Former Vice President Joe Biden is projected to be have been elected the President of the United States. One of his many proposed reforms includes the Biden Immigration Plan, which may be put into effect in as little as 100 days after he is sworn into office.
Below are some of the proposal Biden reforms:
Changes in U.S. Employment-Based Immigration (H-1B visas):
Joe Biden’s immigration plan showcases reform in employment-based immigration, i.e., H-1B visas. Biden supports removing the limits on per-country employment-based visas. In addition to that, his proposal reforms aim to exempt recent caps on Ph.D. graduates in STEM fields from US universities in an attempt to help contribute to the country’s and world’s economy.
Biden also proposes to create a new visa category that enables counties and cities to increase the number of immigrants to support economic and diversity. Consequently, the plan will enable cities to petition for more immigrant visas that can help their economic development strategies.
Under the Trump Administration, the denial rates for new H-1B visa applications increased from 6 percent in FY 2015 to 29 percent in the Q2 of FY 2020, says the National Foundation for American Policy. This is because the current Administration did not provide merit-based immigration.
H-1B visas allow temporarily employed skilled workers to work in the country and eventually seek permanent residency. H-1B visas also enable international students to secure employment during or after completing their education and eventually become citizens.
Changes in U.S. Family-Based Immigration:
The Biden Immigration Plan proposes to reform the law to ensure that green card holders’ spouses and unmarried children are recognized as “immediate relatives.” This is also the case for US citizens’ parents, spouses, and children. Consequently, immediate relatives would continue to be exempt from current numerical quotas.
Biden’s immigration plan seeks to liberalize the “nonimmigrant” intent issue by allowing approved I-130 family members to enter the United States with a nonimmigrant visa. This is until their priority date becomes current.
Removing the Country’s Muslim Travel Ban:
The Biden Immigration Plan proposes to remove the current Muslim Travel Ban. The plan states that the ban is “morally wrong” and that there’s no evidence or intelligence that suggests that the ban increases our nation’s security. President-Elect Joe Biden can remove this ban as soon as he takes office, as the ban was part of a Presidential Proclamation—Congress did not pass a law for it.
Increases in the Cap for Refugee Intake:
Biden’s immigration policy offers hope for asylum seekers. The document details that the cap for global refugee admissions would increase to 125,000 per year—where the existing cap is at 15,000. The document also adds that the Administration aims to raise the cap in the future in an attempt to serve “the unprecedented global need.”
The Trump Administration reduced the cap by more than 86 percent in FY 2021, bringing the cap down to 15,000 as opposed to 110,000 during President Obama’s last year in office. Therefore, the Biden plan would restore the rights asylum seekers had during the Obama Administration. One way it would do this is by revoking the “Remain in Mexico policy” that was put into effect during the Trump Administration. Thus, people who apply for asylum in the United States under the Biden Administration can expect better protection than during the Trump Administration.
Improving CBP, ICE, and Immigration Courts:
The Biden Immigration Plan aims to ensure that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel