Joe Biden has stated the changes he intends to make if he is elected president of The United States of America. Biden states that the immigration system in this country is under a lot of stress because of President Trump. President Trump has pushed for misguided policies, with an obsession of building a wall that does not address national security issues. It does, however, cost taxpayers billions of dollars that could be used to address other issues. A rough estimate of half of the undocumented people living in the United States today have simply overstayed their visas and did not cross a border illegally.
Joe Biden is prepared to work on fixing President Trump’s efforts, reclaiming America’s values, and modernizing the immigration system. Biden wants to welcome immigrants to the country and communities, and proclaim America’s commitment to refugees and asylum-seekers, among many more initiatives.
In the first 100 days of the presidency, Joe Biden plans to reverse what President Trump’s administration did with policies that separated parents from their children at the U.S. border. This includes ending the prosecution of parents for minor violations. Policies overseeing refugees and asylum seekers will also be a focus for change. The Trump administration has worked hard to restrict access to many victims trying to access asylum. Restrictions have been imposed for anyone traveling through Guatemala or Mexico and being victims of gang abuse or domestic violence victims from receiving asylum. The Trump administration also limited members of the LGBTQ community when applying for asylum.
Biden will direct resources to ensure asylum applications are processed efficiently and fairly while keeping in mind families and children and their safety. Biden intends on making sure that humanitarian needs are met through faith-based shelters, legal non-profits, non-governmental aid organizations, and refugee assistance agencies. Biden will also make sure that children in detention centers receive adequate care and treatment. He will invest in community-based case management programs to expedite the movement of immigrants into a safe environment. Biden will be reversing Trump’s public charge rule, which punished immigrants for using Medicaid, SNAP benefits, and many similar programs.
In 2012, former President Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to protect undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children. DACA provided temporary work permits and protection from deportation to those immigrants who passed a background check. President Trump terminated this program, leaving thousands of DACA members stranded without proper documentation and increasing the risk of deportation. Biden will revoke the travel band against Muslims while also asking for an immediate review of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) which allows victims of violence in their home country to stay in the U.S. if they cannot otherwise find safety.
Biden will increase the training resources for members of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He will not target immigrants who have served in the armed forces for deportation. Biden will also create a system to track military veterans who were deported by President Trump’s Administration and try to reunite them with their families. President Trump’s administration has made the naturalization process for green card holders difficult, and the Biden administration will remove the extensive qualifying requirements for green card holders who will like to obtain citizenship. Biden plans on integrating immigrants into our economy by promoting language learning, financial management, advice on the naturalization process, and job training. Biden will meet with regional leaders from several countries in Central and North America to discuss the growing numbers of people fleeing their home countries due to the violence and lack of opportunities. Proposing a plan to address the challenges these countries are facing is something Biden would like to do immediately.
Biden has committed to working on an immigration reform that guarantees to welcome people of every part of the world to the U.S. The U.S. has an estimated 1.7 million undocumented immigrants from Asia, and thousands of immigrants from the Middle East, Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa. Biden will work with Congress to provide a better system while prioritizing the safety of the family by keeping them together and allowing them to work on a path to citizenship. Biden acknowledges that immigrants are essential to the country and its economy. He wants to ensure the health and welfare of every worker in the country by protecting worker’s rights, working conditions, and wages.
Biden will work with Congress to reform the visa program for temporary workers. Employers will be required to show why it would be detrimental for their businesses if temporary workers were not available. Employers will also be required to pay their employees fairly, allow them to join a union, and use their labor rights. Biden will also work to increase the number of high-skilled visas while decreasing the limitations on employment-based visas by country. A path to legalization will be worked on for agricultural workers who have worked on farms for several years. Biden will also allow family-based immigration by keeping families together and allowing applicants to receive a temporary non-immigrant visa until the permanent visa is completed. He will also allow parents to bring their families with them when they arrive in the country.
As President, Biden will work with Congress to increase the number of visas given to permanent employment-based immigration, allowing more immigrants to contribute to the U.S. economy. He will work on creating a new visa category to allow counties and cities to request for more immigrants to support their growing economies while protecting both the American and foreign workers. Biden wants to expand the protection for undocumented immigrants who have reported labor violations and increase the number of visas given to victims of domestic violence.
Biden will establish Offices of Immigrant Affairs at the county and state levels so that government officials focus on making policies. Creating welcome centers to help residents find jobs, learn English, and learn how to navigate the health care and school system. Biden will push for repeal in states that have anti-immigrant laws that have an extreme effect on victims and seeking help.
Biden will work on training asylum officers to review cases efficiently and allow asylum seekers to have the opportunity to have a judge hear their case if they do not qualify for asylum. Those victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, and persecution based on political beliefs will be allowed to apply for asylum. An increase in court staff, immigration judges, and interpreters are also on Biden’s radar, as well as allowing more refugees into the country. He will work with the Central American Minors program to allow children to rejoin with relatives living in the U.S. and allow them to apply to enter the country from their home of origin. Biden will invest in better technology to be used at U.S. ports of entry and work with Mexico and Canada to have better security for their borders.