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Updated 24 November 2020

Biden promises US immigration reform

LOS ANGELES: Arabs could see increased access to US immigration as President-elect Joe Biden has promised to remove the Trump administration’s ban on travel from mainly Muslim-majority countries and to increase the nation’s maximum number of refugee admissions.

Biden also plans to halt construction on the US-Mexico border wall.

“I think he very much wants to show that he’s different from Donald Trump,” said Chris Faulkner, a senior National Strategist at political marketing firm Majority Strategies. “There’s a lot of people that gave him a lot of money, a lot of people that supported him. They see the wall as more than just a border. They see it as racist and he very much wants to prove that he is not Donald Trump.”

While stopping construction could be as simple as issuing an executive order, undoing the Trump-era budget cuts to refugee resettlement infrastructure and working through the backlog of applications will take time. 

“Joe Biden has been a US senator longer than I’ve been alive. So he's been a part of American government for a long time,” said Faulkner. “He has pushed some very conservative policies in the past when he was a younger man. He advocated invading Iraq and Afghanistan and other countries. So I don’t think he is as liberal maybe as some people think. But I think that people around him including the Vice President will push him to open up immigration.”

Experts forecast that between dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and managing what is so far a divided congress, any Biden administration action toward immigration reform could take up to an entire four year term to be completed.