What's New in the World of Immigration?

01/19/2021 - Biden to Announce Broad Plan to Reverse Trump Immigration Policies

From the New York Times

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will propose far-reaching legislation on Wednesday to give the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States a chance to become citizens in as little as eight years, part of an ambitious and politically perilous attempt to undo the effects of President Trump’s four-year assault on immigration.

Under the proposal that Mr. Biden will send to Congress on his first day in office, current recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as “Dreamers,” and others in temporary programs that were set up to shield some undocumented immigrants from deportation would be allowed to immediately apply for permanent legal residency, according to transition officials who were briefed on Mr. Biden’s plan.

The legislation would also restore and expand programs for refugees and asylum seekers after efforts by Mr. Trump and Stephen Miller, the White House aide who was the architect of the president’s immigration agenda, to effectively prevent entry into the United States for those seeking shelter from poverty, violence and war. Mr. Biden’s bill would provide new funding for foreign aid for Central American countries, increase opportunities for foreigners to work in the United States and enhance security at the border through new technologies instead of through the border wall Mr. Trump tried to build.

Mr. Biden’s proposal is the latest effort in a decades-long attempt to reimagine the nation’s immigration system by presidents from both parties, including George W. Bush and Barack Obama. As the Biden era opens, advocates for immigrants and anti-immigrant restrictionists alike are already bracing for the fight.

Immigration was not the only issue Mr. Biden sought to emphasize on the eve of his inauguration as the nation’s 46th president. In a somber, sundown ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday, Mr. Biden paid tribute to the victims of the pandemic that he has pledged to aggressively tame.

“To heal we must remember,” Mr. Biden said, standing in front of the Reflecting Pool, which was surrounded by 400 lights meant to mark the 400,000 victims of the coronavirus.

At the heart of Mr. Biden’s immigration plan is a proposal to grant temporary legal status for five years to many of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants already living in the United States. They would then be eligible for a green card after paying taxes, submitting to a background check and meeting other requirements.

Three years after that, they could apply for citizenship, gaining full status much more quickly than the 13-year path envisioned by bipartisan legislation that failed in 2013.

For more, please visit nytimes.com