Over the past three and a half years, the Trump administration has waged an ongoing war against immigrants on every front, including imposing policies which resulted in deep cuts in family immigration, reduced by nearly 50% in 2020.
Heartless policies against innocent Dreamers have left a precious generation of children with no hope or sense of security, as Trump continues efforts to cancel DACA and reduce benefits, in violation of court orders. Under his inhumane administration, children have been caged like animals, families separated and Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) has had free rein to terrorize immigrant communities and arrest otherwise law-abiding immigrants just because they lack legal status. Venezuelans in the U.S. in desperate need of temporary protected status (TPS) after fleeing their corrupt and unstable regime have been denied TPS status, simply because it does not suit Trump politically.
Presidential Candidate, Joe Biden’s policies towards immigrants are totally different than those of Trump. Biden values immigrants and understands that they are the backbone of our nation, which gives us our strength and resiliency.
According to Biden “… 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 done against immigrants by the Trump administration, Biden 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 allow them to immigrate to the U.S.. The current bans prohibit most immigrants and family members from immigrating to the U.S. through December 31st and may be extended indefinitely if Trump is elected for a second term.
Reverse Trump’s public charge rule and health insurance mandate which requires that immigrants provide financial data and health insurance documentation to demonstrate their financial resources and prove that they will 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” (someone who will need government assistance). Courts have currently blocked the rules, but the administration has appealed.
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 immediately granting TPS status to Venezuelans which will allow them to remain in the U.S. legally and obtain work and travel permits.
Reverse Trump’s cruel policy of separating families at our borders, including ending the caging of children and inhumane treatment of immigrant families, as well as ending 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 millions of immigrants to legalize their immigration status and eventually obtain green cards and U.S. Citizenship. Immigrants currently living in the U.S. who contribute to our economy and enrich our communities can come out of the shadows and 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 our 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.
For more information, you can visit www.Immigratetoday.com and click on the Immigration Newsletter link in the upper left-hand corner or by visiting the enewsletter site at: www.americanimmigrationcentral.com
** Contributions to this Column are made by Attorney Caroly Pedersen, Esq. of the American Immigration Law Center