NEW YORK - The immigrant community is feeling hopeful. President-elect Joe Biden is reportedly working on a group of executive orders that would reverse several of President Donald Trump's policies, including the one about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA.
"That's a promise that he has made, to start on day one to protect DREAMERS again," said Rovika Rajkishun, the co-executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. "To put the DACA program where it was before Trump."
In his first 100 days in office, Biden is expected to reinstate protections for the hundreds of thousands of DREAMERS brought to the U.S. as children.
"What that means is that we don't need a majority in the Senate, we don't need a Democratic majority across the board in order to make DACA a reality again, which means we can go all the way back to the beginning," said Steve Maggi, an immigration attorney and the founder of the New York-based law firm SMA Law.
Maggi said he expects Biden to also start issuing certain visas again and rescind Trump's travel bans on travelers from 13 countries, most either majority-Muslim or African nation.
"The last four years have been incredibly difficult for immigrant communities," Rajkishun said. "We have seen nonstop attacks on immigrant communities."
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There are also calls for more widespread immigration reform.
"Even though Joe Biden is a Democrat, we have seen with previous presidents that our community has still been under attack and has been deported as well," said Diana Rodriguez, who is a DACA recipient.
Immigration advocates point out that families were separated under the Obama administration and say this is Biden's second chance to do right by a community that helped get him elected.
"Many of us loved President Obama but we cannot ignore what happened under his administration when it comes to immigration. Some folks... called him the 'deporter in chief,'" Rajkishun said. "We have not forgotten that, and we are really hoping that that is not the legacy that this new administration wants, and we will not let them forget that."
But passing a comprehensive immigration reform could take years because it could come down to who controls the Senate.