Overview of Biden's Immigration Proposals
The new year and new administration have gotten a jumpstart on proposed immigration reform. On January 20, 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration announced its intention to implement more immigrant-friendly policies within 100 days of its administration by reversing many of the policies instated during the Trump administration. Below are a few noteworthy changes that Biden’s immigration reform bill, The Citizenship Act, proposes:
· An path to citizenship for undocumented individuals by granting them temporary legal status with the opportunity to apply for citizenship pending background checks and tax compliance. Dreamers, TPS holders, and immigrant farmworkers who meet specific requirements would also be eligible for a streamlined path to citizenship. To be eligible, the applicant must be physically present in the US on or before January 1, 2021.
· The proposed bill will eliminate the 3- and 10-year ban rule and allow families with approved sponsorship petitions to temporarily join families in the US until their visa is available.
· The Act also includes a No Ban provision that prohibits discrimination based on religion and limits presidential authority to issue future bans.
· The one-year time limit to file for asylum would be eliminated and more protections and available visas for U visa, T Visa, and VAWA applicants are included in the proposed bill.
· The bill also includes a $4 Billion Dollar fund to assist South American countries with addressing systemic issues of violence corruption and poverty that cause their citizens to flee their countries. In addition, the bill seeks to supplement current border protections with increased infrastructure and technology resources.
· Other immediate actions taken by President Biden include issuing an executive memorandum to preserve and fortify DACA, ensuring the continued processing of new and renewal DACA applications. He also issued an executive proclamation to end all construction of a wall at the southern border and declared an executive order banning deportations for 100 days. The deportation ban was postponed and under review in the courts.
On February 18, 2021, proposed legislation, based on Biden’s proposed policies, was announced and is now up for congressional consideration. This bill proposes an 8-year path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants and a quicker path for DACA Dreamers in the US. The Biden Administration hopes that this proposed bill will restart the conversation on immigration reform.
There is no doubt that immigration will continue to see many proposals and changes over the next few years. Until an actual law is passed, please beware of scammers that prey on immigrants during uncertain times with false information and promises of legal documentation. Please make sure to stay tuned as we provide critical immigration informational updates. Contact us to set up a consultation if you or someone you know needs legal advice regarding specific immigration circumstances.