Issues involving immigration law are complicated enough on their own. Things tend to get even more confusing anytime there is a change in leadership at the federal level. Just as the previous president upended eight years of immigration policy, recently sworn-in President Joe Biden is moving swiftly to enact his own changes.
What to expect in the coming months
President Biden took immediate action through executive orders, which, among other things, direct the Homeland Security secretary to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Often referred to as the “dreamers” act, DACA provides a pathway to citizenship to immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. While the previous administration was unsuccessful in its efforts to end this program, it did take steps to limit its scope. President Biden’s action indicates that preserving this program will be a cornerstone of his administration’s immigration policy. The president also signed an executive order lifting the so-called “Muslim ban,” which had blocked immigration from certain companies with a Muslim majority population.
Executive orders can only do so much. Legislation that is approved by Congress puts action items on more solid ground. To that end, the president’s proposed immigration bill provides an immediate pathway to citizenship for DACA beneficiaries. The bill also provides an immediate pathway to citizenship for farmworkers and temporary protected status holders. In addition, the bill lays out a framework for undocumented immigrants to apply for green cards as long as they meet certain requirements.
It might seem that immigration laws can change quickly. While certain actions can have an immediate effect, other plans take time. You should always discuss your immigration situation with an experienced legal professional. Doing so can help you understand your options and figure out the best approach to your legal matter.