From Seyfarth’s December 7, 2020 Policy Matters Newsletter:
President-Elect Biden has indicated that he will seek to completely overhaul the current administration’s immigration policies, as well rescind the numerous Executive Orders issued by President Trump to enforce those policies. As we discussed in our Election 2020 Special Report, Biden supports expanding guest-worker programs, maintaining family preferences, giving a green card to everyone who earns a doctorate from an American university, increasing refugee admissions, and expanding employment-based visas. Biden, however, will have his work cut out for him, not only in the amount of X-marks he’ll have to scribe — according to the Migration Policy Institute, the Trump administration took over 400 executive actions on immigration between January 2017 and July 2020 — but also in flexing his powers as chief executive of the heavily-bureaucratic, 19,000-employee USCIS office, and a 20,000-employee ICE office. So it should come as no surprise that, as noted recently in the Washington Post, some shifts could take time. But some shifts could also be expedited: Seyfarth’s Angelo Paparelli and Stephen Yale-Loehr presented “four fresh ideas” in a recent blog post addressed to the incoming administration that it could take within the first few months of office — none requiring congressional action. We encourage the read. An additional speedbump in Trump’s immigration agenda was recently raised when a federal judge in California on Tuesday struck down the administration’s policies narrowing eligibility and raising minimum salaries for foreign employees on H-1B work visas. The court found that the administration failed to properly follow transparency procedures and that its claims that the changes were an emergency response to the pandemic’s economic fallout were unsubstantiated.