What to Expect When You’re Expecting (a New President): What a Biden Presidency May Mean for Foreign Nationals and Their Employers

By Brianne Donovan, Sumner Immigration Law Clerk

*Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of policies nor a guarantee. Further, this article does not serve as political commentary.

President-elect Joe Biden will likely pursue an immigration strategy that is significantly different from that of President Donald Trump. The Trump administration has focused on family separation, building a wall on the southern border, and even stymying legal immigration. In contrast, the Biden-Harris team has issued an immigration statement focused on immigration reform and greater paths to legal permanent residency and citizenship, while balancing those goals with ensuring immigration enforcement and compliance.

Though politicians are known for not fully implementing broad policy statements, Biden’s immigration strategy does offer hope for many immigrants across the country. Within the first 100 days in office, Biden states his team will:

  • Reverse current immigration practices of separating children from parents at the border;
  • Eradicate the public charge rule (see our previous post on this, linked here)
  • Rescind the “Muslim ban”;
  • Restore asylum laws and increase the amount of asylees able to file for protection;
  • Surge humanitarian resources to the border;
  • Take steps to end prolonged detention;
  • Stop Department of Homeland Security funds that are being siphoned to build a wall at the border;
  • Order immediate review of Temporary Protected Status in vulnerable populations;
  • Ensure Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Custom and Border Patrol (CBP) personnel perform their jobs professionally and are held accountable for inhumane treatment;
  • Create parole for U.S. veterans who have been deported to return to the U.S.;
  • Provide government funds to programs assisting immigrant integration to American society; and
  • Hold regional meetings of North and Central American leaders to address the leading migration factors and discuss regional solutions at the root.

Beyond the first 100 days, the Biden-Harris team has pledged to work with congress to expand the number of high-skilled employment visas and reduce current green card backlogs. In addition, the team wants to champion the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, end mass worker raids, and provide a roadmap to citizenship for the nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the U.S.

Overall, the incoming administration is seeking to reestablish a positive relationship with immigration. Notably, the Biden administration writes, “immigration is essential to who we are as a nation, our core values, and our aspirations for our future.” In order to understand the true impact of a Biden presidency, we will have to wait and see which policies are implemented.

If you need help navigating this process with confidence, please contact us today to get the process underway! We are immigration lawyers in Richmond, VA but we serve clients throughout the U.S. and around the world. You can call us at 804-396-3412 or send us an email to info@sumnerimmigration.com. We look forward to hearing from you.