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.