JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Former Vice President Joe Biden is projected to become the 46th president of the United States, and naturally many Mississippians are wondering what immediate impacts his presidency could have on the state.
Biden has expressed he wants to reinstate DACA, which would benefit hundreds of immigrants in Mississippi.
“People who have DACA do a lot of important jobs, and we need to keep this program and put them on a path to permanent residence so they can become citizens,” said Patricia Ice, legal projects director with Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance.
Ice said there are nearly one thousand people in the state who have DACA status. It’s a program that allows immigrants to live and work in the U.S. without being deported.
The Trump administration fought to end DACA, now Ice said she’s thankful to see Biden working to bring it back.
"What we do expect is that the people who have DACA right now, they will be able to renew their DACA status and we’re hoping that people who qualify for DACA but didn’t apply before will be able to apply for the first time,” Ice explained.
Ice believes Biden will repeal other executive orders to help improve life for local immigrants such as the Muslim ban.
She also believes the new administration will work to reunite the hundreds of Mississippi families who were separated during a massive raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2019.
Ice said she knows the orders won’t happen right away, but she is hopeful they’ll be in place within the first few months of Biden’s presidency.
“We want them to see immigrants as human beings who have families, children who go to school, go to church with us, who are our neighbors, who shop with us, etc.," Ice expressed. "We want people to see the common humanity of immigrants.”