Since his first day in office, President Biden has called on Congress to secure our border and address our broken immigration system. Despite Congressional Republicans prioritizing partisan politics over national security by twice voting against significant reform, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken decisive actions to secure the border, including:

  • Executive Actions: Barred migrants who cross the Southern border unlawfully from receiving asylum when encounters are high.
  • Law Enforcement Deployment: Record numbers of personnel, infrastructure, and technology deployed to the Southern border.
  • Fentanyl Seizures: Record amounts seized at ports of entry.
  • Visa Revocations: Targeting CEOs and officials profiting from unlawful immigration.
  • Human Smuggling Crackdown: Expanded efforts to dismantle smuggling networks and prosecute violators.

President Biden firmly believes that securing the border is essential while also expanding lawful pathways and keeping families together. Immigrants who have been in the United States for decades, paying taxes and contributing to their communities, are integral to the social fabric of our country. The Day One immigration reform plan sent to Congress reflects the need for both a secure border and protections for long-term undocumented residents. Despite Congress’s failure to act, the Administration has worked to strengthen the lawful immigration system, defending DACA and expanding family reunification programs.

New Actions for Family Unity and Economic Contribution

On June 18, 2024, President Biden announced new actions to keep American families together and allow more young people to contribute to the economy. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will ensure that U.S. citizens with noncitizen spouses and children can stay together. This process allows eligible noncitizen spouses and children to apply for lawful permanent residence without leaving the country, promoting family unity and economic strength.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Noncitizens must have resided in the U.S. for 10 or more years as of June 17, 2024.
  • Must be legally married to a U.S. citizen and satisfy all legal requirements.
  • Those approved will have a three-year period to apply for permanent residency and work authorization.

This action will protect approximately half a million spouses of U.S. citizens and 50,000 noncitizen children under 21, whose parent is married to a U.S. citizen.

Supporting DACA Recipients and College Graduates

President Biden is also taking action to facilitate employment visas for individuals, including DACA recipients and other Dreamers, who have earned degrees from accredited U.S. institutions and received job offers in related fields. This initiative ensures that those educated in the U.S. can quickly receive work visas, benefiting both the individuals and the national economy.

For decades, fear has driven policies that imposed severe punishments on immigrants, such as the unlawful presence bars, which forced many to serve ten-year penalties abroad before applying for legal permanent residence. These policies separated families and kept immigrants in fear, facing a daunting and lengthy waiver process.

Today, love triumphed over fear. President Biden’s new executive actions provide a path to permanent residence and citizenship for spouses of U.S. citizens and support DACA recipients with degrees and job offers in crucial fields like technology and engineering. These developments represent hope and a significant step forward for those who have lived in uncertainty for years.

At Garvish Immigration Law Group, we celebrate these changes and stand ready to assist those impacted by these new policies. As we are always Practicing Law with Love, we are here to support you every step of the way.

Read the official statement from the White House. 

About the Author

Elizabeth Garvish
Founder at Garvish Immigration Law Group | (800) 951-4980 | | Profile | + posts

Elizabeth L.A. Garvish founded Garvish Immigration Law Group, LLC in 2011 after practicing immigration law in small boutique firms, big law and nonprofits. Elizabeth is a frequent speaker and presenter on entrepreneurship and U.S. immigration topics around the world. She is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and serves on various national committees and is the Past Chair of the Georgia-Alabama Chapter of AILA. Elizabeth is also a certified member of the EO Global Speakers Academy.