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Politics / Legislation

Immigration Provisions in the Biden Unity Plan



On July 8, the campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden released its long-awaited “Unity Plan,” a joint platform created by supporters of Biden, as well as those of the socialist firebrand Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The 110-page document touches on almost every policy issue at stake in the 2020 presidential election, including immigration. The,

On July 8, the campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden released its long-awaited “Unity Plan,” a joint platform created by supporters of Biden, as well as those of the socialist firebrand Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The 110-page document touches on almost every policy issue at stake in the 2020 presidential election, including immigration.

The “unity plan” is the result of the strength of Sanders’ brand of democratic socialism. Although Sanders officially withdrew from the Democratic Party’s presidential primary contest, his effect on the 2020 Democratic primary was profound. Building on his momentum from his 2016 run, the self-described socialist moved the politics and policies of his fellow candidates to the left almost single-handedly.

This pressure to move to the left impacted Joe Biden, who voted for the Secure Fence Act and who has suggested that a border wall would stop “tons” of drugs from coming into the country. His initial immigration plan suggested creating a pathway to citizenship for the 14.3 million people in the United States illegally, legalizing temporary agricultural guest workers, and giving states and localities the ability to petition for visas themselves. The unity plan shares some similarities with that document, but diverges in other areas.

The plan mainly addresses immigration enforcement. First and foremost, Biden reaffirms his commitment to provide a pathway to citizenship for every single illegal alien in the United States. This goes far beyond previous suggestions to amnesty so-called “Dreamers” or even farmworkers. This calls for the largest amnesty in American history, with absolutely zero reforms to stop future flows of illegal entrants.

The unity plan also calls for eliminating all executive actions taken by the Trump Administration since January 2017, including the president’s travel ban and the successful agreements made with the Northern Triangle countries and Mexico to slow the arrival of asylum-seeking aliens.

The plan would halt removals for 100 days to allow for a government review of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and end the use of private facilities to house ICE inmates. Private facilities currently house a significant number of ICE detainees. Eliminating private detention without building new federal facilities would shackle ICE’s ability to house dangerous criminal aliens.

Incredibly, the plan suggests, “Enforcement should sanction employers, not workers. End workplace raids and ensure that I-9 audits do not undermine workers’ ability to organize and assert their rights.”

This is completely contradictory. Workplace enforcement is ICE’s best tool at sanctioning employers. Employers subjected to relentless worksite pressure by ICE will not hire illegal aliens. How can ICE sanction employers without the use of worksite raids? How would I-9 audits differ from worksite raids if an employer’s I-9 forms reveal that there are numerous illegal workers present?

Outside of enforcement, the unity plan calls for an increase in overall levels of legal immigration. Further, Biden calls for a refugee ceiling of 125,000 annually, a stark contrast to the current ceiling of 13,000. Unlike other parts of immigration law, the refugee ceiling is solely created at the discretion of the president and does not require congressional approval. The plan suggests exempting STEM PhD program graduates from any visa caps, without clarifying whether the degree came from an American university or not.

The plan “reaffirms family migration as a cornerstone of U.S. immigration policy” and “prioritize(s) family reunification, including by eliminating family-based green card backlogs and reforming the system to speed up family-based visas.” This completely contradicts the will of the American public who generally support moving the United States to a merit-based immigration system rather than one based simply on chain migration.

Finally, the unity plan states, “Democrats believe that our fight to end systemic racism in our country extends to our immigration system, including the policies at our borders and ports of entry, detention centers, and within immigration law enforcement agencies and their policies and operations” [emphasis added]. This declaration reveals that the plan’s authors reject the notion that opposition to widespread immigration is rooted in anything other than nativism, xenophobia, and racism.

Biden’s advocates did reject some of Sanders’ most radical proposals, such as eliminating immigration enforcement agencies and decriminalizing illegal border crossings. But even still, what remains in the Biden unity plan is anathema to advocates of immigration reform.

Instead of moving to a merit-based system, the unity plan proposes simply increasing total numbers and keeping chain migration as the “cornerstone” of our system. Instead of giving ICE and CBP the tools they need to do their congressionally-authorized job, the unity plan proposes to shackle and audit them for at least 100 days. Instead of prioritizing the safety of American citizens and legal immigrants, the unity plan encourages the growth of dangerous sanctuary jurisdictions.

Biden’s unity plan is notably radical in the immigration sphere for a major presidential candidate. No serious presidential campaign has ever suggested the kind of sweeping reforms presented in this plan. If these ideas became law, they would represent the most sweeping change to the immigration system in our country since the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act.

Source: Immigration Provisions in the Biden Unity Plan


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Immigration Reform

Biden plans sweeping reversal of Trump immigration agenda





President-elect Joe Biden is planning a swift reversal of President Trump’s most controversial immigration policies. CBS News’ Camilo Montoya-Galvez reports the incoming Democrat plans to dismantle within his first 100 days much of the agenda Mr. Trump has laid out over the last four years. Montoya-Galvez joins CBSN to break down Mr. Biden’s immigration plans.

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Immigration Reform

Biden plans to unravel Trump’s immigration policies during his first 100 days




Great news for DACA and Dreamers.

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Politics / Legislation

Where Does Joe Biden Stand on Immigration?




We are just 60 days away from Election day in the United States which falls on Tuesday, November 3rd. Do you know where your candidate stands on immigration? In this post, we cover Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s stance on important immigration issues, and everything you need to know about his vision for America. We would,

We are just 60 days away from Election day in the United States which falls on Tuesday, November 3rd. Do you know where your candidate stands on immigration? In this post, we cover Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s stance on important immigration issues, and everything you need to know about his vision for America.

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind those of our readers who are American citizens to exercise their right to vote. It is your civic duty and will help shape the nation’s immigration policy for the next four years. For voter registration information please click here.

Immigration under Joe Biden

If elected President of the United States, Joe Biden has stated that he will enact a number of policies during his four-year term. Among these policies, he promises to take urgent action to undo destructive policies implemented by the Trump administration, modernize the immigration system, reassert America’s commitment to asylum-seekers and refugees, and implement effective border screening.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform

First and foremost, Joe Biden supports working with Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration solution that would offer nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. As vice president, Joe Biden worked alongside former President Obama to push forward a bill that would do just that. Unfortunately, the Republican-led Congress refused to approve the bill, leaving millions of undocumented immigrants in limbo including Dreamers.

Joe Biden advocates for the creation and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program,  the Central American Minors program, which allows parents with legal status in the U.S. to apply to bring their children from Central America to live with them, and the creation of a White House task force to support new Americans to integrate into American life and their communities.

Overview of Biden’s Immigration Commitments

Temporary Seasonal Workers. Biden wishes to work with Congress to reform the current system of temporary work visas to allow seasonal workers in select industries to easily switch jobs, while certifying the labor market’s need for foreign workers. Employers would be required to pay prevailing wages and ensure the right of all workers to join a union and exercise their labor rights.

High-skilled Temporary Visas. Biden will also work with Congress to reform temporary visas to establish a wage-based allocation process and create fraud prevention mechanisms. Biden supports expanding the number of high-skilled visas and eliminating the limits on employment-based visas by country, eliminating the backlogs.

Legalization for Agricultural Workers. For agricultural workers, Biden would support legislation between farmworkers and the agricultural industry to provide them with legal status based on prior agricultural work history, to ensure a “fast track” green card process ultimately workers them to apply for citizenship.

Removing Per-Country Cap Limitations. Biden is strongly against the current per-country cap visa limitations and the long waiting periods families must wait to be reunited. Biden will support a family-based immigration system allowing any approved applicant to receive a temporary non-immigrant visa until a permanent visa is processed, and will support legislation that treats spouses and children of green card holders as immediate relatives exempting them from the caps, and allowing parents to bring minor children with them at the time they immigrate.

Preserving the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. Biden will continue to support the diversity visa lottery program and preserve the program.

Increase Employment Based Visas. Regarding employment-based visas, Biden will work with Congress to increase the number of visas for permanent employment-based immigration and temporarily reduce the number of visas during times of high U.S. unemployment. Biden would exempt from any cap recent graduates of PhD programs in STEM fields in the US.

New Visa Category for Cities and Counties Seeking Immigrant Work. Biden supports creating a new visa category that would allow cities and counties to petition for higher levels of immigrant to support their growth, provided employers certify there are available jobs and no workers to fill them. Holders of these visas would need to work and reside in the city or county that petitioned them and be subject to certification protections similar to employment-based immigrants.

Expansion of U Visa Program. Biden will expand the U visa program to include eligibility for workers who report certain workplace crimes.

Increase visas for Domestic Violence Survivors and Victims of Crime. Finally, Biden plans to triple the current cap of 10,000 on U-visas and increase visas for domestic violence survivors.

Policy on Removal and Enforcement Actions

Joe Biden plans to focus his administration on prioritizing removal and enforcement actions on persons who pose a threat to national security and public safety. The Biden administration would not target the removal of working-class undocumented immigrants and their families. Biden also promises to end mass workplace raids and prevent enforcement actions and operations at sensitive locations including schools, hospitals, and places of worship.

With regard to the influx of undocumented immigration from Central America, the Biden administration would address the root of the problem, by securing bipartisan support and funding to countries in the Northern Triangle to help these countries tackle violence and insecurity, lack of economic opportunity, and corruption in the region.

Joe Biden’s 100-Day Plan

Within his first 100 days in office, the Biden administration commits to:

  • Immediately reverse the Trump Administration’s policies that have separated parents from children at the border, including ending prosecution of parents for minor immigration violations, and prioritizing family reunification.
  • Immediately reverse the Trump administration’s public charge rule
  • End the “national emergency” imposed by the Trump administration to enable the Department of Defense to build a wall along the U.S./Mexico border
  • Protect Dreamers and their families, by reinstating the DACA program and exploring all legal options to protect families from inhumane separation
  • Restore and defend the naturalization process for green card holders by removing roadblocks to naturalization, addressing the application backlog and rejecting imposition of unreasonable fees
  • End the Trump administration’s detrimental asylum policies
  • Rescind the travel and refugee bans also known as the “Muslim bans” by the Trump administration
  • Review Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for vulnerable populations and introduce a bill that will allow TPS/DED holders who have been in the country for an extended period of time, a path to citizenship
  • End the mismanagement of the asylum system to ensure asylum applications are processing fairly and efficiently
  • Increase humanitarian resources at the border through a network of organizations including faith-based shelters, non-governmental aid organizations, legal non-profits, and other organizations
  • End prolonged detention and investment in a case management program, by supporting the Flores agreement which prevents the detention of children indefinitely
  • Restore sensible enforcement prioritizes targeting threats to public safety and national security, and not workers and their families

To read more about Joe Biden’s proposed policies on immigration please click here.

Source: Where Does Joe Biden Stand on Immigration?


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