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Biden’s Plan for Refugees & Asylum

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What changes can Joe Biden do to the refugee and asylum process? Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer, practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. You know, we've been celebrating the last couple of days in the victory of the new president elect, Joe Biden, and his daughter of immigrants vice president, Kamala Harris. We're thinking about the changes that might come about under a new president.

Now, you might not be aware, but the president, President Trump, was able to slow down immigration by almost 50% to the United States during his tenure. That's without any change in the law. That's just in the new enforcement first, and the purposeful slowdown at Immigration. So, legal immigration in and of itself has been slowed down. In this video, we're talking about the attacks that Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, William Barr, and Stephen Miller launched on the asylum process, and the refugee process.

Let's talk about refugees first. Historically, the United States has been able, under a federal law, to take in up to 125,000 refugees every year. Donald Trump kept cutting that number in half and half and half. This year, I think we're supposed to take in around 18,000, might be 8,000, refugees. So, the first thing the Donald Trump policy that'll be taken out when it comes to refugees, is Joe Biden's team is going to knock that number back up to 125,000. We should be seeing a lot more refugees, people from war torn countries, finally able to come to the United States.

They've been in this years long process to come as a refugee. It takes years and years. It was easy for Donald Trump to vilify these people, but I never really understood it, because they're the most fully vetted people who come to the United States. They get years and years of inquiry and background checks to make sure their story's straight. I never really understood it, other than it was great, bloody red meat for his base, and it fired up Fox News.

On the asylum side, man, I'll tell you, there is not a part of the immigration world that was under more attack these last four years than the asylum process. We frankly have filed, I think, two or three asylum cases this year. Usually we file about 40 a year. I think a lot of people had just given up hope. The denial rates were through the roof. The asylum office was being encouraged to deny as many cases as possible. Then when you get sent to the immigration court for your defense of asylum application before an immigration judge, those judges were having their denial rates tracked, and they were rewarded for the more denials that they provided. Just the overall asylum structure was very much anti-immigrant.

Also famously with asylum, President Trump and his administration refused to follow international law and U.S. law by allowing asylum seekers from Central America to apply at the border, at the ports of entry, for asylum. Joe Biden's going to do away with that, and our asylum process at the border will be a whole lot more humane, a whole lot more streamlined, and a whole lot more legal. Frankly, what the Trump administration did down there was one of their greatest crimes. I think there's plenty of graft and grift and outright chicanery from the Trump family in running the White House. But, as far as war crimes, and the violations of federal and international law, what happened at the border is really one of the worst.

Then also, you might not understand or know how things work, but the Board of Immigration appeals, which is where your case goes if you lose your deportation or your asylum case, that office is ultimately run by the Attorney General. The Attorney General can rewrite interpretation of law right away. William Barr has been doing that, making it harder and harder and harder to make asylum claims. It's anticipated that whomever President Biden appoints to be the Attorney General, that that Attorney General will then be able to undo a lot of those really harsh Board of Immigration appeals decisions, and put back, put back into place a lot of the asylum protections that were there to keep people from being persecuted back in their home country. We're excited about that.

Let me just make sure I don't have any other asylum notes. Yeah. Then the last thing is, is that with the work card. Trump and Stephen Miller like to act that asylum cases are fake, and that people are just doing them for work cards. They've made getting work cards and renewing work cards much harder and harsher. We anticipate that the Biden Administration will undo that.

So, it's an exciting time if you care about asylees, asylum seekers, and refugees. If you have any questions about the asylum process or about refugees, give us a call, 314-961-8200. You can email us at [email protected]. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. We'd love to see in there. We post new things in there every day. If you like this video, subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you get updates whenever we make videos, just like this one. And be sure to find us on Instagram @hackinglawpracticeLLC. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

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