Immigration reform – Part 2
Immigration reform proposed by President Biden – Reality or fake news? Part 2
by Jose Enrique Perez
Last month, I started a two-part article giving my immigration perspective and explained what had been the immigration reform promises that had been made by the upcoming administration.
Now, those promises were memorialized by the incumbent President Biden and Vice-President Harris. I am extremely happy that Joe Biden is now the new President of the United States. As an immigration attorney, I am pleased to report on the good things that are going to happen in the next four years. The immigration reform proposal specifically:
- Create an earned roadmap to citizenship for undocumented individuals. The proposed immigration reform will allow undocumented individuals to apply for temporary legal status, with the ability to apply for green cards after five years if they pass criminal and national security background checks and pay their taxes. Dreamers, TPS holders, and immigrant farmworkers who meet specific requirements are eligible for green cards immediately under the legislation. After three years, all green card holders who pass additional background checks and demonstrate knowledge of English and U.S. civics can apply to become citizens.
Applicants must be physically present in the United States on or before January 1, 2021. The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may waive the presence requirement for those deported on or after January 20, 2017 who were physically present for at least three years prior to removal for family unity and other humanitarian purposes. Basically, for those deported during the Trump Administration.
The proposal further recognizes America as a nation of immigrants by changing the word “alien” to “noncitizen” in our immigration laws.
- Keep families together. The proposed immigration reform changes the family-based immigration system by clearing backlogs, recapturing unused visas, eliminating lengthy wait times, and increasing per-country visa caps.
It also eliminates the so-called “3 and 10-year bars,” and other provisions that keep families apart.
It also proposes that immigrants with approved family-sponsorship petitions to join family in the United States on a temporary basis while they wait for green cards to become available.
- Embrace diversity. The bill includes the NO BAN Act that prohibits discrimination based on religion and limits presidential authority to issue future bans. The bill also increases Diversity Visas to 80,000 from 55,000.
- Grow our economy. This proposal clears employment-based visa backlogs, recaptures unused visas, reduces lengthy wait times, and eliminates per-country visa caps. The bill makes it easier for graduates of U.S. universities with advanced STEM degrees to stay in the United States; improves access to green cards for workers in lower-wage sectors; and eliminates other unnecessary hurdles for employment-based green cards. The bill provides dependents of H-1B visa holders work authorization, and children are prevented from “aging out” of the system.
- Start from the source. The proposal codifies and funds the President’s $4 billion four-year inter-agency plan to address the underlying causes of migration in the region, including by increasing assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, conditioned on their ability to reduce the endemic corruption, violence, and poverty that causes people to flee their home countries. The bill also re-institutes the Central American Minors program to reunite children with U.S. relatives and creates a Central American Family Reunification Parole Program to more quickly unite families with approved family sponsorship petitions.
- Improve the immigration courts and protect vulnerable individuals. The proposed immigration reform expands family case management programs, reduces immigration court backlogs, expands training for immigration judges, and improves technology for immigration courts. The bill also restores fairness and balance to our immigration system by providing judges and adjudicators with discretion to review cases and grant relief to deserving individuals.
- Support asylum seekers and other vulnerable populations. The proposal eliminates the one-year deadline for filing asylum claims and provides funding to reduce asylum application backlogs. It also increases protections for U visa, T visa, and VAWA applicants, including by raising the cap on U visas from 10,000 to 30,000. The bill also expands protections for foreign nationals assisting U.S. troops.
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 email@example.com. 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 March 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. CONGRATULATIONS CNY LATINO FOR ITS 17th BIRTHDAY!!!!