US Immigration News

How Does the 2021 Biden Immigration Plan Affect You?

4.25 minute read
"It is impractical to expect the United States immigration system to transfer completely under the Biden Administration but there are many aspects of the process that will likely be changed over the next 4 years. The Biden Administration has introduced the US Citizenship Act for 2021 that includes a lot of immediate impact and long-term plans to change the system."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jul 2, 2021
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It is impractical to expect the United States immigration system to transfer completely under the Biden Administration but there are many aspects of the process that will likely be changed over the next 4 years. The Biden Administration has introduced the US Citizenship Act for 2021 that includes a lot of immediate impact and long-term plans to change the system. 

Former President Trump focused his entire administration on restricting illegal entry into the US bypassing over 400 executive orders. Since most were executive orders, the Biden Administration will have no trouble unwinding them. President Biden has indicated that his focus will be on more comprehensive reforms since his priority will be on the pandemic and fixing the US economy. 

What Happens in the First 100 Days of the Biden Immigration Plan?

The Biden Administration plans to take the following actions during the first 100 days:

Reverse the Public Charge Rule: 

There has always been a rule to prevent immigrants from applying for a Green Card if they have received public benefits. However, under the Trump Administration, this rule became more restrictive. 

President Biden intends to revert the rule to its previous guidelines. This means that adjustment of status applicants would no longer be required to submit Form I-944, Declaration of Self Sufficiency. However, most new immigrants will be required to submit Form I-864, Affidavit of Support

Save the DACA: 

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was originally introduced by the Obama-Biden Administration in 2012. This policy allowed certain undocumented immigrants who were children when they arrived in the US to apply for permanent residency. However, multiple changes by the Trump Administration were made to wind down the program and reduce it to a renewable 1 year protection period. 

The Biden Administration plans to fix that and start accepting new DACA applications. His administration will also ensure that DACA applicants are eligible for federal student aid and are able to access community college without debt and invest in HBCU/Hispanic Serving Institution/Minority Serving Institutions.

Revoke the Travel Ban: 

In 2017, President Trump made an executive order to limit the travel of individuals from certain countries. This order temporarily banned immigration from 13 countries, which were either Muslim-majority or African nations. President Biden plans to revoke this ban and allow the current immigration law to regulate the entry of foreign nationals into the US. 

Halt Construction of Border Wall: 

President Trump diverted billions of dollars to build a wall and declared a “national emergency” for it. President Biden intends to halt the construction of the border wall and support border security by improving screening infrastructure at the ports of entry.

Fix Asylum Policies: 

The entry of asylum seekers was limited in the US under Trump due to denial of entry or limited eligibility. President Biden intends to raise the annual ceiling for allowing refugees to 125,000. The current administration also intends to end policies that separate families at the border and require asylum seekers to wait at the US border.

Re-establish Priority Enforcement: 

The Biden Administration intends to end enforcement policies that targeted individuals who have previously been convicted of a serious offence but have lived another productive life. The administration will instead focus on limiting the Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) operations leading to limited deportation of immigrants convicted of felonies and other serious crimes.

Protection for Immigrant Veterans: 

President Biden intends to create a parole process to bring back deported veterans to the US and reunite them with their families.

Streamline Naturalization for Permanent Residents: 

The USCIS recently reported that over 740,000 permanent residents are waiting for action on their naturalization application. Due to the Trump Administration updating the US Citizenship test and increasing the filing fee, the backlog of applications is at an all-time high. The Biden Administration intends to improve the naturalization process by making it more accessible and realigning resources to the USCIS to prioritize such cases.

What Are the Long-Term Plans for Immigration Reforms?

Many of President Biden’s long-term immigration plans focus on family reunification. For that, the following actions could be taken:

Reform the Temporary Work Visa System: 

President Biden wants to establish a wage-based allocation system and establish enforcement measures that align with the needs of the labor market by working with Congress. He also wants to support the expansion of high-skilled visas and eliminate visa caps on employment-based programs that create unnecessary backlogs for H1-B immigrant workers from countries like India.

Expand Employment-Based Visas: 

Currently, the visa caps for an employment-based visa are at 140,000 annually. President Biden intends to increase the number of employment-based visas being awarded especially during the time of economic recovery. He also wants to exempt Ph.D. graduates and international graduates in STEM subjects from US universities from the visa caps. He believes in retaining highly skilled workers who can significantly contribute to the recovery of the US economy.

Citizenship Pathway for Undocumented Immigrants: 

President Biden intends to open up an immigration pathway for 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US. There will be many changes made to the immigration system over the next 4 years, including a formal program that makes it easier for undocumented immigrants to gain legal status.

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