Debates over immigration policy have been happening since the colonies gained independence from Great Britain. Circumstances and population have greatly changed since then, but the conversation surrounding immigration often dominates political debate. Because of this, there are always reforms proposed or policy changes in motion when it comes to immigration law, restrictions, standards, etc. With a new administration come new changes, new proposals, and a new approach to the topic. So here are a few pieces of immigration policy news that may be pertinent to those looking to come to the United States or have family looking to immigrate.
The Pendulum Swing & Immigration Policy in a New Administration
While the Constitution of the United States does not delineate specific powers over immigration to the federal government, it does suggest that the federal government has the authority and obligation in matters of national security and the protection of its citizens. It’s why the authority to shut down the borders mostly belongs to Washington and not the state. The Constitution does provide the power of establishing “a uniform Rule of Naturalization” to Congress. So it is Congress who puts forth policy and protocol over who becomes a citizen and the conditions. According to some, the Constitution is not overtly specific about granting the federal government powers over the removal of noncitizens from the United States, but the authority has been granted over the years via the courts.
One of the aspects of immigration that also changes with each administration is the approach and the rhetoric used to discuss it. The discussions over immigration change and shift depending on domestic conditions, economic conditions, world events, etc.
#1 Immigration News: President Biden Ends ‘Remain in Mexico’ Immigration Policy
The Biden Administration ended the Trump era ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy on June 1st, 2021. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that the policy was not particularly effective in helping the management of the border. The policy meant that migrants coming in from Mexico or other Latin American countries through the Southern border would have to remain in Mexico until their legal asylum case was heard. The Biden administration has now removed this policy, which means that hundreds of migrants waiting for news on their asylum claim will wait in the United States and not in Mexico. The Biden administration sought to get rid of this policy from day 1.
#2 Immigration News: Biden’s Proposals on Expanding Legal Immigration
As reported by the New York Times, President Biden is working towards providing this, including an overall overhaul of the immigration system. He aims to make it far easier to emigrate to the United States legally. According to the obtained documents, foreigners will have a much easier time joining their families and better chances to secure work visas. According to the article, the wait times for employer-sponsored green cards have doubled in recent years. The proposal also aims to tackle delays and backlogs in the process. The overall message of the proposal is that Biden will be opening up legal avenues for which people can more easily come to the country.
#3 Immigration News: Review of Expedited Removal
Expedited removal was created by Congress in the mid-1990s. It allows for the removal of asylum seekers under certain circumstances without much judicial review. In 2019, Trump increased and expanded the use of expedited removal. It included individuals that had been in the country for two years or less. A lawsuit by the ACLU put a pause to the policy, but it was lifted last year and resumed. The executive order put in place by Biden ordered a closer review of a lot of cases under expedited removal. He asked the secretary of Homeland Security to “consider whether to modify, revoke, or rescind” procedures for individuals.
#4 Immigration News: Green Cards and Work Visas
As the Coronavirus pandemic was raging, President Trump had also put a hold on the issuance of new green cards. The green card freeze was to last until the end of 2020, as things seemed rather uncertain and chaotic during those first months of dealing with COVID-19. The orders were then extended until the end of March. According to some estimates, about 120,000 family-based preference visas were large during the end of 2020. Only people bringing over spouses and children under the age of 21 were able to go forth with the process.
Find Legal Counsel for Your Immigration Case in El Paso, TX
The Winterberg Law Firm specializes in deportation defense and immigration law. If you have an immigration case in El Paso, trust an attorney that knows the ebbs and flows to the immigration system. From family immigration, removal defense, asylum, and appeals, we help hard-working people find their way through the labyrinthine process of immigration.
Have a question about the process? Find an attorney to help with your immigration case. Call us today.