After Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, supporters and critics alike wondered how Biden’s presidency will change the country’s immigration laws.
In fact, the newly sworn-in President’s first day in office started with issuing executive orders revising existing immigration enforcement policies and priorities.
President Biden’s executive orders in the first 24 hours of his presidency mean one thing: Americans and immigrants can expect major changes to immigration laws in the next months and years.
If you are unsure how President Biden’s new immigration policies could affect you and your family, contact our Nashville-based immigration attorneys at Ozment Law, PLC, to discuss your situation.
President Biden’s U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021
Shortly after his inauguration on January 20, 2021, President Biden unveiled legislation that provides a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the U.S. In what has been called “the boldest immigration agenda in generations,” the legislation could affect roughly 11 million people in the U.S. illegally.
The newly unveiled legislation – known as the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 – would provide that “Dreamers” (people with DACA, those brought to the U.S. as children), Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, and immigrant farmworkers are eligible for a green card immediately if they meet specific requirements under the Act.
The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, if passed by Congress, would also offer the following:
- Addressing the employment-based visa backlog
- Increasing per-country visa caps for green cards
- Eliminating lengthy wait times when getting a visa
- Eliminating the so-called “three and 10-year bars”
- Limiting presidential authority to issue future bans
- Increasing Diversity Visas to 80,000 from 55,000
The proposed legislative bill is yet to be approved by Congress. If approved, the bill would become the most sweeping immigration reform package in the past 25 years.
President’s Biden’s Executive Orders Ending Trump-Era Immigration Policies
On his first day in office, President Biden also issued an executive order to end his predecessor’s “Muslim ban,” which blocked people from various Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
Also, the new President is putting an end to Donald Trump’s project to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. In addition to these immigration changes under Biden’s presidency, the new President is expected to undo a series of other Trump-era immigration policies in his first 100 days in office. President Biden plans to strengthen DACA protections and has ordered a systematic review of all of the Trump-era regulations involving immigration.
How Will Immigration Change During Biden’s Presidency?
President Biden’s first moves on immigration mark a significant reversal of the policies enacted by his predecessor. President Trump’s immigration policies focused on restricting undocumented and legal immigration. However, the new President could run into obstacles that may disrupt his legislative agenda.
The new President would have to convince Congress that allowing millions of undocumented immigrants to legally enter the U.S. workforce would benefit the country. This comes at a time when millions of Americans have been out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yes, President Biden has many difficult challenges to face in the next four years. While it is unclear to what extent the new President could reform the U.S. immigration system, his early moves in the Oval Office indicate that the country’s immigration policies could be more favorable to immigrants and foreigners than they were in the previous four years.
As U.S. immigration laws and policies are expected to change in the next months after Biden’s inauguration, consult with an experienced immigration attorney at Ozment Law, PLC, to determine how the new changes might impact you and your family in Nashville and Tennessee. Call 615.321.8888 to request a case review.