allowing them to remain in the U.S. legally and obtain work and travel permits.

Reverse the policy of separating families at the U.S.  borders, including ending the caging of children and inhumane treatment of immigrant families, and closing for-profit detention centers. 

Biden also plans to immediately implement new humane immigration policies, which no longer punish law-abiding immigrants, institute pro-immigration programs and help create legislation for immigrants.  

Major priorities include:

Comprehensive Immigration Reform to modernize our immigration system and enable immigrants to legalize their immigration status and eventually obtain green cards and US Citizenship. Immigrants currently living in the U.S. who contribute to the economy can come out of the shadows, live and work freely, while working towards residency and citizenship.

Enforce sensible immigration priorities, which target criminals, not law-abiding immigrants.

Institute humane asylum policies for immigrants fleeing political persecution by restoring asylum laws designed to protect rather than persecute immigrants.

Restore and defend the naturalization process for green card holders by streamlining and improving the naturalization process, remove roadblocks to naturalization and ensure applications are processed quickly, for reasonable fees. 

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