United States President, Joe Biden, has overturned an order by his predecessor restricting many green card applicants from gaining access into the US.
Former President Donald Trump had given the order last year, stating that it will protect the employed population of America in the face of COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Biden does not agree with the ideology and argued that it prevented families from reuniting and also wreaked havoc on the US business.
“To the contrary, it harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here,” the statement reads.
In October, a federal judge in California blocked Trump’s ban on those foreign guest workers as it affected hundreds of thousands of US businesses that fought the policy in court.
Biden pledged to reverse many of Trump’s hardline immigration policies. Immigrant advocates had pressed in recent weeks for him to lift the visa ban, which was set to expire on March 31.
“I’m thrilled that Biden has cancelled this green card proclamation,” Curtis Morrison, an immigration lawyer based in California, told Al Jazeera.
“But I’m also worried,” said Morrison, explaining that the US is currently facing a backlog of hundreds of thousands of visa applicants.
“That backlog may take [Biden’s] entire first term to clear out, unless he is ambitious to doing something to solve that problem.”
Since taking office on January 20, Biden has overturned several of Trump’s anti-immigration policies, including the so-called Muslim ban and a policy that forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their US asylum applications are processed.
But his efforts, including a bill unveiled this month that would create an eight-year pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people who live in the US are expected to be met with stiff resistance by Republicans in Congress.