How Biden and Trump differ on immigration

Mohanad Moetaz
Updated: Aug, 21, 2023
  • Published: September 14, 2020

On November 3rd of this year, the U.S. will choose which presidential candidate will lead the country for the next four years. 

U.S. immigration will look vastly different depending on if America votes in Joe Biden or if incumbent president Donald Trump reclaims the Oval Office.

U.S President Donald Trump has had restrictive immigration policies over his term. Recently, Trump announced an immigration ban until the end of the year, stopping foreign workers from seeking employment in the country. The ban has affected half a million people.

The decision was made in an effort to ensure jobs are going to American citizens, rather than immigrants, at a time of rising unemployment due to COVID-19.

This wasn’t the first time Trump carried out strict immigration measures. The president has previously issued a visa ban against certain Muslim-majority countries and introduced restrictions on the H1-B visa as well as green cards.

Should Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, win the November 3rd election he would look to address, what he considers, the shortcomings of Trump’s immigration policies.

Find out if you are eligible for Canadian immigration 

Biden would also look to reform U.S. immigration and provide a pathway to citizenship for the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., which former president Barack Obama failed to achieve.

Here is where both presidential front-runners stand on immigration.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden’s approach to immigration consists of reversing Trump’s policies. Biden will look to bring back many of the policies introduced under Obama’s presidency.

Biden looks to provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants as well as a fast-track pathway to citizenship for farm workers.

The former vice president would also look into reversing the funding of a border wall, which he supported in 2006 when he voted in favour of the Secure Fence Act, and instead use these financial resources to improve security at ports of entry.

Biden also promises to reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which Trump is looking to end. 

DACA was introduced under President Obama, and allows the deferral of deportation of undocumented individuals who moved to the U.S. as children. The deferred action lasts for two years and is renewable.

He also plans to rescind Trump’s travel ban on certain Muslim-majority countries, as well as raise the number of annual refugee admissions to 125,000.

Biden suggests that to decrease migration to the U.S., it is essential to address the root causes: poverty and violence. In particular, Biden will develop a four-year $4 billion program to “address factors driving migration from Central America” focusing on the Northern Triangle - El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Find out if you are eligible for  Canadian immigration

Donald Trump

Trump has been clear about his immigration policies since he was first elected into office. One of the main promises of his presidential campaign four years ago is the building of a wall on the southern border to stop immigrants from irregularly entering the U.S.

Trump continues to push for the wall.

He has made gaining asylum almost impossible for people fleeing violence. Immigration detention centers have been expanded. Any person crossing the border without proper authorization faces prosecution. 

Trump now seeks a second term while still planning for more immigration policies. For instance, the president will be looking to end the DACA program. 

In addition, Trump will look to introduce merit-based immigration, in an effort to become more selective of immigrants coming into the country. He has cited Canada as an example of what an American merit-based system could look like in the future.

Find out if you are eligible for Canadian immigration

How to immigrate to Canada

There are more than 100 ways to move to Canada. The most popular way is through economic-class immigration as skilled workers. 

Many skilled workers turn to the Express Entry system when considering applying for immigration. Express Entry is the system that the Canadian government uses to manage applications for three federal immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program and Canadian Experience Class.

Canada regularly invites the highest-ranking candidates in the Express Entry pool to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

In fact, Canada recently invited 4,200 immigration candidates to apply for permanent residence in its latest Express Entry draw.

In addition to Express Entry, some foreign tech workers may benefit from a fast-track option through the Global Talent Stream. This allows Canadian employers to quickly hire suitable talent. The processing time is just two weeks after obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) which also takes two weeks. 

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is another major way to immigrate to Canada as an economic class skilled worker.

A provincial nomination practically guarantees receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry system.

Find out if you are eligible for Canadian immigration

© 2020 CIC News All Rights Reserved

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