Opinion: Determining the trajectory of Biden’s immigration policies

Posted on November 09, 2020, 5:25 pm
5 mins

Outgoing US President Donald Trump was voted into power in 2016 on his staunch nationalistic view point and hardline immigration policies including the building of the controversial wall along the US-Mexico border.

Four years forward, the Republican is set to leave the White House as it gets ready to welcome its new ruler Joe Biden, a democrat who has vowed to reverse majority of the anti-immigration policies of the former president.

Even as the US is set to officially announce the results of the presidential elections and the Republican president has made claims of rigging and threatened with legal action, Biden is set to introduce some new rules.

Once sworn in, the Democrat will introduce a proper immigration reform within his first 100 days. The measures include reversal of the Trump administration’s move to cancel work permits of the spouses of H-1B visas, building of the wall, reversal of “Muslim bans” among others.

According to the Biden campaign: “High skilled temporary visas should not be used to disincentivise recruiting workers already in the US for in-demand occupations. An immigration system that crowds out high-skilled workers in favour of only entry level wages and skills threatens American innovation and competitiveness.”

Trump would have reduced legal immigration by 49% by 2021, according to National Foundation for American Policy analysis.

Experts believe that Biden, as he vowed, should focus on reversing the Trump administration’s executive orders in relation to blocking immigration.

Meanwhile as per Biden’s aspirations for immigration policy, his campaign document mentioned that it would strike out the limit on each country for employment-based immigrants, which means less waiting for applicants from a specific country with a huge waiting list.

“Trump’s policies are also bad for our economy. For generations, immigrants have fortified our most valuable competitive advantage–our spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Research suggests that “the total annual contribution of foreign-born workers is roughly $2 trillion.” Key sectors of the U.S. economy, from agriculture to technology, rely on immigration. Working-age immigrants keep our economy growing, our communities thriving, and country moving forward,” his campaign site mentioned.

The other aspects include welcoming immigrants and modernising US immigration system, commitment to refugees, and implementing effective border screening.

Within his first 100 days, Biden has also vowed to reverse the inhumane policy to separate children from their parents at the border.

The measure that stands out the most focuses on increasing public-private initiatives and strengthening humanitarian efforts at the border.

The other move is to revoke the restriction on Temporary Protected Status for vulnerable people from war-torn countries. Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) also will seemingly see respite under the Biden-Harris leadership.

“Biden will remove the uncertainty for Dreamers by reinstating the DACA program, and he will explore all legal options to protect their families from inhumane separation. Biden will also ensure Dreamers are eligible for federal student aid (loans, Pell grants) and are included in his proposals to provide access to community college without debt and invest in HBCU/Hispanic Serving Institution/Minority Serving Institutions, which will help Dreamers contribute even more to our economy,” Biden’s immigration policies stated.

Another laudable facet is the quashing of the “Muslim bans” that hurt the informal and formal economy and are fundamentally discriminatory in nature.

“The Trump Administration’s anti-Muslim bias hurts our economy, betrays our values, and can serve as a powerful terrorist recruiting tool. Prohibiting Muslims from entering the country is morally wrong, and there is no intelligence or evidence that suggests it makes our nation more secure. It is yet another abuse of power by the Trump Administration designed to target primarily black and brown immigrants. Biden will immediately rescind the Muslim bans.”

In all, Biden will likely prove to be a breath of fresh air for the immigrants and asylum-seekers of the world’s sole superpower.

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