Immigration Policy

Immigration Policy

CMSOnAir | Daniela Alulema on the Contributions of DACA Recipients

As the Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding the Trump administration’s efforts to terminate the DACA program, CMS released a paper offering detailed estimates about DACA recipients, their economic contributions, and their deep ties to US communities. The paper, which also features testimonies of several DACA recipients, was subsequently published in the Journal on Migration and Human Security (JMHS). In this episode, Daniela Alulema — who is author of the JMHS paper, CMS’s Director of Programs, and herself a DACA recipient — describes the paper’s findings, shares the stories of the DACA recipients, and outlines potential policy directions for the DACA program.

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The US Citizenship Act of 2021: What’s Inside and Who Could be Eligible for Immigration Relief

On January 20, 2021, President Biden announced the US Citizenship Act of 2021 memorializing his commitment to modernize the US immigration system. On February 18, 2021, Senator Bob Mendez and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez introduced the bill to the Senate and House (respectively). If passed, it would create the largest legalization program in US history. This page provides an overview of the act’s provisions.

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Protected: President Biden’s Executive Actions on Immigration

On his first day in office, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. issued a number of orders, proclamations, and directives that reversed harmful policies enacted by the Trump administration and sought to put the US immigration system on a far different course. These executive actions:

  • Ended the discriminatory travel bans;
  • Sought to revise US immigration enforcement priorities
  • Protected Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients;
  • Temporarily halted construction of the US-Mexico Border Wall;
  • Ensured that all US-residents, including undocumented immigrants, are counted in the 2020 Census; and
  • Reinstated Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians.

President Biden also sent the US Citizenship Act of 2021 to Congress. If passed by the Senate and House, this bill would represent the most sweeping immigration reform legislation in decades and lead to the largest legalization program in US history, larger than the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Biden’s administrative actions will reshape the US immigration system and federal agencies after four years of aggressive actions to restrict immigration.

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President Biden’s Executive Actions on Immigration

On his first day in office, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. issued a number of orders, proclamations, and directives that reversed harmful policies enacted by the Trump administration and sought to put the US immigration system on a far different course. These executive actions:

  • Ended the discriminatory travel bans;
  • Sought to revise US immigration enforcement priorities
  • Protected Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients;
  • Temporarily halted construction of the US-Mexico Border Wall;
  • Ensured that all US-residents, including undocumented immigrants, are counted in the 2020 Census; and
  • Reinstated Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians.

President Biden also sent the US Citizenship Act of 2021 to Congress. If passed by the Senate and House, this bill would represent the most sweeping immigration reform legislation in decades and lead to the largest legalization program in US history, larger than the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Biden’s administrative actions will reshape the US immigration system and federal agencies after four years of aggressive actions to restrict immigration.

Read More

New from IMR: Migration Infrastructure, Policy, and Public Attitudes

The Fall 2020 edition of the International Migration Review (IMR) is now available online and in print through paid or institutional subscription. This edition is thematically sorted into four sections. The first section has articles about different aspects of migration infrastructure. The second section discusses migrant labor market outcomes, with a focus on education, employment, and selection. The third section examines migration policies across scales, such as local voting, geopolitical influences, and enforcement questions. The fourth section examines immigration and public attitudes focusing on political elites and media use. Lastly, this edition includes 11 book reviews which are free to access.

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Panel III • The 2020 Election: An Administrative Agenda for Immigration and Refugee Reform

The US Presidential and Congressional election could have as profound an effect on the course of US immigration and refugee policy as any election in memory. This panel examined the potential immigration and refugee agenda of the Biden administration, with a particular focus on what the new administration should seek to achieve through administrative action in its first year. It also explored the challenges the new administration will face in enacting its agenda, and whether multiple national crises – public health, racial, economic, and immigration – will provide an opening and momentum for more generous and inclusive policies.

MODERATOR
Daniela Alulema

Director of Programs
Center for Migration Studies

SPEAKERS
T. Alexander Aleinikoff

University Professor
Director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility
The New School

Donald Kerwin
Executive Director
Center for Migration Studies

Charles Wheeler
Director of Training and Legal Support
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

Wendy Young
President
Kids in Need of Defense

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Improving the U.S. Immigration System in the First Year of the Biden Administration

The Biden administration will face substantial challenges in putting immigration and refugee policy back on track—not just reversing ill-advised policies of the past four years but also improving a system that was in need of reform well before the current administration took office. In this paper, T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Donald Kerwin highlight a number of reforms that should be prioritized by the Biden administration in its first year.

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2020 Fr. Lydio F. Tomasi, C.S. Annual Lecture on International Migration | Mobility and Lockdown: Challenges to the Human

Established in 2014, the Fr. Lydio F. Tomasi, C.S. Annual Lecture on International Migration addresses a migration-related topic of pressing concern to faith communities. Fr. Tomasi, a founding member of the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS), directed the institute from 1968 to 2001. Co-sponsored with the University of Notre Dame, the 2020 Fr. Lydio F. Tomasi, C.S. Annual Lecture on International Migration was delivered by His Eminence Cardinal Michael F. Czerny, SJ, Under-Secretary for the Migrants & Refugees Section of the Vatican Dicastery for Human Development.

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Mobility and Lockdown: Challenges to the Human

The 2020 Father Lydio F. Tomasi, C.S. Annual Lecture on International Migration was delivered by His Eminence Cardinal Michael F. Czerny, SJ, Under-Secretary for the Migrants & Refugees Section of the Vatican Dicastery for Human Development.

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More than a Wall: The Rise and Fall of US Asylum and Refugee Policy

This article uses a multidisciplinary approach — analyzing historical sources, refugee and asylum admissions data, legislative provisions, and public opinion data — to track the rise and fall of the US asylum and refugee policy. It shows that there has always been a political struggle between people who advocate for a generous refugee and asylum system and those who oppose it. Today, the flexible system of protecting refugees and asylees, established in 1980, is giving way to policies that weaponize them.

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