05 Apr Biden’s Office Rejects Strict Immigration Guidelines Followed by Trump Government
Considered as a reversal from Trump’s era policy, President Joe Biden announced that his administration would not reject specific immigration benefits applications on Thursday.
Trump’s administration was highly criticized for rejecting those applications with blank spaces submitted for immigration benefits like asylum or relief from certain crimes. These applications were submitted to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This policy was considered an attempt to further crack down on legal immigration and lead to the rejection or delay of several applicants suffering from a humanitarian crisis.
This Trump-era rule also stopped people from getting approved for family-based immigration, especially during the pandemic.
According to the American Immigration Lawyers Association, applications with an unfilled middle name, passport number, travel number and other names were automatically rejected.
However, with the change in presidency and reversal of Trump’s policies, USCIS made changes to their official website stating, “We will not automatically reject your form if you leave a space blank. However, we may reject your form or your case might take more time if you leave required spaces blank, if you do not respond to questions related to filing requirements, or if you omit any required initial evidence, as indicated in the form instructions or regulations.”
In an attempt to describe Trump-era’s policy, USCIS’s spokesperson Anita Rios Moore said that the implementation process followed from October 2019 to December 2020 was initiated to improve operational efficiency. However, according to the American Immigration Lawyers Association, this process was halted for asylum applicants and visa petitions for certain crime victims.
According to Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, the reversal of Trump’s policy would increase the applicants’ predictability and their applications will be taken more seriously, as they should. She also added that this policy would also benefit USCIS as extra steps of scanning the documents for blank spaces will be eliminated.