In the News: Biden Makes Immigration First Priority

In the News: Biden Makes Immigration First Priority


With the inauguration just days away, President-Elect Joe Biden has announced he will be sending an ambitious immigration bill to Congress. He has also pledged to make immigration his top concern for his first ten days in office.

He will use his executive authority to extend DACA protections. His executive authority does carry a lot of weight. For example, the Trump administration made over 400 alterations to immigration policy while Trump was in office.

The bill could legalize 11 million immigrants who are currently living and working in the United States without any legal status at all. He has asked for patience, however, as he probably will not be able to get the bill passed as quickly as he might like, in part because of the pandemic and the impeachment process. 

According to The New York Times, the President Elect plans to roll out dozens of his own executive orders. These are actions he can take under his own authority, much like Trump did, though he can still face legal challenges in the same way that Trump did.

“On his first day of office alone, Mr. Biden intends a flurry of executive orders that will be partly substantive and partly symbolic. They include rescinding the travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries, rejoining the Paris climate change accord, extending pandemic-related limits on evictions and student loan payments, issuing a mask mandate for federal property and interstate travel and ordering agencies to figure out how to reunite children separated from families after crossing the border, according to a memo circulated on Saturday by Ron Klain, his incoming White House chief of staff.” The New York Times

The immigration reform bill includes a faster path to citizenship for Dreamers and essential workers. It also includes a shorter path to citizenship: immigrants would be eligible for legal permanent resident status after five years and citizenship three years after that.

Biden also plans to halt border wall construction, eliminate Trump’s travel ban on Muslim-majority countries, and to expand the refugee cap from 15,000 to 125,000.

This comes shortly after the Biden administration warned a Honduran migrant caravan to turn back because they would not be able to enter the United States immediately, stressing that it would take time to change the legal landscape in the United States.

Not sure what to do while the legal landscape continues to change? You maximize your chances of remaining in the United States legally when you work with a qualified immigration attorney. Contact the Law Office of John Hykel today.

See also:

Is a Work Visa a Path to a Green Card?

USCIS Restores DACA Including Work and Travel Authorization

Why an Immigration Attorney is Your Best Bet


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