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Promise Kept: Biden-Harris Administration Addresses Immigration Reform on First Day in Office

In the last twenty four hours, social media has exploded with joyful commentary as immigration activists celebrate the definitive actions taken by the Biden-Administration towards immigration reform.

These actions include forwarding an immigration bill to Congress and issuing several executive orders pertaining to immigration issues.

Immigrants, lawyers, policymakers, and advocates alike, have been reveling over the substantial effort that is underway revive an immigration system that has been marred by the Trump Administration’s anti-immigrant policies. Beyond tackling this latest assault, President Biden is allegedly planning to eliminate antiquated immigration policies that make it difficult for prospective immigrants to pursue a better life in the U.S.

Overall, the Biden-Harris Administration is determined to create an immigration system that is not only sensible, but humane. We can expect to see a greater emphasis in the coming months on compassion with respect to immigration enforcement, the provision of refuge to those most in need of it, and a renewed emphasis on tackling the root causes of

humanitarian-based immigration in Central America.

Proposed Reforms in the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021

  • Creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants (reducing wait times to as little as eight years);

  • Enabling DACA and TPS recipients to immediately apply for permanent residency;

  • Restoring and expanding programs for refugees and asylum seekers;

  • Increasing funding for foreign aid programs in Central America ($4 billion over four years to address issues such as violence, corruption and poverty); and

  • Enhancing border security and prioritizing the incorporation of new technologies over the construction of a border wall.

Executive Orders

Beyond the proposed legislation, President Biden issued many orders related to immigration issues on his first day in office.

These orders provide for the following:

  • A 100-day moratorium on deportation. From January 22, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will pause removal proceedings for specified non-citizens.

  • A mandate for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to conduct a Department-wide review of enforcement policies.

  • The safeguarding of the DACA program until Congress can offer more permanent protections.

  • The termination of the National Emergency declaration used to fund the construction of the U.S.-Mexican border wall;

  • The halting of the border wall’s construction and the undertaking of a review of associated contracts;

  • The inclusion of undocumented immigrants in the national census (counteracting President Trump’s order to exclude them).

  • The reversal of restrictions imposed on U.S. entry for passport holders from several Muslim-majority countries

  • The extension of Deferred Enforcement Departure for Liberians. Furthermore, USCIS has been directed to accelerate the processing of Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) applications. (These petitions allow Liberians who have been continuously present in the United States since November 2014 and their family members to apply for Lawful Permanent Resident status.)

For the balance of January, President Biden has given each day a particular theme that will guide the issues addressed on the respective day. Friday January 29, 2021, will be dedicated to immigration issues. Mr. Biden is scheduled to execute executive orders related to border processing, refugee policies, and family reunification.

Time will tell with whether the immigration bill gains majority support in Congress. The Biden Administration may be hard-pressed to gain Republican support, with the task of winning over at least nine Republican Senators.

The Biden Administration will likely prove eventful for the future of U.S. immigration policy. Follow us to keep up to date with the development of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 and the latest immigration news.

Twitter: @MurrayLawNJ Facebook: @MurrayImmigration Linkedin: @Dean P. Murray

We assist countless foreign nationals and we will be happy to personally assist you with your application as well. Send us an E-mail or call us at (888)354-6257. For reasons on why you should consult an immigration attorney whenever you have an immigration issue, see our page titled: Reasons Why it is Vital to Use an Immigration Lawyer.



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