Since taking office just a few weeks ago, President Biden has signed and issued several orders, memorandums, and proclamations on immigration. Some of these changes take immediate effect while others may take more time to be implemented.
What You Should Know:
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) remains in place.
President Biden issued a memorandum on Jan. 20, directing the DHS Secretary and the Attorney General, to take appropriate actions to preserve and fortify DACA.
- Deportations* were paused for 100 days (starting January 22nd), with some exceptions, and new enforcement polices will be adopted.
The acting DHS Secretary issued a memorandum directing DHS to conduct a review of immigration enforcement polices and to pause deportations of certain noncitizens for 100 days.
- Travel Bans* barring entry for nationals of certain Muslim-majority and African nations were revoked.
On Jan. 20, President Biden issued a proclamation revoking prior discriminatory bans on entry to the U.S. and directing DOS secretary to direct embassies and consulates, consistent with law and visa procedures, including any related to COVID-19, to resume visa processing.
- Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) was extended for Liberian nationals until June 30, 2022.
President Biden issued a memorandum deferring through June 30, 2022, the removal of any Liberian national who is present in the U.S. and who was under a grant of DED as of January 10, 2021, with some exceptions.
- Enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) that keep asylum seekers waiting in Mexico were suspended – but it is unclear how cases will be handled at the border.
The White House issued an executive order to implement a comprehensive 3-part plan for safe, lawful, and orderly migration across the southern border, as well as to review the MPP program. The order also directs a series of actions to restore the U.S. asylum system.
- Executive Order that sought to justify separating children from their parents was revoked.
The White House issued an executive order establishing a task force to reunite families that remain separated and also revoked the Trump administration’s order that attempted to justify separating children from their parents.
*On Jan. 26, a district court temporarily prevented the government from implementing the 100-day pause.
**The travel bans applied to nationals from Burma, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela, and Yemen.
Note: This situation remains fluid and policies can shift rapidly.
Will Congress Pass an Immigration Bill?
President Biden has proposed a sweeping immigration bill that would make people eligible for legal status. At this time, though, Congress has not passed any immigration bill into law. This means that no new options to apply for legal status have been created, and no broad legalization program has been adopted.