During the chaotic administration of former President Donald Trump, many aspects of immigration policy reflected a shift in political ideology and an overall intention of catering to voters who believed in the flawed “America First” doctrine. Now that President Joe Biden has taken office, he is starting to deliver on his promise to reverse many of the immigration restrictions enacted by his predecessor. Many of these restrictions were imposed by means of executive orders that can be easily undone with new orders—for example, doing away with the infamous “Muslim ban” and resuming the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Aside from executive orders that can quickly bring a sense of relief and normalcy back to the American immigration system, the Biden administration has plans for new guidance and proposals that may require legislative approval in some cases. Many immigrants, advocates, and firms offering immigration services in San Diego, CA, are lauding the new administration for its focus on these changes. Based on these proposals, here are four aspects of immigration that will likely change in 2021 or over the next few years.
1. Expansion of the Diversity Visa Program
During the Trump years, a proposal was floated to eliminate the so-called “visa lottery” program, but the current administration seeks to expand it by means of an increase in the number of individuals eligible to apply. The annual quota would increase from 50,000 per year to 80,000. As has been the case in the past, the four countries with the highest number of legal immigrants who have applied in recent years wouldn’t be included in the program.
2. Changes to the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Program
Approximately 600,000 immigrants are currently living in the US under the TPS program, which Trump sought to terminate for some of the 12 participating countries. TPS doesn’t offer many options in terms of obtaining legal residency, but President Biden would like to change the TPS program so beneficiaries have greater opportunities to apply for green cards. The goal would be to include more immigrants in this category who can make positive social and economic contributions to their new American communities.
3. Greater Access to Green Cards & Naturalization
DACA immigrants are just one of the groups that would enjoy an expansion of the immigration benefits they’re eligible for. Foreigners whose green card petitions are delayed by annual quotas could see their waiting times reduced thanks to an increase that would need to be approved by Congress. The Biden administration is also supporting the expansion of current caps for visas, green cards, and paths to naturalization for other groups, such as foreign skilled workers.
4. Internal Controls & Audits
Reports of irregularities within some of the federal agencies tasked with immigration oversight will be addressed by new directors appointed by President Biden. Internal complaints about malfeasance, nepotism, and cronyism within the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency multiplied during the Trump administration, and a similar situation has been experienced at US Citizenship and Immigration Services. These problems tend to lower the effectiveness and quality of services these agencies are tasked with providing.
If you have questions about changes to immigration laws and how they may affect you and your family, contact trustworthy San Diego immigration lawyers. The lawyers at KS Visa Law have vast experience with every aspect of immigration law, and they’re the attorneys to call on when you need the most up-to-date information about immigration regulations and how to navigate the immigration court system. Call KS Visa Law today at 858-874-0711 to schedule an appointment.