Christian Carlos. Peninsula 360 Press [P360P].
Prior to the inauguration event and during his election campaign, the now President of the U.S., Joe Biden, has presented a bold immigration plan that has yielded positive results, Joe Biden, has presented a bold immigration plan that has given positive results such as the reinstatement of DACA - the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program - for good, also analyzes reversing the changes of the Trump administration that had to do with strict asylum process; also, as expected, the construction of the border wall between Mexico and the U.S. was stopped by cutting the economic resources required for such infrastructure. Additionally, the new immigration plan extends temporary protected status for refugees.
Biden has also expressed his support for the phenomenon of business immigration and his administration, in conjunction with Vice President Kamala Harris, are in favor of simplifying the process that immigrants have to go through to obtain their residency.
In the virtual panel "Biden's ambitious immigration plan, what can migrants expect?" conducted by Ethnic Media Services.experts on the immigration phenomenon addressed the immigration plan proposed by the new administration of President Joe Biden; in this, also analyzed what are the geopolitical challenges it faces, domestic and foreign policy, and what will be his plan of action for the next 4 years of his term.
Frank Sharry, executive director of America's Voice, said that "we've been through four years of chaos and cruelty," referring to Donald Trump's previous presidency. An administration that will be remembered, he said, "for giving guns to a dysfunctional and miserable immigration system." He referred to three key moments that could be expected in immigration matters from the Biden administration, the first being to get rid of the cruelty that has been built in recent years, to stop the painful experience that has been inflicted on immigrants and asylum seekers; the second, "to rebuild something that didn't really exist in the U.S.," referring to a fair, humane and, above all, functional immigration system. As a third objective, Frank Sharry points out, the most difficult one is the approval of a law initiative that would offer residency to all migrants in the United States.
So far, Sharry said, six executive orders have been signed, two more to change policies within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, lifted the restraining orders imposed by Trump on the Muslim and African community, the reinstatement of DACA, stopped the construction of the border wall with Mexico, set a 100-day extension on deportations in the state of Texas, and prevented Mexico from continuing its domestic policy of detaining those who want to enroll in an asylum program in the U.S. and retaking undocumented migrants into account in processes in their communities.
Sharry insisted that it is possible to "find a way to work with Republicans or to work only with Democrats to try to get important legislation passed," referring to immigration proposals.
John C. Yang, president and CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) said he was very excited about the actions taken to help undocumented migrants, noting that 40 percent of the current flow of migrants comes from the Asian continent and that by the year 2055, this number is expected to increase by another ten percent. He stressed that it is important to know the history of Asian migrants as they are rarely mentioned in the history of migrant communities in the US.
"The importance of immigration policy is huge not only for Asian Americans, but for Americans and American society as a whole," said C. Yang. He said the immigration proposal not only represents a step forward for migrants, but goes beyond that, namely that the policy be seen as a racial justice proposal.
C. Yang said 1.7 million Asians are undocumented immigrants, 120,000 of whom are eligible for DACA. He said it is "a great victory" for advocates for the rights of people belonging to the Asian American community, a phenomenon carried over from the 2013 immigration reforms in the U.S. "Families help immigrants settle, find jobs, help them learn English and integrate to be part of our society," he said.
He emphasized that although some people in the Asian migrant community may have H1-B and specialty work visas, most of the community is like the rest of the undocumented migrant community, coming to improve their life expectancy and to contribute to making the U.S. a better place.
He noted that it is also an achievement for migrants from the LGBTTTIQ+ community, as they can legally marry in Asian countries where such a possibility does not yet exist. Finally, he said that "another priority for the Asian American community is to get the approval of some 15,000 Southeast Asians with final orders of deportation".
Meanwhile, Cyrus Mehta, founder and managing partner of Cyrus D. Mehta & Partners, began by saying that "the current immigration law is woefully inadequate" where he also mentioned the process of residency after being visaed for work. "The process can take decades," he insisted. "Thus, Indians are the most affected by the current employment-based categories, and those born in China are the second most affected," he said.
Mehta said, mainly, that immigration policies are applied based on the country of origin of the migrant and that their status as a resident depends on it. He emphasized that the new immigration policy of President Biden's administration envisions eliminating visa delays. "Even if, for some reason, the ?immigration? proposals do not pass, we can still try to improve the situation for millions of waiting immigrants through executive actions that will properly reinterpret current immigration law," Mehta said.
He said: "Everyone wants to have a 'legal residency' status, but they cannot because of the imperfections in the system due to insufficient visa numbers. I think this new bill will also benefit essential workers.
Patrice Lawrence, national director of policy and advocacy for the UndocuBlack Network, said, "The diverse visa program is one of the programs that is usually dismissed first when you talk about building or changing immigration policy. He said 80 percent of diversity visas are people from countries on the African continent. "It's one of the only ways they can come to the U.S.," he said.
"The new rule for obtaining a diversity visa is that people must have a valid and unexpired passport which is difficult in many countries around the world, but we can only imagine how difficult it is in COVID-19 times," Lawrence lamented. He noted the importance of considering countries such as Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, Somalia, and Haiti; but especially in disputed countries such as Syria.
"When you talk about 'extension of temporary protected status,' granted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, that means that only currently covered persons can access 'legal' status," Lawrence said, noting that "if a new designation is made and the date is pushed back, that means more people can also benefit, and that's what they did for those coming from Syria over four years," he reported.
In addition, he said that immigrants do not have to meet specific characteristics that some media establish. "I think reporters are used to comparing immigrants to certain types of people, but black people are not one of them," he said.
Later, Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center and the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund, urged for the construction of "a 21st century immigration system based on racial, economic and gender justice. Hincapié said that both organizations in conjunction with other civil organizations were able to sue the administration of former President Donald Trump regarding the Muslim veto as part of its immigration policies; however, she clarified, more actions like these are needed and narrated the terrible separation of a man with his family at JFK airport in New York that caused national and international uproar.
Hincapié said the central issue is to continue working for the reunification of families who have been separated by immigration policies in the past; he noted that both organizations had seen the DACA program threatened since before Trump ran for U.S. president.
In addition, he said that "this legal limbo that causes anxiety, emotional and economic uncertainty that many young immigrants have been living with their families, as well as their employers and classmates," must end. He said that while the Biden administration was right to reinstate the DACA program, a permanent solution must be sought.
"Working with Congress ?is necessary? to make sure that we can provide a pathway to citizenship and a fast track to citizenship not only for immigrant youth and dreamers, but for communities with temporary protected status," Hincapié said. He also noted that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, migrants are afraid to seek help, citing the example of screening for the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, as well as the vaccine that is now available in the United States.
Finally, Hincapié pointed out that they have faith that: "essential workers should be recognized by political actors and that their recognition can be part of an economic recovery bill or support package".
On the other hand, Ravi Ragbir, an activist, began his participation by saying that the immigration phenomenon according to legal status within the U.S. is a matter of racism. "Immigration is racist. And, therefore, what I seek is a total repeal of immigration policies," Ragbir said. He noted that the determination to implement immigration policies happened quickly compared to former President Barack Obama's administration, which, he said, took more than a year, "even though I think the immigration service is racist. It is comparable to the Fugitive Slave Act," he added.
With respect to the administration of former President Donald Trump, he said that "a campaign of terror" was established to terrorize the population, especially families so that the migrant community would make the decision to leave the U.S.; he noted that this campaign of terror caused the migrant community of people from Haiti and countries of the African continent to move to Canada.
Regarding past immigration policies, Ragbir noted, "They don't like to be criticized," or that the debate takes precedence over other issues. He introduced the Immigrant Rights Voices website that presents, on a map, the cases of migrants and the incidents that migrants have had from people being watched to deportation cases across the U.S.
"No one should be deported, especially under this administration," Ragbir said, urging the undocumented immigrant population to reach out to the media and the organizations Hincapié represents.
Ragbir pointed out that deportations destroy individual emotional capacity and also the emotional capacity of separated families. He also reported that about 60,000 migrants from Central America are stranded; however, Ragbir called not to forget that there are also people in transit from countries such as Haiti, India and Bangladesh. He points out that, within the migratory phenomenon, there are also different ethnicities to Latinos or Hispanics, such as Africans or Afro-descendants who also want to enter the US.
"The current administration should continue to do its job as it is doing it," Ragbir said of his optimism about the new immigration policies the Biden administration has announced since taking office.