Congratulations to President Elect Joe Biden and Vice President Elect Kamala Harris!
I feel like a kid on her birthday before a stack of unopened presents…what will I get? Will I get the ONE thing I REALLY want? Will I get everything I want? Will I get amazing things I hadn’t even realized I wanted? No one knows what gifts President Elect Biden will give immigrants and their families, but I feel like we’ll get a lot of things on our wishlist, though we probably won’t get everything.
There are two things on my list that I feel pretty confident that we’ll get – bringing back DACA and getting rid of the Muslim Ban. Over the weekend, his campaign said that these two things are on his list to do on Day One of his presidency. What else might he have in store for us? President Elect Biden has a pretty thorough summary of his immigration priorities on his website and it’s definitely worth a review.
I’m not sure what it’ll look like to bring back DACA. Will we go back to the old criteria? Will he update it since to be eligible, one has to show they’ve been in the US since 2007? I can’t wait to see. And while DACA is a great program, it’s just the starting point of where we should go for all of these Dreamers. They deserve a permanent immigration solution and a path to U.S. citizenship.
If you think you may be eligible for a new DACA case, I would start collecting evidence to show you’ve been in the country since 2007 and making sure you have a passport to satisfy the ID requirement.
The Muslim Ban, as it stands now, blocks individuals from Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela and Yemen from coming on certain types of visas – including those sponsored by U.S. citizen spouses and parents. Removing the ban will let families be reunited. Cases will be decided on the individual facts and not denied simply because of where someone was born.
Consular processing these types of cases can take upwards of 18 months. There’s no reason to delay filing an I-130 to lay the foundation for a case for a loved one. Processing the I-130 will take 6-8 months and isn’t impacted by the travel ban. Might as well get a head start on waiting by filing now.
What else would I like to see? Oh, it’s a long list, and maybe we can talk about a few of them in our next post, but I will say getting rid of the Public Charge Rule / I-944 and raising the cap on U-visas are at the very top of my list.
This hopeful feeling of anticipation is awesome. I know we still have 70-something days to go in the current administration, but there’s a great sense of relief in knowing that better days are certainly ahead. I look forward to sharing them with you!