Immigration Laws In the Biden Administration 

Now that it is clear who our next president will be, we can look ahead and contemplate what President-elect Biden will put forth with regard to immigration policy.  

 As seen in his “Plan for Securing our Values as a Nation of Immigrants”Joe Biden has promised to work with Congress to pass an amnesty for undocumented immigrants.  Andrew Arthur of The Center for Immigration Studies notes that the President-elect has said that he will impose a 100-day moratorium from his inauguration on removals.  He has further stated that he will only deport those aliens convicted of certain undefined “felonies.”  Mr. Biden has yet to clarify which felonies will fall under his moratorium.  See

 In Mr. Biden’s Plan for Securing our Values as a Nation of Immigrants, the President-elect has promised protection to DACA recipients by stating he would reinstate the program and would explore all legal options to protect these families from separation.  He plans to ensure that Dreamers are eligible for federal student aid.  One of his proposals is to provide access to community college without debt and to invest in HBCU and Hispanic Serving Institution/Minority-Serving Institutions with the goal of equipping Dreamers to contribute more to our economy.  See

 Mr. Arthur notes that Mr. Biden has made it is clear that he opposes family separation policies at the border and plans to reform the immigration system.  See

 Mr. Biden has expressed his desire to welcome immigrants to our communities by assuring America’s commitment to asylum-seekers and refugees.  His motivation is to protect people who are fleeing persecution and who cannot return home safely.  He would like to restore asylum eligibility for domestic violence survivors.  Finally, the President-elect has expressed that he will increase the number of asylum officers in order to efficiently review the cases of recent border crossings.  The goal is to eliminate duplication of resources and alleviate the burden on the immigration courts.  See

 President-elect Biden also hopes to make the immigration court system operate more efficiently. To that end, he has stated that he plans to double the number of immigration judges, court staff and interpreters.  The intention here is to address the backlog of immigration cases that are in the administrative system and could take years to be heard with current staff levels.  These ideas are enumerated in his Plan for Securing our Values as a Nation of Immigrants.  See

 Furthermore, Mr. Biden plans to direct federal resources to ensure effective border enforcement efforts.  One idea is to improve screening at our ports of entry in order to keep America safer.  Although Mr. Biden acknowledges that the U.S. has a right and the obligation to secure our borders, he asserts it’s ineffective and un-American to use fear tactics for political gain.  Mr. Biden seeks smart and sensible policies to strengthen our country’s ability to catch threats such as drug dealers or traffickers.  Some examples of possible methods are investment in better technology and improving cross-agency collaboration at the border.  This ideas can be seen in his “Plan for Securing our Values as a Nation of Immigrants”

 President-elect Biden has stated that he would order an immediate review of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for vulnerable populations who cannot find safety in their countries.  He wants to protect those who are fleeing war and natural disasters.  Mr. Biden has mentioned that those TPS holders who have been in the country for an extended period of time (as yet undefined) will also be offered a path to citizenship through legislative immigration reform. See

 Another of Mr. Biden’s proposals includes rescission of the travel and refugee bans that impact Muslims who want to enter the United States.  He has stated that he will increase the number of refuges that are welcomed into the country.  President-elect Biden wishes to offer hope and safe haven to refugees and maintain the country’s humanitarian obligations.  See

 In President-elect Biden’s Plan, he states that immigrants are essential to the strength of our country and the U.S. economy.  He has expressed publicly that he will work with Congress to pass legislation to create a roadmap to citizenship for the people who have been living in the United States for years.  Mr. Biden would like to reform the visa program for temporary workers in select industries, such as seasonal workers.  This includes a path to legalization for agricultural workers who have worked on U.S. farms.  See  He desires to work with Congress to protect American and foreign workers so that foreign workers are not being taken advantage of and American workers are not being undercut by their employers.  See

 Mr. Biden feels that the federal government should be inspired to learn from local municipalities who have successfully integrated immigrants into their neighborhoods.  As seen in his “Plan for Securing our Values as a Nation of Immigrants”, President-elect Biden would like to improve access to federal agencies and local initiatives.  Some ideas include creating neighborhood resource centers to help all residents find jobs, access services and English-language learning, and navigate our school and health care systems.  He seeks to increase immigrant representation on community boards and establish Offices of Immigrant Affairs at county and state levels so that local government officials can focus on making policies inclusive.  He supports entrepreneur incubators that are targeted toward immigrants and providing resources to help access business loans and mentoring. 

 Ultimately, Mr. Biden has expressed that he welcomes immigrants in our communities and desires to make changes to welcome, support and encourage them. 

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