Trump tried to curb immigration amid the health crisis
The sudden arrival of the global Coronavirus pandemic allowed the Trump administration to substantially restrict immigration in the US, which was one of its main goals since the former president launched his political campaign for the 2016 elections.
The US, like many other countries, decided to close the borders during the health emergency to prevent the massive spread of the virus around the world and mitigate the impact of the pandemic. However, then-President Donald Trump also suspended the issuance of employment visas and Green Cards, or Permanent Legal Residence, for a considerable period of time.
Former President Trump had always referred to immigration with a negative connotation, stating that the only way to control it and make sure that the presence of foreigners is positive for the US is by reducing humanitarian alternatives or options based on family ties and implementing a merit-based immigration system.
In fact, Trump’s restrictions significantly delayed family immigration applications such as Green Cards based on family ties. Currently, there are approximately 4 million foreigners with pending family immigration applications.
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Immigrant families could benefit from Biden’s project
The current President of the US, Joe Biden, recently introduced an immigration bill that could benefit immigrant families with pending cases. Initially, the Biden administration is lifting Trump’s restrictions on the immigration sector. In fact, the current president has already revoked Trump’s order suspending the issuance of Green Cards on grounds of health emergency.
This decision will help to gradually reduce the backlog of pending family immigration cases and will also allow the Biden administration to continue with its immigration plan, which aims to promote the first comprehensive immigration reform since the 80s.
Adding to that, as part of the immigration bill, Biden plans to expedite immigration processes to benefit highly qualified foreign workers and family members of American citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents, who are related more often than one might think.
In fact, Judy Chu, a member of the US House of Representatives states that “Prioritizing merit-based or employment-based visas at the expense of family-based visas is counterproductive (…) In reality, family and employment visas are linked; people with high skills also have families and they are motivated to come to the U.S.”
She states that employment-based visas are also relevant and important for the local market and to keep the economy afloat in times of crisis. However, she argues that reducing family immigration to increase business immigration could also hurt the economy and would be a disadvantage for sectors other than science, technology and engineering.
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