On January 20, 2021, Joseph R. Biden Jr. became the 46th president of the United States. With this change in administration, immigration policies were reviewed, and several new immigration orders were issued. Since more immigration policy changes are expected to occur this year, it is important to stay up to date with new policies in case they impact your case. Our Miami immigration attorneys have put together the immigration changes that have already occurred in 2021.
How President Bident Has Changed Immigration
Below we have put together a list of changes that President Bident has implemented shortly after he became the 46th president of the United States:
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): Many Dreamers, or individuals who arrived in the United States as children, have benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program enacted by President Barack Obama in 2012. The program provides temporary relief for Dreamers by providing a two-year work permit after meeting certain requirements. President Biden ensured that DACA remains in place.
- Travel Bans: Travel bans barring entry for nations from certain Muslims-majority and African nations were revoked. The travel bans previously applied to nationals from Burma, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela, and Yemen.
- Deferred Enforced Departure (DED): This allows certain individuals from designated countries and regions facing political or civic conflict or natural disaster to stay in the United States. President Biden issued a policy to extend protection for Liberian nationals until June 30, 2022.
- Asylum Seekers: Enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocols that keep asylum seekers waiting in Mexico were suspended — but it is unclear how cases will be handled at the border.
Goals for the New Immigration System
The new administration is attempting to resent the immigration system’s tone by “restoring humanity and American values to our immigration system.” The Biden administration seeks to “prohibit discrimination based on religion and limit presidential authority to issue future bans.” They also aim to remove the usage of the term “alien” in relation to foreign nationals and noncitizens through the Immigration and Nationality Act and change the term to “noncitizen.”
Updating Humanitarian & Family-Based Systems
The new proposed immigration bill seeks to “reform the family-based immigration system by clearing backlogs, recapturing unused visas, eliminating long wait times, and increasing per-country visa caps.” Regarding asylum, the bill aims to eliminate the one-year deadline for filing asylum applications and increase funding to reduce asylum backlogs. They also want to increase the protection for U visas, T visas, and VAWA applicants.
Restructuring Employment-Based Immigration
President Biden’s proposed immigration bill aims to grow the U.S. economy by clearing employment-based visa backlogs, recapturing unused visas, and reducing wait times. It also wants to eliminate the per-country visa caps. The administration also wants to incentivize higher wages for non-immigrant, high-skilled visas to prevent unfair competition with American workers.
Experienced Miami Immigration Attorneys
Immigration law changes are frequently occurring, especially with the new Biden administration. At Revilla Law Firm, P.A., we stay up to date on all the immigration changes to ensure that we help our clients if their cases are impacted. If you believe the current immigration policy changes will impact your case, our legal team is here to help you. We can review your specific situation and help you determine the best course of action to help you keep your visa or remain in the United States. Our lead attorney, Antonio G. Revilla III, is a Former U.S. Immigration Prosecutor who has handled thousands of cases. We have the experience and skill you want on your side.