US president Joe Biden is planning a raft of immigration reforms that would make it easier and cheaper for people to move to the US. According to 46-page government documents seen by various media outlets, these far-reaching reforms will “rebuild and expand” legal immigration in the US.
The plan outlines a series of steps that are all designed to undo some of the strict immigration policies enacted by former President Donald Trump.
The new Biden plan will clear the path for more people to come to the US including refugees, asylum seekers, and victims of human trafficking among others. The plan is also expected to lay out provisions that would attract high skilled labor into the country. Native Americans born outside the US and families of Americans living abroad will also have an easier path towards the US with this new plan.
In addition to this, the Biden administration is looking to expand specific visa programs available in the US. According to these documents, the White House, the H-1B visa program, which is designed to bring highly skilled professionals to America, will be expanded massively.
The new plan also looks to expand the provisions of the U-visa, a program that gives citizenship to undocumented immigrants who cooperate with law enforcement in important security matters. The Biden plan is also proposing the introduction of simple immigration forms that can be filed easily online by anyone.
The plan also means that people who want to come to the US will go through fewer background and security checks. Immigrants in this new plan will also have an easier route to securing citizenship if they have family living in the US. The Biden administration is also considering instituting waivers of certain immigration fees and reducing the overall costs substantially in the long run.
During the Trump administration, immigration in the country fell sharply. This was because of a combination of factors. First, the former president had instituted very strict immigration policies that limited both legal and illegal immigration in the country.
Trump's tough immigration rhetoric also made it harder for people to move to the country and over the last year or so, the world has been dealing with the very contagious COVID-19 pandemic. Travel has therefore been restricted in many countries and as such, the number of people moving to the US went down to record lows.
But things may be changing. The US has rolled out a massive vaccination drive and is hoping to be fully open for business and travel by the end of this year. The new Biden plan that comes into play will also be a factor that should help increase immigration numbers moving forward.
According to the administration, making legal immigration easier will play a crucial role in limiting illegal border crossings. The Biden administration also argues that they want to take a broad approach in opening up immigration, the same way the former president did in closing it.