2021 has been an eventful year for many legal fields, and immigration law was no exception. The introduction of a new presidential administration saw many immigration laws changing, even as the country has struggled to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, we're taking a look at the policy changes that have affected immigrants and immigration law alike in 2021.
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Biden Introduces the U.S. Citizenship Act
In one of the most major developments in immigration legislation in recent memory, President Biden kicked off his presidential term by introducing the U.S. Citizenship Act.
The act, which is reminiscent of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act that was introduced in 2001 but still has yet to pass into law, would provide undocumented immigrants with a defined path toward citizenship. Under the act, undocumented immigrants could take up to eight years to achieve citizenship.
The act also proposes a number of sweeping changes to U.S. immigrant procedures. It would provide border forces and immigration-related government agencies with more funding in an attempt to ease immigration. If it passes, it would be a huge change to the current U.S. immigration laws.
Biden Administration Awards More Green Cards
The Trump administration significantly reduced the number of green cards awarded to immigrants in 2020, with the total number of green cards awarded dropping from 236,000 to 78,000 from the second to the third fiscal quarter of 2020.
The Biden administration has announced that it intends to significantly expand on those figures. However, travel bans on various countries still remain in place, and may continue to do so as the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus continues to surge.
The U.S. Announces Plans to Welcome More Immigrants
The Biden Administration also announced that it would double the number of immigrants welcomed into the U.S. from 62,500 in 2021 to 125,000 in 2022.
This news, which comes in light of recent unrest in Afghanistan that has left many Afghan people displaces, will no doubt be good news to many refugees seeking to obtain asylum in the U.S.
It will be interesting to see how the Biden Administration continues to update its immigration policies as the year continues and we move into 2022. To schedule a consultation with our team for your immigration case, contact us online or via phone at .