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Lawyer Francisco Wykrota is interviewed by rfi where he talks about immigration in the United States

Last weekend, an interview with lawyer Francisco Wykrota at RFI Brasil was released. In the article, Wykrota comments on the issue of immigration to the US, since, despite the change in the US government's immigration policy, the visa system is still blocked due to the pandemic.

Check it out:

🎧 In the link you can also listen to the audio of the interview.


"Despite Biden's change in relation to immigration, the visa system is stuck", says Brazilian lawyer in the United States"

The Joe Biden administration began with hope and, at the same time, questions about what the next four years should look like for immigrants and those who plan to live in the United States. The change in attitude was immediate and was part of the campaign. The Department of Homeland Security, for example, has already replaced the politically incorrect term "illegal", historically used in the country, for "no citizenship".

Cleide Klock, from Los Angeles

In the first few weeks, Biden also presented a new plan to legalize some 11 million people living in the country without documents, mostly farm workers and the so-called Dreamers, people who were brought to the United States when they were still children. However, there is still no forecast of when it will be analyzed by Congress.

The flexibility of what purports to be a 'new era' for immigration to the United States faces pressure from all sides as the flow increases at the southern border - representing one of the first major tests for the new government. About 78,000 undocumented foreigners tried to cross the border in January 2021, which is more than double compared to the same period last year. Up to 4,000 of these crossings are recorded daily, which makes it not only a crisis at the border, but also a health crisis, as we are facing a pandemic.


For the Brazilian lawyer based in Florida, Francisco Wykrota, the new measures bring a strong impact in relation to the Donald Trump administration, but the political resistance to the implementation of changes can be great for a greater transformation and it is necessary to seek a balance, between illegal immigration and humanitarian immigration.

"I see new horizons with improvement, in relation to the last administration. But it is still necessary to wait a while to see if these new horizons go beyond what already existed before (the Trump administration), which I hope they do. new act made by the current government has been long awaited and comes to heal a very big wound that exists for some children and people who came here, they are part of this country by their nature, but for document reasons they cannot have the same quality of life and the rights that a human being should have".

System locked

Francisco explains that in an immediate view, when talking about immigration and the stance of the Trump administration, one always tends to think about border crossings, but the measures affected several groups, including Brazilians. Among them are qualified professionals, families who are separated because visas are on hold, businessmen who made investments and lost everything because they were unable to enter the country because the interview was not carried out, in addition to professionals who left jobs due to lack of visas.

According to the lawyer, the visa withdrawal system has stalled and the piles of cases have accumulated during Trump's term. The situation worsened even more after embassies and consulates closed around the world due to the pandemic, which affects many Brazilians who are looking for a visa.

"No one opens, no one answers. Today they are taking about three months to send a receipt that they have received a protocol and this has created great instability in the families", regrets Francisco.

Joe Biden revoked an executive order from April last year in which Trump barred green card applicants from entering the country as "a risk to the job market".

For the lawyer, "it is useless for the president to authorize visas to be issued if the embassies also do not open and start issuing those visas necessary to be able to travel. So, today the expectation is not when they will open the borders, but when they will reopen consulates and start the interviews, because the backlog is great".

Due to the pandemic, the United States has suspended visa issuance services at the US embassy and consulates in Brazil. And there is still no estimate for reopening.

"Eventually, creating a task force to judge visas for exiles and people who are already inside the United States is one thing, but if you expand the physical structure of a consulate outside the country, I don't know how easy it is to do that and I have a great fear of how families will be impacted in the future", says the lawyer.

According to Francisco, there is an expectation that the resources in the Biden era will be properly used and that this will be able, in a more effective way, to solve the problems. Immigration agencies are self-supporting, that is, they pay their bills from their own income, mainly from fees for issuing visas, which in some cases of adjustment of legal status can reach US$1,500 per person. During the Trump administration, agencies were left without resources and personnel to streamline processes, as part of the budget was reallocated to build the wall on the borders between the south of the country and Mexico.

"After the Biden era, we have an expectation that resources will be properly used and that this will be able to solve these problems", concludes Francisco.

Brazilian borders and tourists

The entry of tourists coming directly from Brazil is not yet released and even with the new government, the restriction measures are still in force. There are some possibilities, if the person wants to take all the risks of making an international trip in the face of the pandemic, one of them is to stay at least 14 days in a country that is not on the list of countries with entry restrictions in the United States. You must also present a negative PCR test for coronavirus and do one more quarantine upon arrival in the country. In the case of those who need a tourist visa, there is still no deadline for reopening appointments.

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