Immigration policy in the U.S. is always changing. If you have questions about how current policies might impact you and your family, reach out to an immigration attorney.
On the day he was inaugurated 20 months ago, President Joe Biden proposed in his inauguration speech a sweeping list of immigration policy priorities. These priorities included advancing legislation to legalize millions of immigrants. Immigrant people who have been in limbo and rolling back harmful and inhumane executive actions were taken by his predecessor.
Although the Biden administration has been proactive in pursuing these policies with some success. The progress in many of them has been slowed owing to various reasons. For example, migration surges at the U.S.-Mexico border led to even more partisan deadlock in Congress. Where legislation that would revamp the U.S. immigration system is stalled. For their part, the Courts and the continuing COVID-19 pandemic have stymied some of the administration’s other efforts.
These facts notwithstanding, the Biden administration has pursued and continues to pursue a broad agenda that includes immigration changes in the U.S. interior, such as overhauling immigration enforcement priorities, increasing humanitarian relief by extending temporary protection to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans and others from troubled countries, and changes to administrative procedures that positively impact the legal immigration processes.
On his first day in office, Biden reversed many of Trump’s harmful or ineffective policies on immigration, such as ending the construction of the Mexican border wall (which many thoughts were a joke taken too far), ending Trump’s travel ban on travel from 14 Muslim countries, and the president issued an executive order reaffirming protections for DACA recipients. DACA recipients are migrants who were brought into the United States when they were children and have now grown to adulthood without proper legal status. Many are surprised they are not citizens, having lived here all their lives.
The Biden administration and Department of Homeland Security, under the leadership of Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, dramatically reined in many deportation practices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that many condemned as inhumane and unacceptable. The administration prioritized national security and violent crime concerns over petty and nonviolent offenses.
Biden also ended a Trump-era policy requiring asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court on their asylum applications. Trump made this policy a centerpiece of his purported border enforcement policy, but critics said this policy was inhumane for exposing migrants to extreme violence in Mexico and making access to legal help far more difficult.
Although he has his work cut out for him, given the continued partisan gridlock in Washington, Biden says he will still “forcefully pursue policies that safeguard our security, provide a fair and just system that helps to grow and enhance our economy, and secure our cherished values.” The president says he will:
If you have any questions or need more information, contact the office of J. Sparks Law, PLLC, and we’ll be happy to assist you.
Julie Sparks is Board-certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Immigration and Nationality Law, one of a few such attorneys in Texas. After 15 years of practice in this field, she has represented immigrants from more than 70 countries.
Ms. Sparks is a member of the Texas Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Julie has also been a featured speaker at Southwestern Law School and at the national 2015 AILA Fundamentals Conference.