President-Elect Biden Pledges Immigration-Related

Actions in First 100 Days

President-elect Joe Biden has pledged in the first 100 days of

his administration to set in motion a number of immigration-related

actions. Some of his proposals could be launched immediately, while

others may require new regulations or Congressional action. Trump

administration rules finalized before President Trump leaves office

are likely to require a lengthy regulatory process to change,

unless the Congressional Review Act is invoked, which would allow

Congress to override any new regulations if Congress acts within 60


A non-exhaustive list of employment, labor, and student-related

highlights of President-elect Biden's immigration plans


  • Reforming the visa program for

    temporary workers in select industries that depend on seasonal and

    short-term workers. President-elect Biden pledges to work with

    Congress to allow workers in certain industries to switch jobs and

    to allow employers to certify the labor market's need for

    foreign workers. “Employers should be able to supply data

    showing a lack of labor availability and the harm that would result

    if temporary workers were unavailable,” the plan states. He

    also pledges “strong safeguards that require employers to pay

    a fair calculation of the prevailing wage and ensure the right of

    all workers to join a union and exercise their labor


  • Ensuring that high-skilled temporary

    visas “not be used to dis-incentivize recruiting workers

    already in the U.S. for in-demand occupations.” The plan

    states that President-elect Biden will work with Congress to

    establish a “wage-based allocation process” and

    enforcement mechanisms to ensure that temporary visas are aligned

    with the labor market “and not used to undermine


  • Eliminating the limits on

    employment-based visas by country.

  • Providing “a path to

    legalization for agricultural workers who have worked for years on

    U.S. farms and continue to work in agriculture.”

  • Supporting family-based immigration.

    Under the plan, “any approved applicant” could receive a

    temporary nonimmigrant visa until their permanent visa is

    processed. Spouses and children of green card holders would be

    treated as immediate relatives and would be exempted from caps.

    Parents could bring their minor children with them when they

    immigrate to the United States.

  • Increasing the number of visas for

    permanent, work-based immigration based on macroeconomic

    conditions. President-elect Biden pledges to work with Congress

    “to increase the number of visas awarded for permanent,

    employment-based immigration—and promote mechanisms to

    temporarily reduce the number of visas during times of high U.S.

    unemployment.” He will also “exempt from any cap recent

    graduates of PhD programs in STEM [science, technology,

    engineering, and mathematics] fields” in the United States.

    President-elect Biden “believes that foreign graduates of a

    U.S. doctoral program should be given a green card with their

    degree and that losing these highly trained workers to foreign

    economies is a disservice to our own economic


  • Creating a new visa category to allow

    cities and counties to petition for higher levels of immigrants to

    support their growth.

  • Enforcing rules to protect both U.S.

    and foreign workers and focusing on “abusive


  • Expanding protections for

    undocumented immigrants who report labor violations.

  • Expanding labor rights and

    protections for farmworkers and domestic workers.

  • Reinstating the Deferred Action for

    Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and ensuring that

    “Dreamers” are eligible for federal student aid.

  • Ordering an immediate review of

    temporary protected status (TPS) and offering TPS holders who have

    been in the United States for an “extended period of

    time” and who have “built lives in the U.S.” a

    “path to citizenship through legislative immigration


  • Rescinding “Muslim


President-elect Biden also plans to develop and implement a

comprehensive, multinational, four-year regional strategy to

address factors driving migration from Central America, including

convening a regional meeting of leaders to propose solutions.

Details: “The Biden Plan for Securing Our Values as a

Nation of Immigrants,”

EOIR Finalizes Reorganization With


The Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration

Review (EOIR) adopted as final the provisions of an interim rule

published in August 2019, with additional amendments. The

reorganization includes the establishment of EOIR's Office of

Policy in 2017 and clarification of the EOIR Director's

authority to adjudicate cases. The final rule took effect November

3, 2020.

The new amendments include:

  • Restricting the authority of the EOIR

    Director regarding the further delegation of certain regulatory


  • Clarifying that the Director

    interprets relevant regulatory provisions when adjudicating

    “recognition and accreditation” cases;

  • Reiterating the independent judgment

    and discretion by which the EOIR Director will consider cases

    subject to the Director's adjudication

Details: EOIR final rule,

The content of this article is intended to provide a general

guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought

about your specific circumstances.

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