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Trump's And Biden's Plans On Immigration

Tony Webster and Rey Perezoso/Flickr; Caroline Amenabar/NPR

Key priorities

Joe Biden

  • Do away with restrictions to immigration put in place during the Trump administration and stop construction of Trump's border wall.
  • Provide a "road map to citizenship" for people living in the United States illegally.
  • Expand resources to immigrants already residing in the United States.
  • Read more about Biden's plans below.
  • Donald Trump

  • Finish the border wall between the United States and Mexico.
  • Implement additional restrictions on immigration.
  • Read more about Trump's plans below.

  • Biden's plans for immigration

    Much of Biden's immigration plan centers around reversing a significant number of President Trump's current policies. This includes stopping construction on the border wall, fully eliminating the practice of separating immigrant families at the U.S. border and ending current bans on people from certain Muslim-majority countries traveling to the United States.

    Biden also calls for a reversal of Trump's restrictions toward granting asylum and temporary protected status and instead wants to raise the cap on the number of refugees brought into the country to 125,000 per year.

    Biden additionally has pledged to work to make the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, permanent on his first day as president.

    His immigration plan notably pushes for further oversight, regulation and instruction of Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as Customs and Border Protection, saying the agencies must "abide by professional standards" as well as be "held accountable for inhumane treatment," given a series of reported abuses.

    As for new policy implementation, Biden says he will "modernize" the nation's immigration infrastructure, vowing, on Day 1, to send legislation to Congress that would offer a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented people in the country. He's also called for a moratorium on deportations during the first 100 days of his administration.

    On obtaining visas, Biden says he wants to make both permanent and temporary work visas more accessible.

    Biden is additionally proposing several initiatives through the federal government's Task Force on New Americans, aimed at supporting immigrants living in the United States. This task force would create local offices of immigrant affairs and informational hubs throughout the country that would provide resources on accessible health care and education systems as well as employment opportunities.

    Trump's plans for immigration

    Trump's second-term agenda on immigration builds on the foundation he set in his first term, notably continuing construction of the border wall, restricting immigration and opposing so-called sanctuary cities, where local law enforcement has limited coordination with federal immigration officials.

    His campaign singles out the need to end human trafficking and remove "non-citizen gang members" from the country but gives no plan or further explanation on those processes. His campaign has not released further details on any of these goals.

    Recently in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Trump has tightened regulations on legal immigration and international work travel to the U.S. by limiting the distribution of visas, arguing it will help boost American employment. The U.S. has also taken steps to limit people successfully obtaining asylum.

    See more of the major presidential candidates' key policy agendas here.

    NPR White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe and political correspondent Asma Khalid contributed to this report.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

    Elena Moore is a production assistant for the NPR Politics Podcast. She also fills in as a reporter for the NewsDesk. Moore previously worked as a production assistant for Morning Edition. During the 2020 presidential campaign, she worked for the Washington Desk as an editorial assistant, doing both research and reporting. Before coming to NPR, Moore worked at NBC News. She is a graduate of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and is originally and proudly from Brooklyn, N.Y.