In 2018 or 2019, I attended a local meeting of about 30 people, virtually all of whom were pro-Trump. What many of them liked most about Donald Trump’s policies was what I disliked most: his policies on immigration. Many of the pro-Trumpers argued that he was cracking down on illegal immigration. I agreed that he was but I also said, “Look at virtually every issue on which Donald Trump has been able to increase or decrease legal immigration and on almost every margin on which he could act, he acted to reduce immigration.”

Although I didn’t want Joe Biden to win the presidency because I feared, correctly as it turns out, that he would work hard to extend government control over our lives, both through government spending and regulation, I at least comforted myself with the idea that Biden would reverse some of the worst of Trump’s policies on legal immigration.

So I was disappointed when I thought Biden hadn’t.

But it turns out he has.

The person who has documented this well is David J. Bier, associate director of immigration studies at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. In “What Biden Has Gotten Right on Immigration,” Cato at Liberty, November 29, 2022, Bier lists a full 20 measures the Biden administration has taken to liberalize immigration. I won’t list them all here because you can easily check for yourself. I will highlight a few.

Here’s a big one:

Rescinding the labor protectionist immigrant visa ban

On February 25, 2021, President Biden fully rescinded President Trump’s worldwide ban on permanent immigration by almost everyone other than spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens. The ban was based on the fear that they would compete for jobs with U.S. citizens.

Here’s another:

Allowing the labor protectionist nonimmigrant visa ban to expire

On April 1, 2021, President Biden allowed President’s Trump’s worldwide ban on most nonfarm temporary work visas to expire on the terms originally set by President Trump. The ban was based on the fear that these workers would compete for jobs with U.S. citizens.

Even the one of the 20 that I didn’t totally like is better than what it replaced. It’s this:

Ending the nonessential travel ban with Mexico and Canada

In November 2021, Biden replaced the Trump administration’s nonessential travel ban on noncitizen travelers through the land borders with Mexico and Canada with a vaccination requirement.

I don’t think Biden should have replaced the ban with anything. Why require vaccines? We know that vaccines don’t prevent transmission of the coronavirus. What happened to “following the science?” But still, replacing a ban with a regulation, one that most potential travelers are probably already complying with, is a move in the right direction.

One of the main things I liked about Trump’s policies was his deregulation of the domestic economy. But he heavily stepped up regulation of immigration, which, of course, affects the domestic economy.  So by reversing some of Trump’s regulation, Biden should get a few points for deregulation.