Since newly-elected President Biden’s rise to power, we are witnessing changes that directly have a positive impact on the US immigration system.
One of the most notable changes took place on February 24, 2021, when President Biden revoked the Immigrant Visa ban which was outlined in the Presidential Proclamation 10014. This was issued by former President Trump. According to this ban, immigrant visas were suspended due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. President Biden’s move to revoke this ban will enable several thousand awaiting applicants to pursue their green cards.
Another noteworthy move by President Biden took place on January 25th, 2021, when the “Buy American Hire American” order was revoked. This order too came into effect under the leadership of former President Trump. According to this order, the Secretaries of State, Labor, and Homeland Security were required to come up with and propose new rules that would favor and protect US workers. This had a direct impact on various employment visa programs such as the H1-B visas.
In March 2017, the US saw what could be termed as one of its most discriminatory bans – the prohibition of entry for travelers who came from predominantly Muslim countries. This ban also applied to travelers from a few African countries. The country saw a lot of chaos due to this ban, travelers were denied entry into the US, and several families were separated without notice. On January 20th this year, President Biden revoked this ban as well.
The President has further proposed the eight-year path to citizenship, which will impact an estimated 11 million people.
The legal immigration system will witness several noticeable changes as well. The current per-country cap on visas might be eliminated or changed, there will be a provision to rapidly acquire green cards for next of kin (children and spouses) of permanent residents of the US, and most importantly, the system will have a good look at previously rejected visas in order to reduce the number of green card backlogs. With respect to the children of those who made an entry with the help of H1-B Visas, there is a possibility that they won’t be forced to leave the United States.
We can expect more changes in the US immigration system under the Biden Administration. During his presidential candidacy, Biden stated that Trump’s action on immigration was a rather unrelenting assault on the American Value system. He went on to say that he will “undo the damage”, while parallelly ensuring that border enforcement will be maintained.
We are now at the threshold of what could be a fair, efficient, and just immigration system. Hopefully, President Biden’s immigration reforms will pave the way to a new America that can be called home to millions of immigrants.