There was a myriad of problems occurring in the US under Donald Trump's presidency; one of the most egregious and perhaps most obscure problems was a growing immigration crisis. While US citizens have been rocked by COVID-19, a rise in white supremacy, and several climate threats over the last four years, undocumented immigrants and those seeking to immigrate to the US legally have faced harsh immigration policies under the Trump administration. It's no secret that Trump's presidential term was fraught with anti-immigration sentiments, but many don't realize how bad it truly was and how drastically it's bound to change under the Biden administration.

Trump's impact on US immigration

There are currently 11 million undocumented people (approximately) in the US. Many of those people have tirelessly sought out a way to get a green card or visa so that they can legally stay in the country. The Trump administration made it unbelievably difficult for undocumented people and immigrants to legally stay in the US. His term started creating a massive backlog of easily verifiable immigration claims, enforcing a ban on green cards, and enacting Presidential Proclamation 10014, which suspended immigrants' entry if deemed a threat to economic recovery following the coronavirus outbreak. The often-heard talking point of restricting immigration and strictly allowing people to immigrate legally goes out the window when the same person making that point tries to make it virtually impossible to even immigrate legally.

This is the Trump administration's legacy, and as Biden has taken office, he has made moves to make sure it won't be his.

Biden's administration and Democratic Party lawmakers' effort to change immigration

The first actions taken by the Biden administration and Democratic lawmakers have been the lift on Trump's ban on green cards, repeal of the ban on immigrants from certain primarily Muslim countries, and the recession of Presidential Proclamation 10014.

These Trump-era immigration policies, known for being outlandishly cruel and strict, were the first to go at the start of this new president's term. Finally, giving current and future immigrants to the US some room to breathe, Biden's administration has only gotten started with long-awaited immigration reform. Now that Democrats control the House of Representatives, Senate, and White House, Biden is freed-up to help undocumented people in the US, such as reducing deportation of undocumented immigrants who have lived in the country for years who have not been convicted of committing a crime.

This new administration's current goal is to provide an eight-year path to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants. Along with that goal, Democratic lawmakers are hoping to execute a plan to increase the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country and increase the rate of approval to speed up the backlog of asylum-seeking cases. Within the first couple of months of his administration, it's clear that Biden is at least trying to make good on his campaign promise to streamline the national immigration system.

Americans are becoming more open-minded about immigration policy

With a long history of back-and-forth on support for lax vs. strict immigration policy, Americans and non-Americans alike find themselves wondering what the majority of the American population thinks of immigration as of 2021.

Well, thanks to the Quinnipiac University National Poll and a recent Gallup poll on immigration, we can get a clearer idea of where the American people stand. According to the Quinnipiac poll, 65 percent of Americans believe that the undocumented immigrants currently residing in the country ought to be allowed to remain in the US and apply for citizenship. According to the Gallup poll, 78 percent of Americans believe that immigration is good for the country overall, and only 28 percent of Americans in the last year of Trump's presidency thought that the amount of immigration to the country should be slowed. Clearly, the majority of Americans support a welcoming immigration policy as opposed to a mostly strict & closed-off policy seen in the last few years.

Biden's presidency has only just begun, and there are many campaign promises that he has not fully addressed yet. Still, when it comes to immigration policy, these first two months have been a clear sign that the future will be much better for individuals seeking citizenship than it was in the last four years. Hopefully, the US will become a country that warmly welcomes immigrants and stays that way for a long time to come.