President Biden announced sweeping immigration reform the day he was inaugurated, potentially securing the fundamental freedoms millions of United States Citizens have enjoyed for the nearly eleven million undocumented immigrants residing in the United States. The immigration legislation alone is unlike any of its predecessors. Past attempts made by former President Barack Obama and George Bush all had an equal focus on tougher border security while incorporating a pathway to citizenship. But with a divided government, hurdles emerged and the legislation fell short. President Biden’s plan is symbolic as it is a rebuke of the last four years of the draconian immigration policies implemented by Former President Donald Trump. As one of the most progressive immigration reform bills ever proposed, Biden will face procedural challenges that he may not be able to overcome without bipartisanship. As it stands, the Senate is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans with Vice President Kamala Harris presiding. Without sixty senators voting in favor of the legislation, it remains null. President Biden will need to take bold and concise action to undo the last four years of restrictive immigration policies. Executive authority can undo much of Trump’s shameful immigration policies but meaningful reform starts with lawmaking. Without immigration reform, immigrants will be in a continuous state of uncertainty.
Biden’s immigration plan will allow thousands of undocumented immigrants to step out of the shadows and secure the legal status they deserve. For the past several decades, immigrants have been promised action from their leaders, but have yet to see solidified results that protect their fundamental freedoms. The immigration system has been in disarray. Court backlogs, application delays, and a lengthy process have left millions disenfranchised. Elected officials must understand the human life that is associated with Biden’s Immigration reform bill. Undocumented immigrants deserve a fair chance at securing legal status without the fear of deportation.
Pathway To Citizenship For Nearly 11 Million Undocumented Immigrants
The highest hurdle for President Biden to accomplish would be a pathway to citizenship for the nearly eleven million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. With prominent Republicans already signaling their opposition to “blanket amnesty,” Senate Democrats will need to drive the issue without reserve. If bipartisanship isn’t accomplished in reforming the immigration process, Democrats will have to result to undoing the filibuster, which remains unlikely. President Biden’s proposed bill would allow undocumented immigrants who have resided within the United States before January 1st, 2021 the ability to apply for temporary legal status and after an additional five years be considered for a green card. Certain conditions must be met to apply for a green card. Some of these conditions include having paid income taxes, a track record of employment, and passing a background check. Fortunately, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (immigrants who came to the United States as minors), Temporary Protected Status recipients, and those employed on farms would all be eligible to apply for a green card immediately. This would in effect help select immigrants avoid the five-year waiting period. After three years, DACA, TPS recipients, and farm workers would all be eligible to apply for citizenship. The proposed legislation has yet to be fully released and our office will comment further on all specifics as they become available.
Improving Court Functions
Court delays have plagued immigrants, especially asylum applicants over the past several years. Recently, Vice President Kamala Harris made commitments to overhaul the court system. The Vice President stated the Biden Administration’s plan would expedite the application process and reduce the case burden immigration judges have been courted with. The proposed legislation would also work on offering vulnerable groups and minors free legal counsel in immigration proceedings, which U.S. citizens are entitled to.
Refugee Admissions and Visas
Former President Donald Trump was committed to dismantling our legal immigration system with executive orders while undermining the integrity of our legal immigration system. Over his four years in office, Trump took actions to significantly reduce the number of refugees admitted into the United States. In 2015, nearly 100,000 refugees were accepted under the Obama administration which was then reduced to a mere 18,000 in 2020. To rectify the injustice under the Trump administration, Biden plans to increase the number of refugees accepted each year while increasing the visa caps for each country. Not only will this significantly increase immigration but it would also work to reduce wait times for visa applications. On Inauguration Day, Biden was also able to sign multiple executive orders that further welcomed immigration, including putting a halt to Trump’s “Muslim Ban.”
Improved Border Security Where It Matters
A vast majority of Americans believe in improved border security. But when it comes down to the specifics and interpreting what border security means, differing views arise. Former President Donald Trump notably campaigned on his promise to build a border wall but neglected to understand the effectiveness of a border wall. Over time, walls have been proven to be costly and ineffective in preventing illegal immigration and other gang activities. On his first day in office, President Biden signed an executive order that put a halt to “Trump’s Wall” and highlighted new efforts for Border Security in his proposed bill.
Border security for the Biden administration would not focus funding on building costly barriers but rather investing millions in infrared technology, drones, and other screening tools border agents will find resourceful. Cartels and gangs have infiltrated the United States southern border with drugs and human trafficking. But such advanced technology would help combat it. President Biden has also promised to provide further tools and training for border officials to investigate and prosecute such activity.
Contact Our Connecticut Immigration Team Today
The Biden administration has a bold agenda that will affect millions of undocumented immigrants. If you are a current or previous client of ours, we highly recommend you send your questions to our legal team at email@example.com to help alleviate any concerns you may have. We also recommend any immigrant who hasn’t worked with us in the past to contact our offices immediately to ensure their application remains top of mind. The above information is proposed legislation and has not been placed into law. For the past two decades, attorney James A. Welcome has fought on behalf of thousands of immigrants who have been disenfranchised in our immigration system. As a top-rated New England Super Lawyer, you can rest knowing your case is in the hands of a legal advocate that has represented individuals just like you. Each immigration case is unique and requires its personalized approach. Our attorneys and legal team are well versed in protecting the rights of immigrants and have approached practicing immigration law with diverse backgrounds and skillsets. It is our diversity and personal stories of immigrating to the United States that have empowered us to fight on behalf of immigrants just like you. To us, you are not just another case, but an individual who deserves justice and an equal outcome in our immigration system. Our team has closely monitored the Covid-19 pandemic and has implemented regular cleaning procedures within our firm to ensure the safety of our staff, clients, and family. At this time we are not offering any in-person consultations, but you may conveniently schedule a video conference from the comfort and safety of your home. Video consults offer you the same legal knowledge without the burden of traveling or risks associated with Covid-19. Contact our legal team for 24/7 legal support at welcomelawfirm.com or by calling our firm at (203) 753-7300. We look forward to helping you secure the outcomes you have always desired with a team that is committed to securing justice on your behalf.