The Trump administration enacted more than 400 changes to halt or choke off immigration, and while President Elect Biden can roll back those issued through executive orders, changing policies that went through the full regulatory process will take time. Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst for the Migration Policy Institute commented, “On immigration I expect them to stick to things that are high profile, very easy procedurally, and come with minimal logistical burden.”
This includes travel bans for 13 mostly Muslim and African countries and restoring protections for about 700,000 young immigrants known as “dreamers” who were brought to the U.S. as children. Biden also plans to raise the limit on refugee admissions to 125,000, impose a 100-day moratorium on deportations and direct Immigration and Customs and Customs Enforcement to focus on violent offenders.
Other regulations like the maze of asylum restrictions imposed by the Trump administration and denying green cards to immigrants who might use public assistance will be harder to unravel. And although Biden would revive the longstanding Democratic goal of creating a path to citizenship for nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants, if the Senate remains in Republican hands, that is likely impossible.
“We will treat our immigrants with respect and give them due process, which they aren’t having under this administration,” said Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard, the chairwoman of the House appropriations subcommittee on Homeland Security who worked with Biden in platform negotiations. “Will that be enough? Probably no.”