Immigration Policies Under Biden Administration

Humanitarian Changes in Immigration Policies

As President Biden took the seat, the change in immigration reforms was probably the most notable. Under President Trump’s presidency, the administrative reforms were quite restrictive; however, this changed soon as Biden pledged to make these reforms more compassionate towards the asylum-seekers and migrants seeking refuge in the United States. Amongst these reforms, Biden’s order to stop wall construction along the border between the US and Mexico, which was also one of Trump’s signature projects, was seen as a significant step towards bringing change in immigration policies.

While President Biden pledged to bring change in administrative reforms, much of the same reforms continued under Trump’s tenure. Not only did the administration continue Title 42 as a precautionary health measure, but upon order from the federal court, Migrant Protection Policy was also retained, which kept asylum-seekers pursuing immigration in the United States on the Mexican side of the border.

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Reimplementation of MPP

While Biden did order to end MPP soon after taking the seat as the elected president of the United States, this did not sit well with the Republicans in Texas who sued Biden’s administration. The federal court reimplemented the policy since the prosecution argued that the safety of Texans was at risk, and the court believed that the policy was improperly ended. While the administration was free from MPP for a while, the same could not be said for Title 42, which even President Biden chose to retain from the start. Due to the continuation of these policies, thousands of refugees seeking asylum in the US had to be expelled back to their home countries, with exceptions being made in Title 42 for some unaccompanied minors and families with young children under Biden’s tenure.

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Refugee Admissions

During Trump’s presidency, the refugee capacity was brought down from 85,000 to 15,000. Initially, Biden kept the capacity to 15,000 only, but in March, he raised it to 62,500, further increasing to 125,000 for 2022. However, the admissions are very minimal. The White House believes that the goal of 125,000 will be hard to reach regardless of what policies President Biden pledges to bring about to the refugee program.

Immigration Enforcement

While much focus was placed on the halt of wall construction during Biden’s tenure, that was not the mere change that occurred. The real significant changes came about in central enforcement policies. In President Trump’s tenure, any immigrant individual residing in America without a proper permit could be arrested or removed. However, as Biden took over the presidency, enforcement laws changed significantly, which limited the criteria for immigrants being subjected to arrest and removal. It includes ending the ICE from conducting worksite enforcement operations. It was a significant step in the way of changes in enforcement priorities.

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When a new president takes office, internal changes in legislation can confuse and bring about many questions for immigrants and refugees. An immigration attorney can best answer questions regarding you and your family’s immigration process. 

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