Several members of the AILA Media Advocacy Committee shared their hopes for the incoming administration and what next year may bring:

“The Trump administration’s reign of terror on immigrants is almost over. As we look ahead to the Biden-Harris administration, I’m feeling very hopeful about what’s to come. We expect this administration to appreciate, value, protect, and safeguard immigrants, and we will continue advocating for our clients in the years ahead.” – Fiona McEntee, Chicago, IL, Committee Chair

“Broadly, what I am most hopeful for with the incoming administration is the return of this country to its original values—as a place that is welcoming to immigrants and a safe haven to those who are suffering. Specifically, how I hope that vision is translated with this incoming administration is with the establishment of an Article I Immigration Court; the return of USCIS to its original mission as an administrative adjudications agency that will significantly address its backlog; and finally, a bolstering of the programs that help our most vulnerable populations (a surge of experts/professionals at the border to provide multi-disciplinary, holistic assistance to asylum seekers; an increase in the cap in U visas; an increase in the provision of, and reduction in the wait times for, work permits for those seeking humanitarian-based benefits, such as asylum, VAWA, U/T visas).” – Evangeline Chan, New York, NY, Committee Vice Chair

“I hope that the Biden Administration rebuilds a bureaucracy of skilled, dedicated immigration professionals who will combine professionalism and empathy to provide services to immigrants. I am also hopeful that President Biden will appoint leadership at immigration agencies who will bring a level of technical expertise that is matched only by their sense of urgency around weaving back together the fabric of the American Dream. We need nerds with big imaginations, big hearts, and a lot of caffeine to efficiently eradicate the legacy of Stephen Miller with an equal and opposite fervor.” – Sandra Feist, Minneapolis, MN

“With the Biden Administration comes the hope for a return to civility and humanity.  Each case is a person with hopes and dreams to study, work or live safely in the United States and this cannot be forgotten.  A return to welcoming temporary and long-term immigrants will improve our economy through the diversity of ideas, people, and skills that arrive to enhance our businesses, communities, and America’s globally-leading innovation engine.” – Matthew Maiona, Boston, MA

“For at least the past quarter century, millions of Americans have been patiently waiting for a more modern and functional immigration system. The Biden-Harris team should recognize the urgency of the matter and provide solutions in earnest.  Using immigration issue as a political football is no longer tenable.” – Ally Bolour, Los Angeles, CA

“I look forward to how the Biden Administration will undo the immeasurable harm caused by President Trump, Stephen Miller, and the anti-immigrant right. I am ready for the cancellation of the xenophobic Muslim ban, the end of the public charge wealth test, and the growth of our asylum system into something more humane and welcoming than the nightmare that has developed over the last four years. I am eager to see protections put in place for DACA and TPS recipients, the parents of US citizens, and those who have been wrongfully kept out of the United States by the immense cruelty of the Migrant Protection Protocols. The Biden Administration certainly has its work cut out, but I am confident that we can reestablish the United States as a country worth immigrating to.” – Sarah Pitney, Washington, DC

“As we usher in a Biden-Harris administration, may they have the courage to commit to uphold justice and due process for litigants facing removal proceeding in the United States. Administrative courts can and do change the real trajectory of people’s lives and if constitutional protections define America then that definition should mean something. It is my hope that the new administration commits to reforming the immigration court system so that those who enter its doors are not automatically engulfed by darkness and instead find the light of liberty awaiting them.” – Rekha Sharma-Crawford, Kansas City, MO

“The reality is that Biden’s window to “fix” immigration is very short, perhaps as little at 10 months. My hope is that he not get caught up in a “Grand Plan” if it means that we don’t get the essentials done—DACA to Residence, TPS Adjustment, Elimination of the 3/10/Permanent bars, a pathway to legality for the undocumented, and not counting derivatives for immigrant visas.  Do these, and we can worry about the other stuff later.” – Charles Kuck, Atlanta, GA

“I’m excited that the new administration promises to restore our nation’s status as one that welcomes immigrants. I’m hopeful that they will not only reinstate DACA but find a permanent solution for Dreamers. I’m looking forward to an administration that does not view asylum as a “loophole” and the lawyers who help asylees as “dirty”. Finally, I’m hopeful that the Biden/Harris administration will reform the employment-based system to reflect the actual needs of our economy and recognize the many ways in which immigrants contribute to our economic growth.” – Shannon Shepherd, Chicago, IL


WATCH a video about AILA’s Vision for America as a Welcoming Nation and the recommendations made to the Biden-Harris administration.