How change of the president in the U.S. can affect the immigration process; Trump vs. Biden

Executive Policies and Their Impact on Immigration

The President of the United States holds significant power over federal immigration policies, primarily through the issuance of executive orders and the administration’s discretion in enforcing existing laws. These executive actions can directly impact how immigration laws are interpreted and applied, affecting millions of individuals seeking to enter or remain in the U.S. For instance, a president can set the priorities for deportations, decide on the number of refugees admitted annually, and change the guidelines for visa issuance.

Additionally, the executive branch oversees various agencies responsible for implementing immigration policies, such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Through these mechanisms, the president plays a critical role in shaping the landscape of U.S. immigration.

Comparing Biden & Trump’s Immigration Policies

The immigration policies of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump represent markedly different approaches to handling immigration issues in the United States.

Trump’s Immigration Policies

Under Trump’s administration, policies focused on increasing border security and imposing stricter vetting processes for refugees and immigrants. Notable policies included:

  • Title 42: In 2020, the Trump administration implemented Title 42, which allowed authorities to detain and expel hundreds of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers under the guise of public safety during the pandemic.
  • Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP): Commonly referred to the “remain in Mexico” policy, this required asylum seekers to stay in Mexico during their immigration hearings.
  • Zero-tolerance policy: This policy, which Trump has not ruled out of reimplementing if he is reelected, allowed authorities to deport any adults who crossed the border illegally. If adults entered into the U.S. with children, this policy would deport the adult and place the children into government custody—separating thousands of families between 2017 and 2021.

Biden’s Immigration Policies

On the other hand, President Biden’s policies have centered around reversing many of Trump’s actions—proposing comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Proposed policies include:

  • Title 42: The Biden administration kept Title 42 in place until 2023 and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) replaced it by incentivizing entry of asylum seekers through ports and disincentivizing arrival between ports without authorization, which many refer to as a series of ‘carrot-and-stick’ measures.
  • Refugee resettlement: After the Trump administration made large cuts in the annual caps of refugee admittance, Biden raised the ceiling to 125,000 and launched the Welcome Corps—allowing citizens and permanent residents to support and sponsor individuals looking to immigrate.
  • Safe mobility initiative: To expedite the refugee process, the Biden administration implemented the Safe Mobility initiative via the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). This helps those seeking protection, asylum, resettlement, and family reunification in countries such as Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Ecuador utilize Safe Mobility Offices (SMOs) to submit applications and gain an understanding of legal pathways for entering the U.S.

These policy differences underscore a fundamental ideological divergence between the two administrations on handling immigration—each having lasting impacts on those seeking to live and work in America, as well as their families.

Maghzi Law Firm Is Here to Support Your Immigration Law Needs

No matter how November shakes out, our firm at Maghzi Law Firm is committed to helping individuals navigate the intricacies of the legal process. From visa acquisition and adjustment of status to deportation defense and asylum eligibility, our experienced immigration lawyers can provide legal support around your unique concerns.

If you are in the Charleston area and looking for support with your immigration case, call us at (843) 800-2750. We speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Farsi.

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