Biden’s Proposed Revisions to U.S. Immigration Policy


What Biden Has Proposed So Far

On the first days of President Joseph R. Biden’s administration, the President began to take actions toward revising U.S. immigration policy. President Biden proposed a new immigration reform bill that would provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship for many persons who have been present in the United States without legal status. He also began to reverse some of the previous administration’s Presidential Proclamations regarding travel restrictions, border wall funding, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Another action was to place a 100-day moratorium on most deportations to begin the transition from a relentless interior enforcement regime to a more compassionate approach, including consideration of when to enforce immigration laws and when to grant benefits.

The administration notes that these actions are only the beginning steps in reconfiguring U.S. immigration policy. Most of the proposals are just that—proposals—and the groups that advocate for immigration attorneys and our clients anticipate that there will be further executive and potentially even legislative actions that will provide details on how the administration will carry out its policy objectives.

What the Proposed Revisions Could Mean for You

Many clients and colleagues have been contacting The Gaston Law Firm, P.A. with questions about specific details of the policy changes. We’re currently fielding questions about DACA, Temporary Protected Status, prosecutorial discretion, and daunting application processes like the I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency. Unfortunately, the groups that advocate for immigration attorneys and our clients have explained that any policy changes will need to comply with the federal immigration and administrative laws. Thus, it will take time to unwind and dismantle many of the previous administration’s cruel policies.

Advice from The Gaston Law Firm, P.A.

While waiting for the Biden administration to execute its policy changes and provide more specific details on the changes, we have been advising clients and colleagues on the things we are doing for our clients in anticipation of the policy changes. For instance, in the previous administration no group was exempt from enforcement of the deportation laws. This led many persons without status into delaying work on cases for fear of detention and ultimate deportation. After evaluating the facts of many of these cases against the Biden administration’s policy goals, we are advising clients that it is safe to resume work on some cases. In other cases, we are advising clients to assemble documents and forms in anticipation that the Biden administration will resume similar policies of the Obama administration when deciding to exercise discretion to take actions like joining motions to reopen, granting stays of removal, and approving waivers.

We are also advising clients to continue fighting poor decisions that arose out of the last administration via the appeal process or federal litigation. It remains an effective way to reverse the previous administration’s cruel policies and arbitrary and capricious legal conclusions. As new leadership takes power in the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, we anticipate that the administration will elect to settle cases with disputes that arose from the previous administration’s harsh stances.

Moving Forward in a New Political Climate

We will continue to monitor the Biden administration for updates and developments. On January 29, 2021, the White House said it will provide further guidance on its plans for executing U.S. immigration laws. With each announcement from the Biden administration, the current picture of our immigration policy becomes clearer and attorneys gain more tools to help their clients achieve their immigration and citizenship goals.

We will continue to keep our readers and clients abreast of these changes as they occur. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns about your current status, do not hesitate to contact us for help: (888) 388-6859.

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