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As soon as president-elect Joe Biden takes office, he intends to sign executive orders reversing Trump’s policies. Still, a divided Congress may slow Biden’s efforts on immigration. He wants to extend a path to citizenship to about 11 million people who are in the country illegally, and who are economic contributors. Biden also plans on reestablishing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and terminating the Trump administration’s ”public charge rule,” which denied visas or permanent residency to individuals that use public services. Even though Biden said he will put a 100-day freeze on deportation as the administration studies Trump’s policies, he will restore an Obama policy prioritizing the removal of undocumented immigrants who are convicted of crimes. The Washington Post, Associated Press News
Biden plans to put a hold on border wall construction while easing immigration restrictions. Trump has extracted billions from military construction projects along with other programs for the last two years in order to pay for the wall. Biden plans on ensuring border protection without a wall, namely through a “high-tech capacity.” Biden also wants to bolster legal immigration opportunities, such as family- and work-based visas and access to humanitarian visa programs. Politico
Many Department of Homeland Security employees who were fearful of the long-term damage done by the Trump administration are relieved at Biden’s victory. For the last four years, Trump reinvented the role of DHS while issuing several restrictive measures, such as banning people from Muslim-majority countries, blocking asylum protections at the border, holding asylum-seekers in Mexico, cutting the number of refugees allowed in the U.S. and separating families. DHS employees were told to carry out those more than 400 measures quickly, and without preparation or training. This caused some employees to plan on quitting if Trump was re-elected, while others wondered if they were capable of taking another four years of constant changes to the immigration system. Buzzfeed News