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Maine Advocates Optimistic About Biden-Led Immigration Reform

President Joe Biden is sending Congress an immigration reform bill on Wednesday in an attempt to end years of immigration policy fashioned by executive order and court rulings.

Julia Brown of the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project says she’s optimistic about its chances.

“So, one good thing about what we’re reading — again, we’ve not seen the text of the bill — is that there is no new funding for immigration enforcement. But we do see language that would expand criminal penalties for smuggling and trafficking, which sometimes can hurt the immigrant population, depending on how it’s enforced,” she says.

Brown says “she feels a lot of hope,” for the bill and is encouraged that the new president has made immigration reform a top priority.

“The Biden administration is showing that it’s their top priority by introducing it on Day One. I think that there has been a lot of bipartisan support for immigration reform before and we can drum it up again,” she says.

Brown says the bill provides more protections for undocumented immigrants who have been victims of serious crimes in their home countries. It would also provide a path to citizenship for some 11 million people in the U.S. without documents.