We are just 60 days away from Election day in the United States which falls on Tuesday, November 3rd. Do you know where your candidate stands on immigration? In this post, we cover Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s stance on important immigration issues, and everything you need to know about his vision for America.
We would also like to take this opportunity to remind those of our readers who are American citizens to exercise their right to vote. It is your civic duty and will help shape the nation’s immigration policy for the next four years. For voter registration information please click here.
Immigration under Joe Biden
If elected President of the United States, Joe Biden has stated that he will enact a number of policies during his four-year term. Among these policies, he promises to take urgent action to undo destructive policies implemented by the Trump administration, modernize the immigration system, reassert America’s commitment to asylum-seekers and refugees, and implement effective border screening.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
First and foremost, Joe Biden supports working with Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration solution that would offer nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. As vice president, Joe Biden worked alongside former President Obama to push forward a bill that would do just that. Unfortunately, the Republican-led Congress refused to approve the bill, leaving millions of undocumented immigrants in limbo including Dreamers.
Joe Biden advocates for the creation and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program, the Central American Minors program, which allows parents with legal status in the U.S. to apply to bring their children from Central America to live with them, and the creation of a White House task force to support new Americans to integrate into American life and their communities.
Overview of Biden’s Immigration Commitments
Temporary Seasonal Workers. Biden wishes to work with Congress to reform the current system of temporary work visas to allow seasonal workers in select industries to easily switch jobs, while certifying the labor market’s need for foreign workers. Employers would be required to pay prevailing wages and ensure the right of all workers to join a union and exercise their labor rights.
High-skilled Temporary Visas. Biden will also work with Congress to reform temporary visas to establish a wage-based allocation process and create fraud prevention mechanisms. Biden supports expanding the number of high-skilled visas and eliminating the limits on employment-based visas by country, eliminating the backlogs.
Legalization for Agricultural Workers. For agricultural workers, Biden would support legislation between farmworkers and the agricultural industry to provide them with legal status based on prior agricultural work history, to ensure a “fast track” green card process ultimately workers them to apply for citizenship.
Removing Per-Country Cap Limitations. Biden is strongly against the current per-country cap visa limitations and the long waiting periods families must wait to be reunited. Biden will support a family-based immigration system allowing any approved applicant to receive a temporary non-immigrant visa until a permanent visa is processed, and will support legislation that treats spouses and children of green card holders as immediate relatives exempting them from the caps, and allowing parents to bring minor children with them at the time they immigrate.
Preserving the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. Biden will continue to support the diversity visa lottery program and preserve the program.
Increase Employment Based Visas. Regarding employment-based visas, Biden will work with Congress to increase the number of visas for permanent employment-based immigration and temporarily reduce the number of visas during times of high U.S. unemployment. Biden would exempt from any cap recent graduates of PhD programs in STEM fields in the US.
New Visa Category for Cities and Counties Seeking Immigrant Work. Biden supports creating a new visa category that would allow cities and counties to petition for higher levels of immigrant to support their growth, provided employers certify there are available jobs and no workers to fill them. Holders of these visas would need to work and reside in the city or county that petitioned them and be subject to certification protections similar to employment-based immigrants.
Expansion of U Visa Program. Biden will expand the U visa program to include eligibility for workers who report certain workplace crimes.
Increase visas for Domestic Violence Survivors and Victims of Crime. Finally, Biden plans to triple the current cap of 10,000 on U-visas and increase visas for domestic violence survivors.
Policy on Removal and Enforcement Actions
Joe Biden plans to focus his administration on prioritizing removal and enforcement actions on persons who pose a threat to national security and public safety. The Biden administration would not target the removal of working-class undocumented immigrants and their families. Biden also promises to end mass workplace raids and prevent enforcement actions and operations at sensitive locations including schools, hospitals, and places of worship.
With regard to the influx of undocumented immigration from Central America, the Biden administration would address the root of the problem, by securing bipartisan support and funding to countries in the Northern Triangle to help these countries tackle violence and insecurity, lack of economic opportunity, and corruption in the region.
Joe Biden’s 100-Day Plan
Within his first 100 days in office, the Biden administration commits to:
- Immediately reverse the Trump Administration’s policies that have separated parents from children at the border, including ending prosecution of parents for minor immigration violations, and prioritizing family reunification.
- Immediately reverse the Trump administration’s public charge rule
- End the “national emergency” imposed by the Trump administration to enable the Department of Defense to build a wall along the U.S./Mexico border
- Protect Dreamers and their families, by reinstating the DACA program and exploring all legal options to protect families from inhumane separation
- Restore and defend the naturalization process for green card holders by removing roadblocks to naturalization, addressing the application backlog and rejecting imposition of unreasonable fees
- End the Trump administration’s detrimental asylum policies
- Rescind the travel and refugee bans also known as the “Muslim bans” by the Trump administration
- Review Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for vulnerable populations and introduce a bill that will allow TPS/DED holders who have been in the country for an extended period of time, a path to citizenship
- End the mismanagement of the asylum system to ensure asylum applications are processing fairly and efficiently
- Increase humanitarian resources at the border through a network of organizations including faith-based shelters, non-governmental aid organizations, legal non-profits, and other organizations
- End prolonged detention and investment in a case management program, by supporting the Flores agreement which prevents the detention of children indefinitely
- Restore sensible enforcement prioritizes targeting threats to public safety and national security, and not workers and their families
To read more about Joe Biden’s proposed policies on immigration please click here.
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