Joe Biden’s Immigration Priorities

“You know, 11 million people live in the shadows. I believe they’re already American citizens. These people are just waiting, waiting for a chance to contribute fully. And by that standard, 11 million undocumented aliens are already Americans, in my view.”

Joe Biden in 2014

“Joe Biden’s proposed immigration platform aims to undo Trump’s ‘misguided policies’ by taking an opposing position on just about every one of the president’s efforts to curb immigration and limit protections for immigrants, both those who are here legally and illegally.”

The Los Angeles Times

Here is a short list of Biden’s immigration priorities drawn from his campaign’s website. Many of these can be accomplished by executive orders reversing Trump’s orders while others will require working with Congress to change U.S. immigration laws.

  • A Pathway to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants

Biden will seek legislation to create a clear roadmap for legal status and citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who register, have paid up taxes, and have passed a background check.

  • Sensible Enforcement Priorities

Under Biden’s direction, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will not target people who have never been convicted of a serious criminal offense. That means immigrants, many with families, who have worked and contributed to our economy and communities for decades will no longer be subject to being swept up as “collaterals” and deported. Biden will also end workplace raids and make sure sensitive locations like schools, hospitals, and places of worship are off limits to enforcement.

  • DACA Reinstated

Biden will restore the program for undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children who have obeyed the law, stayed in school, or enlisted in the military. The Obama-Biden administration created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in 2012, and Trump has sought to end the program.

  • No Family Separation

Biden will immediately reverse Trump’s policies of separating parents from their children at the border and the Trump policy of using the threat of child separation as an intimidation tactic. Biden will also make it a top priority to reunify children who are still separated from their families by Trump.

  • No Defense Funds for Border Wall

Biden will end the so-called National Emergency that siphons off Defense Department money for building a wall at the Mexican border

  • End Muslim Travel Bans

Biden will immediately rescind Trump’s executive order that prevents nationals from five Muslim-majority countries from entering the USA.

  • Up Number of Refugees Admitted to USA

There are now more than 70 million displaced people in the world. Under the Refugee Resettlement Program, each year the president sets the number of refugees brought into our country. Obama had proposed that 125,000 refugees be admitted in his last year in office; Trump has cut this number to 18,000. Biden would restore the 125,000 a year figure.

  • Aid to Central American Countries

The best way to address the root causes of migration is to diminish the underlying violence, instability, and lack of opportunity in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Biden will convene a regional meeting of leaders in these countries and then propose a package of assistance aimed at reducing gang and gender-based violence, improving legal and education systems, and implementing anti-corruption measures

  • Restore Intended Purposes of U.S. Asylum Laws

Trump has drastically reduced asylum in the USA by imposing interpretations of law and many restrictions. These have included the “wait in Mexico” system on people traveling through that country and removing domestic violence as the basis for an asylum claim. Biden pledges to restore our asylum system so the laws do what they were designed to do – protect people fleeing persecution who cannot return home safely.

  • More Immigration Judges

Biden will work with Congress to double the number of immigration judges, court staff, and interpreters so that the backlog of cases and the years-long delays in processing claims can be reduced.

  • End “Public Charge” Rule

Biden will reverse Trump’s “public charge” rule – which allows immigration officials to decide eligibility for a visa or permanent residency status on whether the applicant has used or is likely to use standard government benefits like food stamps or Medicaid.

  • True Temporary Protected Status

Trump has rescinded Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war or natural disasters in their home countries without regard, as the law requires, for current conditions in those countries. Biden will order a review of TPS residents in the USA and protect them from being returned to countries that are unsafe.

  • End For-Profit Detention Centers

Biden believes no business should profit from the suffering of desperate people fleeing violence and that any facilities temporarily housing migrants must be held to the highest standards of safety.

For more on Biden’s immigration plans, check this website: