WASHINGTON – President Biden reopened the country to people looking for a green card on Wednesday, lifting the ban on legal immigration introduced by President Donald J. Trump last spring, citing what he said was the need to protect U.S. jobs during the pandemic.
In a manifesto, Mr Biden said the ban “did not advance the interests of the United States” and challenged Trump’s claims that protecting the U.S. economy during a health crisis would exclude the country from other countries in the world.
“On the contrary,” Mr. Biden said of his predecessor’s immigration ban, “it is detrimental to the United States, among other things, by preventing certain family members of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents from joining their families here. It is also detrimental to U.S. industries that tap into talent from around the world. “
The President’s action was the latest example of an effort to repress Mr Trump’s attack on the nation’s immigration system. Since taking office, Mr Biden has issued several enforcement orders and directives to lift restrictions on immigrants over the past four years.
In April, as the coronavirus crisis worsened, Mr. Trump ordered a “break” in the issuance of green cards, one of the primary ways foreigners can get permission to live and work in the United States.
At the time, Mr. Trump described his action as defending Americans, millions of whom lost their jobs as the threat of the coronavirus shut down the economy.
“By pausing immigration, we’re helping put unemployed Americans in first place in the job as America reopens. It’s so important, Mr. Trump said. “It would be wrong and unfair to replace Americans fired by the virus with a new influx of immigrant labor. We have to take care of the American worker first.
Mr Trump’s critics have accused him of using the pandemic as an excuse to further advance his agenda of strictly restricting immigration. And many scholars have noted that studies have repeatedly questioned the idea that immigration poses a direct threat to U.S. jobs because many immigrants take on jobs that Americans do not want.
Mr. Biden echoed that feeling. In his manifesto, he wrote that “unrestricted entry of people applying for a green card into the United States” stated that “it does not harm the interests of the United States.”
Foreigners seeking to move to the United States can try to become “legal permanent residents,” also known as green cards, that allow them to live in the country and eventually apply for citizenship.
Mr. Trump’s cry didn’t stop U.S. citizens from trying to bring their spouses or children to the United States. But this has banned other foreigners, including relatives of green card holders and those who apply for a green card under a job offer.
According to an analysis by the Migration Policy Institute at the time, the policy could affect up to 660,000 people.
Mr. Biden has vowed to restore U.S. immigration policy to what it was before Trump became president. It has increased the number of refugees that can be resettled in the country and has taken steps to process applications from asylum seekers waiting in stack camps on the Mexican border.
But Mr Biden also proposed a wider overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, fulfilling the campaign promise he made on the first day of his presidency to send legislation to Congress.
In his legislation, the president would provide an eight-year path to citizenship for the vast majority of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. The legislation in the House and Senate was proposed by Mr. Biden’s democratic allies, but it is unclear whether he can gain enough Republican support to get through the Senate.