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President Biden assumed office after making considerable commitments to implement changes to legal immigration in the United States, both to reverse harmful changes by former President Trump, but also in reforming and updating the system more broadly. Trump executed prolonged attacks on many categories of immigrants in thinly veiled attempts to limit the number of noncitizens entering the United States temporarily and permanently. These changes created a series of often duplicative barriers impacting the same populations and limiting the ability of many noncitizens to obtain or maintain immigration status in the United States. While the Biden administration has made significant progress in meeting many of its commitments in restoring and reforming legal immigration in the United States, significant barriers to access remain that will need to be addressed for the system to function in a meaningful manner.This special report analyzes some of the most significant changes to immigration policy made by the Trump administration, as well as the subsequent commitments and accomplishments made by the Biden administration on these issues during its first 100 days. The report also provides recommendations for action throughout the remainder of the Biden presidency to foster a fair and efficient system of legal immigration.
This paper analyzes the history of immigration federalism in the United States and examines how other countries have created regional immigration systems to address the needs of individual areas. It subsequently looks at the problems with the current immigration system and why it is insufficient to meet states' needs. It then analyzes the multiple solutions that have been proposed. Finally, it looks at the remaining questions that must be addressed before moving forward with a new, state-based immigration program.
More than seven months since President Biden took office, the U.S. government continues to turn awayand block people seeking protection at U.S. ports of entry along the southern border and to expel manyasylum seekers to growing danger in Mexico. For this report, Human Rights First researchers conducted in person and remote interviews with migrantsand asylum seekers, government officials in the United States and Mexico, attorneys, academicresearchers, humanitarian staff, and other legal monitors. Researchers spoke with 65 migrants andasylum seekers in person in the Mexican cities of Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, Piedras Negras, and CiudadAcuña in August 2021 and more than 50 additional interviews with migrants and asylum seekers inMexico were carried out by telephone between July and August 2021. Interviews were conductedprimarily in Spanish with a limited number in English. The report draws on data from an electronic surveyof asylum seekers in Mexico conducted by Al Otro Lado between June and August 2021, as well asinformation from U.S. and Mexican government data, media sources, and other human rights reports.
More than 86 million people have legally immigrated to the United States between 1783 and 2019. The legal regime under which they immigrated has changed radically over that time; the politics surrounding those changes have remained contentious, and past immigration policies inform the current political debate. Conflicting visions and piecemeal legislation have left the United States with an archaic and barely coherent immigration system with outdated policy objectives that is primarily controlled by the executive branch of government. We review the history of U.S. immigration policy, including the legal controversies that empowered Congress with its immigration plenary power and the historical policy decisions that still guide the U.S. immigration system, in order to contextualize the current political debate over immigration at the beginning of the Biden administration.
This report outlines how the "Follow-to-Join" process has been hampered by actions taken by the Trump Administration and how the Biden Administration can improve the process. It compiles information that IRAP has learned in litigation, as well as through individualrepresentation of clients in the refugee admissions process, engaging in policy advocacy, and pursuingFreedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
This paper provides a recommendation for setting evidence-backed immigration levels that combat the worst effects of demographic decline and protect the nation's social and economic health. A modern immigration system is necessary to respond to modern challenges, and increasing immigration levels will help us both provide for our elderly population and give us confidence in the country we are leaving to our children and grandchildren.
For years, the U.S. government allowed individuals applying for asylum to physically remain in the United States while their cases were adjudicated. However, in January 2019, the Trump administration introduced the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the "Remain in Mexico" program, which fundamentally changed this process by forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for the duration of their immigration court proceedings. This change has created incalculable suffering to asylum seekers along the border. Upholding the United States' commitment to a humane and compassionate asylum system demands not only the immediate cancelation of the program, but a detailed plan to repair the damage it has caused.The following recommendations outline actions the new administration should take before asylum seekers can enter the United States, how asylum seekers should enter the United States, and what procedures should occur after asylum seekers enter the United States to remedy the harm they suffered under the Trump administration's policies. The report also includes recommendations for longer-term actions to eliminate discriminatory asylum regulations and policies in the future.
As Congress debated federal immigration reform this year, states led the way by adopting policies designed to integrate immigrants more fully in their communities. In the wake of the 2012 elections, with Latino and Asian voters participating in record numbers,1 the 2013 state legislative sessions witnessed a significant increase in pro-immigrant activity. Issues that had been dormant or had moved in a restrictive direction for years, such as expanding access to driver's licenses, gained considerable traction, along with measures improving access to education and workers' rights for immigrants.This report summarizes the activity on immigrant issues that took place during the states' 2013 legislative sessions, as well as efforts to improve access to services for immigrant youth.
This report presents a series of case studies in moving legislators on immigration reform, including lessons learned on:Moving a legislator in a district with changing demographics;Converting a Senator from supporter to champion;Organizing a statewide framework to move conservatives;Moving and engaging first term legislators;Cultivating potential champions in the House;Cultivating Republican leadership.
This is an overview of Ireland's changed migration landscape, followed by a description of The One Foundation's (OF) thinking on measures to effect change in response to a growing immigrant population, and the investments made to achieve its goal -- to make immigrant rights real in Ireland. A case study of an investment in the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) follows to provide a deeper understanding of some advocacy approaches taken, their impact, and lessons learned.
Dealing with immigration issues is one of the most critical and frustrating challenges police and sheriffs' departments currently face. To solve this problem and take some pressure off their members, the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) has conducted research and met with police leaders to frame immigration policy recommendations not only to guide local authorities, but to inform Congress and the Obama administration as well.
Advocates of comprehensive immigration reform have tried unsuccessfully since 2006 to get an immigration bill passed, first by the 109th and then by the 110th Congress. Now these advocates are using the sometimes painful lessons learned from their legislative battles to build alliances on a local and a national level and to bring together disparate voices. Seeking to overcome the hurdles involved in merging hundreds of organizations, several leading groups, including those who are cited in this article, have been working to develop a re-energized and re-focused structure that consists of "four pillars," which center around:a more effective policy approachmore effective work in the mediaa stronger grassroots effort better linked to the nationwide effortsuccessful efforts to promote citizenship and encourage civic participation