Tuesday December 1, 2020

By: Attorney Robert Perkins, ESQ and Lauren Gabbaian Immigration Professor’s Corner   American immigration policy under President Donald Trump ultimately became an exercise in pushing the powers of the executive branch to their limits with the apparent goal of eliminating immigration altogether. For example, the number of visas made available to refugees was about 110,000 at the beginning of 2016, and that number was slashed nearly 90 percent by some tallies to about 15,000 by the end of 2021 – the lowest it’s ever been. President-Elect Biden has stated he plans to raise that number up to 125,000. Further, he has pledged to stop the highly controversial policy of separating families at the border and wants the government to help reunite the hundreds of people who remain apart. Biden is also likely to remove Trump’s travel ban on threatening countries including Iran, Nigeria, Syria, Venezuela, and North Korea, that was initially criticized for focusing on Muslim-majority countries before being expanded. And he is expected to stop construction on Trump’s infamous Border Wall by cutting off Pentagon funding. With respect to immigrants already in the country, the Trump administration attempted to close the door on DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Biden will likely reopen the program, shielding some 650,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the US as minors from deportation. He is also expected to install new leadership in key immigration agencies to undo many Trump regulations, and to limit deportations only to those with serious criminal records in the United States. These changes are all projected to happen in the early part of 2021, as they can mostly be handled by executive order. Some other Trump policies will be more difficult and/or time-consuming. In February 2020, the Trump Administration instated what critics call a “wealth test” on immigrants applying...... Read more on Full Issue!

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