President Joe Biden took office on January 20, 2021. During his first day in office, Biden sent a comprehensive immigration bill to Congress, proposing significant changes to the existing U.S. immigration system.
Biden’s immigration reform bill would impact immigrants’ path to citizenship, alter the border entry policy, and change the enforcement of immigration operations. Altogether, Biden’s administration aims to create a “comprehensive and humane immigration system that operates consistently with our Nation’s values.”
Read on to learn more about this bill and how an EB-5 immigration lawyer at Fayad Law firm near you in Richmond, VA, could help you navigate U.S. immigration policies.
U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021
President Biden proposed the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 to Congress during his first few days in office. This bill offers millions of undocumented immigrants a pathway to achieve legal status in the U.S in the coming years.
For immigrants to be eligible for this citizenship path, they must have been in the U.S. on or before January 1, 2021. Meeting this requirement would allow individuals to obtain a work permit and travel abroad safely.
After five years in the U.S., individuals would be eligible to obtain a green card after meeting additional tax, background check, and U.S. knowledge requirements. Permanent residency for at least three years following their green card acceptance would make them eligible for U.S. citizenship.
Significantly, the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 would also replace the word “alien” with “non-citizen” in legal documentation, helping to reduce the stigma surrounding immigration. Additionally, the bill would increase the family-based and employment-based immigration number caps, allowing more individuals from each country into the U.S.
Congress has not yet passed this bill, but if it passes in the House and Senate, the U.S. could see a significant reform to the way immigrants obtain U.S. citizenship.
Changes to the Border Entry Policy
President Biden has also focused his efforts on altering the border entry policy present during Trump’s presidency.
Near the beginning of his term, Biden issued a presidential proclamation to resolve the immigrant crisis at the southern U.S. border. This proclamation also redirected the funds that Trump’s administration had set aside for the border wall construction.
President Biden also issued an executive order to create a framework that addresses the causes of migration throughout North and Central America and to produce safer processing of asylum seekers at the U.S. border. This framework aims to maintain the humanity of asylum seekers while still enforcing border control.
Finally, President Biden exemplified his aim to transform border policies by ending the “Muslim Ban,” or a policy that prohibited individuals who embrace the Muslim religion from entering the U.S. Alternatively, Biden plans to rely on existing approaches to make sound judgments about who can enter the United States.
Interior Enforcement Focus
The Biden administration also seeks to alter the way the government enforces immigration policies. Previously, a Trump executive order labeled undocumented individuals in the U.S. as “criminal” and devoted all available federal resources to removing these individuals.
However, Biden plans to recenter this language to only apply to individuals who have committed violent crimes in the U.S. rather than all undocumented individuals. The Biden-Harris administration may stray from the interior enforcement policies present in the Obama-Biden administration, though it is not yet clear how Biden’s approach will differ.
Additionally, Biden has already issued an executive memorandum preserving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This policy would act as a safe haven for Dreamers, individuals who came to the U.S. as minors, allowing them to attend college, work legally, and register with the government.
Individuals who have gained protection under DACA would also have an easier time gaining U.S. citizenship. Along with some farmworkers, these individuals could obtain citizenship within three years after filing, skipping the five-year period necessary for other immigrants.
Immigration Lawyer Near Me in Richmond, VA
The Biden administration seeks to create significant changes surrounding immigration policy. Learning about and remaining aware of policy changes can help you better understand the correct steps to obtain U.S. citizenship.
Fayad Law, P.C. is a full-service immigration law firm offering humanitarian assistance, asylum help, and other complex practice areas. As a culturally diverse and sensitive law firm, we understand the backgrounds and concerns of many clients who come through our doors. Therefore, we treat each client with the utmost respect and compassion to provide professional immigration law services.
Finding a clear path to your next chapter of American immigration may be confusing. Still, our immigration attorneys at Fayad Law, P.C., in Richmond, VA, can help you achieve peace of mind regarding your citizenship status. Contact us today at 703-998-5390 to schedule a consultation with our immigration lawyers.
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