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What Are Biden’s Plans for Immigration Reform?

Because of the Trump administration’s onslaught of immigration restrictions and policy changes, the last four years have been exceedingly stressful for immigrants of all statuses. In fact, the Migration Policy Institute recently published a report that cataloged more than 400 immigration-related executive actions undertaken by Trump.

But many are hopeful that a Biden administration could undo the damage. President-elect Joe Biden has made several promises to the nation’s immigrants, including:

  • Ending the construction of the border wall (and, therefore, the diversion of funds from the Department of Defense)
  • Reversing the policies that allowed for the separation of families at the border and establishing a task force to help reunite hundreds of children who still have not found their parents
  • Ending the travel ban that predominately affected Muslim countries and supporting legislation that prevents future politicians from enacting similarly prejudiced policies
  • Creating a pathway to permanent residence (and, therefore, citizenship) for both DACA recipients and undocumented immigrants
  • Ending asylum policies that metered asylum seekers and forced them to wait in Mexico for their hearings
  • Reversing Trump’s public charge rule, which penalized immigrants for applying for certain forms of public assistance

Biden also wants to replace prolonged detention with case management programs, hold ICE and CBP officials accountable for inhumane treatment, protect humanitarian programs like TPS and DACA, and otherwise help immigrants who are seeking safety and security in the United States. For a complete list of Biden’s immigration plans, visit here.

Can Biden Follow Through on His Promises?

Any rule changes will require an extensive legislative process, and Biden’s executive orders may be encumbered by lawsuits for several months or years. Depending on the results of the Georgia Senate run-off elections in January, Congress may or may not be willing to cooperate with the Biden administration. Furthermore, the general public has become increasingly divided, and passing sweeping immigration reform will be challenging without widespread support.

Despite these challenges, the Biden administration will likely see some degree of success. A federal judge recently ruled that Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf did not have the authority to restrict DACA, and, just last week, the judge ordered DHS to restore DACA to its former operations. In a similar way, the Biden administration may be able to nullify policies created by Wolf or any other informally-appointed authority figures.

The Biden administration is facing considerable pressure from millions of people and countless immigration advocacy groups all over the country. While Biden may not be able to undo all the damage right away, his agenda is rekindling hope for immigrants, and their allies will continue to press Biden and his successors toward positive immigration reform.

The Time to Act Is Now

While the government may face many more years of gridlock, you have the right to continue your immigration journey. At Lopez & Rhodes PLLC, we want to accompany you on that journey and help you make the best possible choices at every turn. We are here to fight for your future and help you overcome any obstacles that stand in your way. Whether or not the Biden administration improves the immigration system for you and your loved ones, we are ready to help you achieve your goals as soon as possible.

To learn more about what we can do for you, call (832) 514-4879 or contact us online today.