The US presidential election questioned democratic principles. It exposed many vulnerabilities to the electoral processes and their complexities. One topic stood out from the usual clashes between republican-democrat ideologies. One subject stood out was immigration. The White House is now under new management. Here’s a look at the recent changes in US immigration policy.
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Slogans of the campaign
The ideologies, of both the former and current presidents, seemed to be very much at odds. Biden called Trump’s policies on immigration an “unrelenting attacks” at American values. He pledged to reverse them if he is elected. The “US Citizenship Act of 2021” was revealed by President Biden. The new proposal offers an eight-year pathway for any illegal immigrants who arrive in the US. The New York Times called it “perhaps, the most ambitious Immigration Reform Act passed since 1986.” The comparison with Ronald Reagan’s Immigration Reform and Control Act’ made 3,000,000 Americans legal citizens. Biden’s proposal has the following components:
Pathways for undocumented citizens
US citizenship is now available to undocumented migrants. The Citizenship Act permits undocumented migrants to seek temporary legal status. They can apply for greencards after 5 years. Every applicant must pass several security checks. Under certain conditions, TPS beneficiaries, DREAMers and migrant farmer can also get green cards. The conditions for citizenship are set up for green card holders who have been in the US for 3 years and have a basic knowledge of English. The Department of Homeland Security Secretary (DHS secretary) is empowered to waive this condition for certain applicants.
The US economy
America is home to vast numbers of migrants. They send remittances regularly to their home country via the Riamoney Transfer App as well as other channels. Their contributions to the US economies are well documented. Employers in the US have struggled to hire skilled expats. The new bill addresses visa backlogs related employment. It will allow for faster document processing, better utilization and per country visa-caps.
The bill makes it easier and more convenient for US University graduates with advanced STEM degrees to stay in the US. The bill eliminates certain restrictions on employment-related green cards. It gives workers with lower wages better access to green visas. The law will allow H-1B visaholders’ dependents work. It will likely prevent children from “aging down” to be eligible for visa eligibility. DHS is empowered by the bill to adjust greencard permissions in accordance with macroeconomic realities. The bill creates incentives to give visas to highly-skilled nonimmigrants in order to prevent unfair competition with American workers.
Integration and citizenship
The bill proposed to provide funding for several projects to various organizations. These include providing assistance to persons aspiring to citizenship, increasing integration and inclusiveness, and allowing more people to learn English. The funding bodies include state, local governments, educational institutions, community-based groups, private companies, and nonprofit organizations.
The bill seeks reform to family-oriented migration formalities. This bill will address the challenges posed by visa backlogs and unutilized visas. The bill will repeal the so-called 3 and 10 year bars’, as well as other provisions which separate immigrant relatives. It encourages families to form permanent unions. It rejects discriminatory acts against LGBTQ+. The bill provides protection to Filipino World War II veterans. Family sponsorship petitions approved by immigrants can be used to temporarily reunite families with the US, and they will then be eligible for green cards.
Assist vulnerable population
The bill will abolish the one-year deadline for asylum applications. It establishes funds for rapid clearance of backlogs. Candidates can receive more protection for their U, T, or VAWA (Violence Against Women Act). The bill proposes to increase the cap on U visas from 10,000 to 30,000.
The act offers greater protection to US troops who are foreign. The NO BAN Act prevents religious-based discrimination, and also limits the power of presidential authorities to impose banned acts. This is for measures such Trump’s executive-order 13769. A proposal to increase the number of Diversity visas from 55,000 – 80,000.