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Biden's Executive Actions on Immigration: What You Need to Know

White House

Reversing Trump-Era Policies

One of the most significant aspects of President Biden's immigration agenda has been the reversal of several Trump-era policies. These actions are not just symbolic; they have substantial implications for millions of immigrants. For instance, Biden has taken decisive steps to restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides temporary protection from deportation and work authorization to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. By reinstating DACA, Biden has offered a lifeline to the "Dreamers," who faced an uncertain future under the previous administration. Additionally, Biden has rescinded the controversial Muslim travel ban, which had restricted entry to the U.S. from several predominantly Muslim countries. This move has been widely applauded for its emphasis on inclusivity and human rights.

The impact of reversing these policies extends beyond just the affected individuals; it also sends a clear message about the administration's stance on immigration. By prioritizing the reversal of these policies, Biden is signaling a shift towards a more compassionate and humane approach to immigration. This shift is further evidenced by the administration's focus on humanitarian concerns, which aims to address the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees. These actions are not just about undoing the past but are part of a broader strategy to create a more just and equitable immigration system.

Focus on Humanitarian Concerns

Biden's immigration policies have also placed a strong emphasis on addressing humanitarian concerns, particularly in the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees. One of the administration's first actions was to end the practice of family separation at the border, a policy that had drawn widespread condemnation. By prioritizing family reunification, Biden aims to mitigate the trauma and hardship experienced by separated families. The administration has also introduced measures to improve the conditions in detention centers, ensuring that they meet basic humanitarian standards.

Moreover, Biden's policies aim to streamline the asylum process, making it more efficient and humane. This includes increasing the number of asylum officers and immigration judges to reduce the backlog of cases, as well as providing legal assistance to asylum seekers. These measures are designed to ensure that individuals fleeing persecution and violence have a fair chance to present their cases. By focusing on these humanitarian concerns, the Biden administration is working to restore the U.S. as a beacon of hope and refuge for those in need.

Reinstating DACA

One of the cornerstone actions of Biden's immigration policy has been the reinstatement of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This executive order aims to protect Dreamers—undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children—from deportation and provide them with work authorization. The reinstatement of DACA has been met with widespread support from immigrant communities and advocacy groups. However, it is not without its challenges. Legal battles continue to loom over the program, with several states challenging its legality. Until the Biden administration takes a stronger stance, it is likely the status of DACA will remain in jeopardy. 

Lifting the Travel Ban

Another significant executive action taken by President Biden was the lifting of the travel ban imposed by the previous administration. This ban had restricted entry to the U.S. from several predominantly Muslim countries, including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. By lifting the ban, Biden has opened the doors to travelers and immigrants from these countries, signaling a return to a more inclusive and welcoming immigration policy. The implications of this action are far-reaching, affecting not only the individuals and families who were directly impacted by the ban but also the broader perception of the U.S. as a nation that values diversity and inclusion.

The lifting of the travel ban has been met with relief and optimism by immigrant communities and advocacy groups. It has also paved the way for the reunification of families who were separated by the ban.  The Biden administration has emphasized the importance of working with affected communities to address their concerns, yet other recent policy moves have put the administrations commitment up in the air. 

Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

In addition to reinstating DACA and lifting the travel ban, the Biden administration has also expanded the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. TPS provides temporary legal status and work authorization to individuals from countries experiencing armed conflict, natural disasters, or other extraordinary conditions. Under Biden's leadership, several new countries have been designated for TPS, including Venezuela and Myanmar. This designation allows individuals from these countries to live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation, providing much-needed stability and security.

The criteria for applying for TPS are specific and require applicants to meet certain eligibility requirements. These include being a national of a designated country, being continuously physically present in the U.S. since the effective date of the designation, and meeting other eligibility criteria such as passing background checks. The process for applying for TPS involves submitting an application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and providing supporting documentation. 

Revised ICE Guidelines

One of the key changes to immigration enforcement under the Biden administration has been the revision of guidelines for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The new guidelines prioritize the deportation of individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety, or border security, rather than targeting all undocumented immigrants indiscriminately. This shift in priorities aims to create a more focused and humane approach to immigration enforcement. The impact of these revised guidelines is significant, as it reduces the fear and uncertainty faced by many undocumented immigrants who are contributing members of their communities. However, for many who see ICE as an ongoing threat to their community, these actions do not go far enough. 

Sanctuary Cities

Biden's stance on sanctuary cities represents another key aspect of his immigration enforcement policies. Sanctuary cities are jurisdictions that limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation. 

The relationship between federal funding and sanctuary cities has been a contentious issue, and while Biden's policies are supposedly designed to strike a balance between enforcing immigration laws and respecting the rights of local jurisdictions, many feel he has not done enough to answer attacks on these communities. 

Border Security Measures

While the Biden administration has made significant changes to immigration enforcement, it has also taken steps to enhance border security. The President's most recent executive action has been accused of sending mixed signals, protecting some migrants while persecuting others. While the Biden administartion has shifted the focus away from physical barriers like Trump's proposed border wall to investing in new technology, the rise of surveillance systems, increased personnel, and intensified infrastructure at ports of entry has many immigration advocates concerned. 

Ultimately, by leveraging his power in congress, the Biden administration hopes to better detect and prevent illegal activities, though the end effect could negatively affect countless families and individuals. 

Pathways to Citizenship

One of the most ambitious aspects of Biden's immigration agenda is the proposal to create a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. The proposal includes an eight-year pathway to citizenship, which involves temporary legal status, followed by a green card, and ultimately, citizenship. This pathway is contingent on meeting certain requirements, such as passing background checks and paying taxes.

While the proposal has garnered support from immigrant communities and advocacy groups, it faces significant legislative hurdles and political opposition. Moreover, given the administration's recently actions, it's difficult to believe the necessary steps will ultimately be taken. 

Legal and Advocacy Organizations

Legal and advocacy organizations play a critical role in helping immigrants navigate the new policies and access the resources they need. These organizations provide legal assistance, advocacy, and support to immigrants facing challenges related to their immigration status. The role of these organizations has become even more important under the Biden administration, as the government's status has often been inconsistent and unclear. 

Resources available for immigrants seeking legal assistance include legal aid clinics, pro bono services, and community organizations. Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., based in California, is one such organization that provides comprehensive legal services to immigrants. By offering expert legal guidance and support, these organizations help immigrants navigate the complexities of the immigration system and build a secure future in the U.S.

CS content tokens Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. or (510) 491-0291

If you or a loved one are navigating the complexities of the new immigration policies under the Biden administration, Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. is here to help. Our experienced team of immigration attorneys in California is dedicated to providing comprehensive legal services and support to immigrants and their families. Whether you need assistance with DACA, TPS, family-based immigration, or any other immigration matter, we are here to guide you every step of the way.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you achieve your immigration goals. With our expertise and commitment to your success, you can trust Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. to provide the legal support you need. Don't navigate the complexities of immigration law alone—reach out to us and take the first step towards a secure and stable future in the U.S.

 Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. is available by phone at (510) 491-0291 or you can always send us a message online

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