2021 AILA Conference: Day 1, Session 2: Family-based Immigration Under Biden
2021 AILA Conference Family-based Immigration Under Biden Summary:
In this video, Attorney Joseph Tsang discusses several ways about how family-based immigration under Biden will work and celebrates some breaking news on how it’ll be better than during the previous administration. Will any of these changes affect you?
Learn more by watching the full video.
Full Video Transcript
Hi everyone, this is Joseph. Welcome back to day one, session two, hot topics family-based immigration in the time of Biden. There’s no better organization to talk about this other than AILA, and AILA has invited some of the most outstanding attorneys to talk about this particular subject. Even before President Biden was elected, AILA has been tracking and following their policies, presenting memos, talking about what it’s going to be like, and now that he’s here, let’s see what he’s going to do, and these group of attorneys, these panelists, are sharing their key insights. Let’s get to it.
[Tsang Intro Splash]
[0:37] The craziest thing to take away from this session is that things are happening so fast in immigration that even the speakers can’t keep up with it. So these speakers have been preparing for months for this particular event, right? They have their notes, they had a PowerPoint, but then all these breaking news happened yesterday and today, and half of their talk is now reformatted. So what are some of the biggest things that just happened right now, and by the time this video is released, probably new things are happening, so this doesn’t even cover everything, but let’s get started.
[1:06] Number one: Biden is giving prosecutors a lot more discretionary power to decide which cases to drop. This applies to all the humanitarian cases, the U visas, the VAWA, all of those things where it’s just so sympathetic, and the cases should be dropped. We shouldn’t deport these individuals, and they should be permitted to stay. So prior to Biden, well, they had a lot less discretionary power because the policy was to kick out everybody that needs to be kicked out. If they’re unlawful, “I’m not going to give you a humanitarian exception. you’re out.” Right? And so now that was that hardline approach to immigration is softening up, and this was made real because of the newly appointed ICE Chief Council, John Travina, and this exciting news because he issued this memo now giving all the prosecutors the authority to drop cases and we’re geeking out here when we saw that memo because one of the managing partners here at Tsang & Associates worked as the political consultant directly under him when he was the president of the Mexican-American Legal Defense Education Fund, basically the NAACP for Mexicans here in the United States. He’s amazing, he’s a smart guy, he’s brilliant, and he’s gonna make some really good changes to ICE.
[2:17] Now all the panelists are super excited about this memo, but they’re optimistic for more, right? Because yes, the prosecutors have the discretionary authority to drop these deportation cases based on humanitarian reasons, but if you just drop a case now, the client is in limbo. Well, you need this additional positive factor. What status are you going to be able to grant them? Are they going to be able to get a work permit? So that’s what they’re looking forward to, and that’s the optimistic feel of all the panelists.
[2:45] And the second big USCIS change is what USCIS just dropped today on the day of their presentation, of breaking news, right? Three big changes: Number one, expedited processing is available for certain types of cases. With all the backlog that’s going on with USCIS, with certain cases taking three years, four years, when it really should only be like two months, now USCIS is saying, “Now you can expedite these types of cases,” so that is huge for anybody who’s in those categories.
Another big change is that the current policy of not issuing requests for evidence or notice of intent to deny, that policy about not issuing those things and just directly denying the case if something is not correct, well, that policy is no more, and they’re going back to the original policy that’s been there for the longest time that if you submitted an application and there’s something wrong with it, well, USCIS, the government will issue you a request for evidence, giving you an opportunity to correct those mistakes, whether it’s a typographical mistake or you didn’t include a certain key document that you should have.
[3:55] So those particular things, well, it was canceled under the Trump presidency, they were going to be, “Well, no, if you didn’t do your job in submitting everything, we’re going to deny it and you have to submit it again.” That’s a pretty harsh rule. It isn’t just like a mortgage application that’s relatively simple and no big deal if you lose. Some of these cases, if you filed and it gets denied, your life is over, you have to leave the country, you have to get deported, you get no second chance. So being super hard-lined about something like this is quite difficult. Now, from a business perspective, Trump being largely a businessman is, sure, it’s more profitable for the government. I will deny all the applications that don’t fulfill the basic requirements. You might have not signed a particular form, we deny, you have to pay the filing fee all over again. Sure, it makes the government more money, but is it just? Is it fair? Is it American? That’s the question, right? And so now, under this policy, this newest one by USCIS, they’re getting rid of that policy, and they’re going back to the request for evidence and NOID. If your application has a problem, you will get a second chance to correct it.
[5:11] And the third big change that just got dropped today is before, work permit renewals went back down to one year. Now it’s going back to two years, right? So it was two years for the longest time, and then during the Trump presidency, boom, it became one year. Well, now it’s going back to two years. Why? Because every single time, it takes sometimes four to six months just to review the application for something that only takes one year. Imagine if you’re buying a Disney annual pass to the theme park and you buy a year-long pass and it takes six months before they give you that ticket. It kind of doesn’t make much sense, and sometimes it takes even longer than six months before you get that ticket. So the application to produce this work permit before you get the issuance of this work permit, it was two years for the longest time, and now it is back to two years. Woohoo!
[6:00] So the main takeaway that the panelists want to share with everybody who’s watching and listening is that we’re hopeful of what’s to come. We’re sharing notes on what’s working and how we can improve. Maybe you feel stuck, and you’ve just been in the situation for too long, and now there’s actually something that’s being done. New prosecutors have new memo and new guidance, and there are new policies that’s coming about. How can we help together? How can we help the agency? How can we help the presidency? How can we help the courts? How can we help each other in making this country better? This is a mess that we’re in. There’s a lot of things that need to be fixed, and we’re all in this and fixing it together. These are some of the best panelists. Feel free to reach out to them if you have any questions. They will be happy to answer. You feel free to reach out to me if you have anything that you want to say as well. Feel free to leave a comment below. This has been an exciting panel, and I can’t wait to talk to you more.
[6:55] That’s it for today’s video on what the future of family-based immigration is going to be like in the age of Biden. Now this is not it; the conference is still going on, and we are going to talk about what the future of business immigration law is going to be like, what litigation is going to be like, what the government’s response is on all these things that we’re doing. We’re inviting government officials from the Department of State, Homeland Security to come to this event. We have the best attorneys that are going to be speaking on these particular subjects. These are such riveting and policy-changing things that I can’t wait to share with you. So if you like what you see, please hit that like button, subscribe, and leave a comment below. Can’t wait to engage and hear your story.
Well, that’s it for now. I’ll see you later. Bye.