We’re closer to 2021 every day, and many people are asking what types of changes they may see in the new year. For immigrants and prospective immigrants, a lot of these questions center around immigration policies. Are they going to change in the near future? What types of changes can you expect to see?
Generally, improper entry to the United States is illegal. Immigrants are supposed to follow the proper procedures and make sure that they have their paperwork in order. While it’s likely that it still won’t be encouraged or permitted, the future vice president has argued that it shouldn’t qualify as a criminal offense. This viewpoint could at least influence policy moving forward, if not altering it fundamentally.
The DACA program was set up to help childhood arrivals. Essentially, it prevented them from deportation and offered a path to get a green card, even if they came to the United States illegally, if that illegal entry happened when they were children. It seemed unfair to deport adults who, as children, had no say in where their parents took them. The new administration may expand the ages that qualify, may make it easier to get a green card and will generally support the program.
A faster process?
There has also been an emphasis on speeding up the process for those who seemed trapped in an endless loop while trying to get a green card. It can take years. The new vice president has expressed interest in speeding this up so that people don’t have to wait so long while following all of the proper legal channels.
Similarly, there has been talk of streamlining the naturalization process. This could cause decisions to be made faster and may remove “unreasonable” fees that act as a barrier for many.
Nothing is set in stone yet, but it’s clear that immigration policies may change as we move forward, and it’s important for everyone to know how these changes may impact them.