Friday, December 4, 2020
Guest blogger: Michaela Sanchez, law student, University of San Francisco
“The Biden Plan for Securing Our Values as a Nation of Immigrants” details the steps President Elect Joe Biden will take to reverse policies that were implemented under the Trump administration that inflicted fear and harm on the immigrant community. His plan also includes new policies he hopes to implement either in the first 100 days or during his four years in office. The action plan can be found here.
Biden’s Immigration Plan include many topics, which are summarized and grouped together below:
1) The Muslim Ban- The Muslim Ban was an Executive Action issued by President Trump and not a law passed by Congress. Biden will most likely rescind the ban when he takes office.
2) Employment Based Immigration Reform- Biden’s plan states that he will work with Congress to reform the current system of temporary work visas and supports expanding the number of high skilled visas and eliminating the limits on employment-based visas based on country.
3) Family Based Immigration- Biden’s plan proposes categorizing spouses and unmarried children of “green card holders” as immediate relatives, along with spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens. This change would make them exempt from the current numerical quota.
4.) Enforcement: ICE, CBP, and Courts- Biden wants to terminate for-profit detention centers and overhaul CBP and ICE hiring protocols in order to hold agencies more accountable for actions taken by personnel. Biden also proposes to double the amount of immigration judges, court staff, and interpreters.
5.) Restoring Protections to Asylum Seekers and Refugees-Biden would lift the current restrictions and restore protections to people applying for asylum. He would rescind the Remain in Mexico Policy and wants to return to the rights asylum seekers had before Trump was elected. Biden also seeks to increase the refugee quota from 15,000 to 125,000.
6.) TPS, DACA, and Immigration Reform- Biden wants to restore DACA and make DACA recipients eligible for federal aid, review the TPS program to determine the best path for individuals who cannot safely return to country of origin, and work with Congress to modernize our current immigration system by providing a roadmap to citizenships for the 11 million undocumented immigrants that current reside in the United States.
There are a number of proposals that are included in Biden’s first 100-day plan, all of which may or may not happen within the first 100 days or even within the first year if there is not enough Congressional support. However, any of the policies that the Trump Administration issued by Executive Order could be remedied within the first 100 days. Other policies which were made by the Attorney General can also be reversed once there is a new Attorney General in place.
The Migration Policy Institute published a report in July of 2020 that found within four years, the Trump Administration had issued well over 400 executive actions on immigration. While Biden’s immigration plan wants to reverse and revise many important changes within the first 100 days, it is more realistic to hope that his administration can work towards implementing all of his proposed changes over the course of his four years to have a longer lasting effect to make sure these policies will not be easily overturned.