Biden’s shift on immigration: A positive force for the US

Pictured: President-Elect Joe Biden speaks on immigration matters in front of a crowd. He is standing next to a man and putting a hand on his shoulder. The other man is holding an anti-deportation sign that reads, “Not 1 more deportation. Moratorium on deportation on day 1.”


Everyone, including us, has been commenting on the fact that immigration will be much easier with the new administration taking over in 2021. You may read about why it might be better to apply for a visa or green card now that Trump is old news and Biden is now in the hot seat – but how are the current policies and laws going to shift exactly? What needs to be done in order for regular people to experience any changes in the US immigration process? Let’s walk through a few things that need to happen in order for us to see a difference between the policies of Trump’s reign, and the immigration regulations of this bright new year.


How it was done and how things will go moving forward

Trump used memos, executive orders, and proclamations to institute new regulations pertaining to US immigration. In order to see any type of change in these policies, Biden will need to work with his cabinet to address these policies head on.


Many regulations that were set to begin after inauguration day can be sidetracked by Biden in the upcoming weeks and months once he becomes president, giving his administration a 60-day period to decide which regulations should be withdrawn, and which can be reformulated to better fit the new admins policies. Additionally, Trump issued several proclamations in April and June, limiting immigrant visas from specific countries, but also limiting non-immigrant visas based on age of the immigrant, L-1s, etc., unless they meet a certain exception. These proclamations in particular, declared on New Years Eve of 2020, have been extended through March 2021. The good news is Biden won’t have to go through a lengthy process to rescind these proclamations. Instead, he’ll just need to show that the entry of the immigrants does not have a negative impact on the US economy and immigrants hoping to come to the States will be back in business.


Many of you are probably wondering what will happen to the Travel Ban (effecting many countries, especially in the Schengen area), as well as the ban against majority-Muslim countries, once Trump is kicked to the curb. Our prediction is that Biden will rescind these policies immediately, unless they are connected to specific COVID-related travel restrictions, and we will see what comes in place of those specific policies.


With the highly awaited inauguration already out of the way, there’s much to look forward to with Biden’s new control over immigration in the US. Please let us know if you have any interest in providing topics for us to dive into on our blog, we would love to hear what’s important to you and what questions or concerns you may have. As always, if you would like to get in touch with our offices, please do not hesitate to call our Pittsburgh office at 412.258.8080, our PHiladelphia office at 215-982-2381, or schedule a free consultation on our site using this link.


How Central Americans are Affected by Obama’s Immigration Raids


In May, the Obama administration announced the beginning of a series of immigration raids of Central American migrants to be carried out by ICE officers. Since the raids began, there have been 40 cases reported of women and children being mistreated by ICE officers. The arrests largely to place in homes, schools, and workplaces; some arrests included aggressive and inappropriate conduct according to CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project. Of these cases, more than half have valid asylum claims that have not yet been heard in immigration court and some didn’t even have deportation orders. It is clear that the Obama Administration is approaching this influx of Central American refugees as an illegal immigration problem rather than a humanitarian crisis.

It has been reported that gang-related violence, drug trafficking, and corrupt criminal justice systems have plagued Central American countries such as Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. As a result, families have fled from these countries to seek asylum in the U.S. despite women and children being the least mobile group-they don’t leave unless there is no other choice. While these migrants may have valid asylum claims, it has become clear that these immigrants have not had the chance to be heard in court. In fact, many did not have legal counsel or even receive a notice to appear in court.

Immigrants in removal proceedings are afforded all appropriate due process under the law. The number of migrants who are being denied this right in our nation’s immigration courts is growing rapidly. The Obama Administration’s response to this surge in Central American migrants is inappropriate and devastating to the immigrant community while ignoring basic humanitarian decency.

Goldstein & Associates urges anyone who is unsure of their status to contact us immediately online or via phone at 412-258-8080.

Obama Immigration Raids

13260226_557612724413200_2879551303306558359_nOn Thursday, May 12th, the Obama administration announced their intent to begin a “30-day surge of immigration raids”. The target of the raid will be families who did not show up for court appearances of who have defied orders for removal. The raids are in response to the doubling of the Central American family units apprehended at our borders with the hope that other Central Americans will be deterred from illegally entering the U.S.

These raids sound like something out of Trump’s immigration reform plan, but have actually been initiated by the Obama administration. Leading Democrats, including Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, have staunchly opposed the raids. Rightfully so, as it appears that the raids will not have the intended effect on immigrants coming to the U.S.

The undocumented migrants that the raids are targeted toward are not coming here to work or conduct illegal business, but are simply fleeing from their home countries riddled with brutal violence and persecution. The targets are chiefly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador; it has been reported that eighty-three U.S. deportees back to these countries have already been murdered in their homelands. For that reason, it is hard to believe that this immigration raid will have the desired deterrence effect- “nothing will change people’s minds when they are literally fleeing for their lives” according to White House spokesman, Josh Earnest.

The lack of access to legal representation is a big reason that these Central Americans get placed in removal proceedings. In 2014, 86% of asylum cases from Central America lacked legal representation. An overwhelming majority of these detainees have a reasonable fear of returning home. This fear will be heightened as the immigration raids ensue. The Obama administration should reevaluate the proposed raids and take a more humanitarian approach to the immigration crisis in the United States.

Goldstein & Associates would be happy to discuss legal options for individuals and family units who may be affected by the proposed immigration raids. Please do not hesitate to contact our firm online or call us at 412-258-8080.