An immigration perspective – now Biden – what to expect? Part 1
by Jose Enrique Perez
As an immigrant myself, I am happy to see that Joe Biden is the new president this month. As an Immigration Attorney, I am thrilled to report what we can expect in the next four years from an immigration standpoint.
Both President Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris have promised that in the first 100 days, the Biden Administration will:
- Reverse the Trump Administration’s cruel and senseless policies that separate parents from their children at our border. This includes ending the prosecution of parents for minor immigration violations as an intimidation tactic, and prioritize the reunification of any children still separated from their families.
- End Trump’s detrimental asylum policies. The Trump Administration has restricted access to asylum in the U.S., including imposing additional restrictions on anyone traveling through Mexico or Guatemala; attempting to prevent victims of gang and domestic violence from receiving asylum; systematically prosecuting adult asylum seekers for misdemeanor illegal entry; and severely limiting the ability of members of the LGBTQ community, an especially vulnerable group in many parts of the world, from qualifying for asylum as members of a “particular social group.” Biden will Migrant Protection Protocols and restore our asylum laws.
- End prolonged detention and reinvest in a case management program. The Trump Administration has sought to circumvent the Flores agreement and hold children in detention indefinitely. But proven alternatives to detention and non-profit case management programs, which support migrants as they navigate their legal obligations, are the best way to ensure that they attend all required immigration appointments.
- Reverse Trump’s public charge rule. Allowing immigration officials to make an individual’s ability to receive a visa or gain permanent residency contingent on their use of government services such as SNAP benefits or Medicaid, their household income, and other discriminatory criteria undermines America’s character as land of opportunity that is open and welcoming to all, not just the wealthy.
- End the wall unnecessary expense. Building a wall will do little to deter criminals and cartels seeking to exploit our borders.
- Protect Dreamers and their families. The Obama-Biden Administration created DACA in 2012 to protect “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, obeyed the law once here, and stayed in school or enlisted in the military. The Trump Administration made the cruel and counterproductive decision to terminate DACA, throwing into turmoil the lives of millions of Dreamers. Dreamers and their parents should have a roadmap to citizenship through legislative immigration reform or other executive options.
- Rescind the “Muslim ban.” Prohibiting Muslims from entering the country is morally wrong, and there is no intelligence or evidence that suggests it makes our nation more secure.
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for vulnerable populations who cannot find safety in their countries ripped apart by violence or disaster. Biden will protect TPS and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders from being returned to countries that are unsafe. TPS/DED holders who have been in the country for an extended period of time and built lives in the U.S. will also be offered a path to citizenship through legislative immigration reform.
- Restore sensible enforcement priorities. Targeting people who have never been convicted of a serious criminal offense and who have lived, worked, and contributed to our economy and our communities for decades is the definition of counterproductive. No one should be afraid to seek medical attention, go to school, their job, or their place of worship for fear of an immigration enforcement action.
- Ensure that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel abide by professional standards and are held accountable for inhumane treatment. Biden will increase resources for training and demand transparency in and independent oversight over ICE and CBP’s activities.
- Protect and expand opportunities for people who risked their lives in military service. Biden will not target the men and women who served in uniform, or their families, for deportation.
- Restore and defend the naturalization process for green card holders. The Trump Administration has made it far too difficult for qualifying green card holders to obtain citizenship. Biden will address the application backlog and reject the imposition of unreasonable fees.
- Revitalize the Task Force on New Americans and boost our economy by prioritizing integration, promoting immigrant entrepreneurship, increasing access to language instruction, and promoting civil engagement.
- Convene a regional meeting of leaders, including from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Canada, to address the factors driving migration and to propose a regional resettlement solution. Biden will triple the current cap of 10,000 on U-visas; this cap is insufficient to meet the dire needs of victims and hinders our public safety.
You should remember that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance about immigration policies. Furthermore, the article is not intended to explain or identify all potential issues that may arise in connection with the new immigration policies. Each case is fact-specific and therefore similar cases may have different outcomes.
I represent individuals in immigration. If you have any questions or concerns about an immigration case or potential case, you can call me at (315) 422-5673, send me a fax at (315) 466-5673, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Law Office of Jose Perez has now moved and is located at 659 West Onondaga Street, Upper Level, Syracuse, New York 13204. Now with offices in Buffalo and Rochester!!! Please look for my next article in the February edition and stay safe, healthy and away from the Coronavirus. In addition to our current practice of Personal Injuries, Work Accidents, Social Security and Immigration, we now also practice Criminal, Traffic, Family, DWI and Divorce.