President-Elect Biden Proposes Sweeping Immigration Reform for the Undocumented and Immigrant Families; TPS Holders and DREAMers Could Also Benefit

President-Elect Biden Proposes Sweeping Immigration Reform for the Undocumented and Immigrant Families; TPS Holders and DREAMers Could Also Benefit

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President Biden’s team is putting out the word that immigration reform will take priority in the early days of the administration. Preliminary details are now being released in advance of tomorrow’s presidential inauguration. As we await further information, our immigration defense team will be focused on how these immigration reforms will impact immigrants with prior criminal or immigration violations.

Under Pres. Biden’s proposed legislation, immigrants in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021, without legal status would have a five-year path to temporary legal status, or a green card, if they pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfill other basic requirements. Once they obtain permanent residency, it’s a three-year path to apply for naturalization, if they decide to pursue citizenship.

For some immigrants, the process would be quicker. So-called Dreamers, the young people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children, as well as agricultural workers and people under temporary protective status could qualify more immediately for green cards if they are working, are in school or meet other requirements.

According to the Washington Post, the legislation from the Biden White House also will contain several revisions to the legal immigration process, according to transition officials.

It raises the number of important employment- and family-based visas allocated by recapturing unused visas from previous years and exempting spouses and children of permanent residents from quotas that limit the number of immigrants by national origin from immigrating to the United States.

It also grants work permits for spouses and children of temporary worker visa holders, although the number of available H-1B visas for high-skilled foreign workers and H2-B visas for lower-skilled non-agriculture workers won’t be expanded, officials said.

Biden’s team has also announced a raft of executive orders that can move ahead without Congressional approval. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — which Mr. Trump unsuccessfully tried to end — would be extended for four years, safeguarding the work permits and protections from deportation of more than 640,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

Additionally, Pres. Biden plans to issue executive orders during his first days in office to support advocacy groups locate and reunite migrant families separated during the “zero tolerance” border crackdown and to rescind Mr. Trump’s travel and immigration restrictions on 13 countries, most of which are majority Muslim or African.

Will President Biden’s immigration reform proposal help if I’ve been deported or have a criminal record?

If you are an immigrant with questions about how these immigration reform proposals might benefit your family, but worried about a prior criminal arrest, deportation, or any contact with immigration or Border Patrol, our office might still be able to assist. Our law firm has helped numerous immigrants with criminal convictions and deportations avoid removal and get the green card and U.S. citizenship. Take advantage of our over forty years of combined immigration law experience handling the most challenging green card and citizenship cases.

Contact us today for a consultation.

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