5 ways Joe Biden’s presidency will affect US immigration policy
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is expected to undo many reforms in the immigration policy of the US, brought about by US President Donald Trump, if he gets elected to the top post in November.
Trump is known for his US-first immigration policy and Biden has called it ‘draconian’, ‘national shame’ and a ‘moral failing’.
Undoing Trump’s biggest immigration policies
Biden has vowed to put an end to Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols policy, and restore asylum laws to “protect people fleeing persecution and who cannot return home safely”.
The current policy of “metering” limits the number of asylum applications accepted each day and forces people seeking asylum to wait on the streets in often dangerous Mexican border towns for weeks before they are permitted to apply. Biden will direct the necessary resources to ensure asylum applications are processed fairly and efficiently, reads the former Vice President’s manifesto.
The un-American travel and refugee bans, also referred to as “Muslim bans,” will also be revoked. “Prohibiting Muslims from entering the country is morally wrong, and there is no intelligence or evidence that suggests it makes our nation more secure,” reads the presidential candidate’s manifesto.
Better border technology and reformed immigration system
Biden has promised to invest in smarter border technology that would improve cargo screening.
According to Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris’ manifesto, most contraband comes in through legal ports of entry. “And the real threats to our security - drug cartels and human traffickers - can more easily evade enforcement efforts because Trump has mis-allocated resources into bullying legitimate asylum seekers,” the manifesto says.
He will secure the border, while ensuring the dignity of migrants and upholding their legal right to seek asylum. He promises to enforce laws without targeting communities or tearing apart families.
Offer protection to ‘Dreamers’ and their families
DACA was created in 2012 to protect ‘Dreamers’, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children, obeyed the law once here, and stayed in school or enlisted in the military. The Trump administration terminated the programme.
Biden will remove the uncertainty for ‘Dreamers’ by reinstating DACA, and he will explore all legal options to protect their families from inhumane separation.
Legislation offering a path to citizenship to unauthorized immigrants
As much as $23.6 billion were collected from 4.4 million workers who had no social security numbers as many of them were undocumented, according to Biden’s manifesto. He promises to advocate for legislation that creates a clear roadmap to legal status and citizenship for unauthorized immigrants who register, are up-to-date on their taxes, and have passed a background check.
Reforms in the temporary visa system
Legislation will be passed that reforms the temporary visa system. High-skilled temporary visas should not be used to disincentivise recruiting workers already in the US for in-demand occupations, according to Biden.
Biden has said that his administration will work with Congress to first reform temporary visas to establish a wage-based allocation process and establish enforcement mechanisms to ensure they are aligned with the labour market and not used to undermine wages. Then, Biden will support expanding the number of high-skilled visas and eliminating the limits on employment-based visas by country, which create unacceptably long backlogs.