From building the wall to restricting H-1B and other employment-based visas, the policies of the Trump Administration over the past four years presented a challenging environment for immigrants marked by increasing visa denial rates, fewer applications, and lower refugee admissions. The incoming Biden Administration has promised to undo many Trump-era policies and inaugurate a new plan for immigration reform. What are some of the changes we may see in the next four years?
More Business Immigration
♦ End the COVID-19 moratorium on H-1B and L visas
♦ Reform the H-1B visa program and increase the number of high-skilled worker visas
♦ Increase the number of visas for permanent, employment-based immigration (Green Cards)
♦ Grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuelans in the United States
♦ Reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program
♦ End “Remain in Mexico” and other restrictive asylum policies
♦ Increase refugee admissions from 15,000 to 125,000
A Different Approach to Enforcement
♦ Rescind the travel ban on 13 Muslim-majority countries
♦ Halt construction of the wall and divert funds to screening infrastructure at ports of entry
♦ Focus immigration enforcement on threats to public safety and national security
Last but not least, within the first 100 days in office President-elect Joe Biden plans to send an immigration reform bill to Congress that will create a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, including those with TPS.
Implementing some of these policies will take time, if not years. Some actions – such as granting TPS to Venezuelans or letting the COVID-19 moratorium on H-1B and L visas expire – may happen swiftly through executive action. Other reforms, such as increasing the number of work visas, will require the cooperation of Congress. For those looking to immigrate to the United States, stay alert for upcoming immigration reforms and consult a reputable, experienced immigration lawyer for your immigration needs and goals. The next four years may be full of opportunity.