Biden Campaign Promises Long-Awaited Immigration Relief21 Sep 2020
As part of his campaign for the White House, Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, has detailed his vision for U.S. immigration policy, should he be elected president. On his campaign website, the former Vice President has posted a lengthy overview of his plan to reform the U.S. immigration system. He has also made various statements while on the campaign trail to address some key immigration issues.
Biden-Harris Policies on DACA, Asylees, and Public Charge
The Biden-Harris campaign shares a list of initiatives that it aims to implement during the first 100 days of Biden’s presidency. Even before posting his immigration plan on his website, Joe Biden’s stance on immigration was hardly unknown. In June 2012, the Obama-Biden administration introduced the controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides a means for individuals who were brought to the United States as children to temporarily defer their removal from the country. The Biden campaign’s plan includes the full reinstatement of the DACA program.
The Biden-Harris administration promises to work to reunite children separated from their parents at the border, provide resources to immigrants awaiting assessment of their asylum claims, repair the broken asylum system, and reverse the public charge rule, among many other planned changes.
Policies on Employment-Based Immigration
One of Biden’s loftier goals is to get a law passed through Congress to establish a wage-based process for allocating visas to high-skilled workers (e.g., H1B workers), and increase the number of high-skilled visas available.
Notably, he also supports the elimination of the per-country cap on green cards, which is one of the main reasons why Indians in most of the employment-based green card categories face astronomically long wait-times.
Biden has also criticized steps that the Trump Administration has taken relating to the H1B program. Last month, during a South Asians for Biden campaign stop, Biden told the audience “my heart goes out to all who have been the targets of…the crackdown on legal immigration, including the sudden, harmful actions on H1B visas.” He promised that, if elected, to immediately reverse the executive order signed by Trump on June 22, 2020, that temporarily prohibits the admission of many H1B workers into the United States. The Biden campaign argues that Trump’s policies are harming the economy, as immigrants contribute two trillion dollars to the U.S. economy each year.
Many of the problems with the U.S. immigration system will require the cooperation of Congress to resolve. However, there are a host of issues that can be addressed through executive orders and/or regulatory changes. The hope is that, if Biden is elected president, he will make good on his promise to improve the plight of all immigrants in the United States who are contributing so much for the welfare and well-being of America.
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