It is no secret that the current administration has taken a hardline approach to immigration policy. As a result, the immigration process has become more and more difficult for immigrants over the last 4 years. From travel bans, to increased processing times, to unlawful implementation of procedures that often leave folks uncertain and afraid. Now that the country has elected a new president, there is once again hope amongst immigration advocates. Some policies will take years to reverse. Comprehensive immigration reform can still feel like a pipe dream in a divided congress. However, there are many actions President-Elect Biden can take right away that would alleviate some of the burden the immigrant community currently shoulders.
Advocates expect that President-Elect Biden’s team will restore Immigration Service’s customer service attitude, reduce government delays in processing applications, and eliminate arbitrary policies. U.S. consulates will be again welcoming to immigrants as part of our country’s diplomatic efforts. Biden may immediately reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. There may even be a chance the administration can obtain a permanent solution for the so-called Dreamers through congressional action. Mr. Biden can also immediately end the travel and immigration restrictions on several Middle Eastern and African nations (Muslim travel ban). He can end the “Remain in Mexico” policy. This policy forces asylum seekers to live in Mexican border towns while waiting to appear for an immigration hearing. All of these actions would go a long way to providing more certainty and would reunite families that have long been separated.
We look forward to these positive changes. We hope these are just a few actions Mr. Biden can take in a more robust immigration policy that once again welcomes immigrants.