Immigration News Briefs
Biden’s broad immigration plan for 2021
In his first 100 days in office, Biden has outlined plans to:
• Modernize the American immigration system
• Mitigate irregular immigration
• Reaffirm the country’s commitment to refugees and asylum-seekers
• Establish effective border screening procedures, and
• Welcome foreign nationals into U.S. communities
The incoming administration will also revisit several critical immigration programs from the Obama administration, including: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), also ensuring they can get Federal Student Aid; Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA); and Central American Minors. Although administrations have tried in the past and failed, Biden has indicated he will try to also have a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. However, this one may be hard to implement, as he will need Congressional support.
The administration will also support reforming temporary visas to create a wage-based allocation system, removing caps limiting the number of employment-based visas per country, and expanding the number of skilled visas, in addition to supporting legislation to reduce green card backlogs. In addition, H1B rules may become less stringent, allowing for fewer denials and RFEs, which were rampant during the last several years.
In Family Based Immigration, Biden proposes to change the law to treat spouses and unmarried children of green card holders as “immediate relatives” along with spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens. This would exempt them from current numerical quotas. The plan would also allow any family member with an approved I-130 to enter the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa while he or she waits for their priority date to be current.
The Biden Immigration Plan would end for-profit detention centers and workplace raids. It would “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 also seek to reverse most of Trump’s policies, such as ending “Muslim Travel Bans,” which impose immigration restrictions on 13 Muslim-majority countries. and the Public Charge Rule that took effect on February 24, 2020. The rule denies green cards and visas to applicants based on their likelihood of receiving government benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid, and housing assistance.
USCIS DACA updates
USCIS announced that in response to the December 4, 2020, court order reinstating DACA, effective December 7, 2020, USCIS will accept first-time requests for consideration of deferred action under DACA based on the terms of the DACA policy in effect prior to September 5, 2017. USCIS will also accept DACA renewal requests; applications for advance parole documents; extend one-year grants of deferred action under DACA to two years; and extend one-year EADs under DACA to two years.
USCIS also later stated that it will take appropriate steps to provide evidence of the one-year extensions of deferred action and employment authorization documents under DACA to individuals who were issued documentation on or after July 28, 2020, with a one-year validity period under the defunct policy.
Visa Bulletin for January 2021 is available on our website.
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