There are important topics that arise during every presidential campaign that impact how people vote—the economy, health care, gun policy, climate change, and abortion. Immigration is another important aspect of voting that can draw individuals from across the county to support a particular candidate.
President Joe Biden is part of the Democratic party and, since his campaign trail, has advocated for comprehensive immigration plans that would allow more rights to foreign-born citizens. But has he kept his campaign promises in regards to immigration reform? We explain more below.
Joe Biden’s Initial Immigration Promises
To decipher whether President Biden has kept his initial immigration promises, we need to review what exactly he proposed as part of his campaign in 2020. In general, Biden had committed to reversing many of the strict Trump-era immigration policies, should he be elected president of the United States. Specifically, he pledged to:
- Take urgent action to undo Trump’s damage and reclaim America’s values
- Modernize America’s immigration system
- Welcome immigrants in our communities
- Reassert America’s commitment to asylum-seekers and refugees
- Tackle the root causes of irregular migration
- Implement effective border screening
His pro-immigration campaign cited research that indicates “the total annual contribution of foreign-born workers is roughly $2 trillion.” Additionally, he referred to immigration as a “Trump-created humanitarian crisis at our border” and vowed to bring the nation together by reasserting our core values and reforming our immigration system.
Immigration Successes and Shortcomings
There are several policies, reforms, and actions that have been taken since President Joe Biden took office. However, there have also been shortcomings in regards to immigration during his presidency. Here are some of the major immigration issues that have been in the spotlight this year, as well as whether or not Biden has been successful in fulfilling his promises for immigration reform:
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). In a White House press release from January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden recommitted to reserving and fortifying the DACA program, which protects undocumented immigrants from removal who were brought to the United States as children, have obeyed the law, and stayed in school or enlisted in the military. However, in July, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the DACA policy was unlawful, ultimately meaning the case may go to the Supreme Court. In a statement released the following day, Joe Biden said that he intended to appeal the decision in order to preserve DACA and called on Congress to ensure a permanent solution by granting a path to citizenship for Dreamers.
- “Remain in Mexico’ Policy. After taking office, Biden and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ended a Trump-era immigration rule that allowed U.S. border patrol officers to return non-Mexican asylum seekers attempting to enter through the southern border to potentially dangerous locations of Mexico while their cases were reviewed by U.S. immigration courts.
- Improving the Pathway to Citizenship. Joe Biden did keep his campaign promise of improving the pathway to citizenship for foreign-born individuals by creating the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, which was sent to Congress. The bill creates an eight-year path to citizenship, provides certain protective statuses to undocumented immigrants, among other provisions.
- Wall Construction Suspension. Upon taking office, President Joe Biden suspended the construction of former president Trump’s signature border wall while his administration reviewed the project. In May, the president stated that he would reallocate $2 million in border wall funds to the Defense Department.
- Raising the Refugee Cap. One area where Joe Biden fell short from his campaign promises is in raising the refugee cap to 125,000 during the fiscal year. Upon taking office, he stated that the cap would be at 62,500, before keeping it at the 15,000 cap set by former President Trump. After criticism, he raised the cap to 62,500 refugees.
- Title 42. The policy known as Title 42 was also a Trump-era rule that aimed to prevent COVID-19 in immigration holding facilities by turning away all migrants, including asylum seekers, at the border. Biden has, unfortunately, extended this policy, but allowed unaccompanied minor children to enter.
Assisting You During Your Immigration Journey
Immigration is an ongoing political variable that changes constantly. At Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A., our board certified immigration attorneys are committed to keeping foreign-born individuals and families updated as new laws are implemented so that they can understand their legal options.
We believe in bringing the best to America and have been working tirelessly for more than 40 years with the sole intention of helping immigrants achieve their American Dream. Whether you need assistance with green cards, employment visas, family visas, fiancé(e) visas, or understanding how new laws impact you, our team is here to help!
Contact our firm at (800) 708-4399 to speak with our legal team for free today. We have seven convenient offices located across the U.S., so we are prepared to assist you no matter where you are located.