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

T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Donald Kerwin
Date of Publication: 
November, 2020
Source Organization: 
Center for Migration Studies

The incoming 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.  A new report, co-authored by T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Donald Kerwin, proposes reforms that cover 12 categories of issues:

  • Refugee policy
  • Asylum
  • Travel bans
  • Legal immigration
  • DACA
  • Detention
  • Border enforcement and accountability
  • Interior enforcement
  • Criminal prosecutions
  • Legal access and representation; adjudication backlogs
  • COVID-19-related policies
  • Segregation of responsibilities within DHS

The recommendations seek to affirm the fundamental values and principles that animate the U.S. immigration system, including a sense of the United States as a country of welcome, a firm commitment to refugee protection and assistance, respect for due process and non-discrimination in enforcement, the importance of protecting and supporting immigrant communities and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children and other deserving groups.

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Aleinikoff, T. & Kerwin, D. (2020, November). Improving the U.S. Immigration System in the First Year of the Biden Administration. Center for Migration Studies.