On Day 1, President Biden Takes Immediate Action on Immigration – 8 significant immigration executive actions taken on January 20, 2021

President Joe Biden used the power of his new office to take 8 significant immigration actions during his first day as president. While some of them will have no immediate effect, they were all a powerful first step towards undoing the damage done to our immigration system by Donald Trump.

From the Department of Homeland Security (DHS):

President Biden also issued six Executive Orders related to immigration:

  • Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to the United States
    • This order officially ends the Muslim Ban and Africa Ban, calling them a “stain on our national conscience.” This lifts the restrictions on immigrant visas against: Burma, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Yemen. It also directs the State Department to immediately resume visa processing of all people subject to the Muslim Ban/African Ban, as well as come up with a plan within 45 days to not only reconsider all previous visa denials but also to consider how to expedite applications.
  • Executive Order on the Revision of Civil Immigration Enforcement Policies and Priorities
    • This order establishes that Biden believes that immigration enforcement “requires setting priorities to best serve the national interest.” The it revokes the Trump Administration’s Executive Order that made all undocumented immigrants a priority for deportation and told the government to punish sanctuary cities, among other things
  • Executive Order on Ensuring a Lawful and Accurate Enumeration and Apportionment Pursuant to the Decennial Census revoking Trump's illegal census order.
    • In one of its final acts, the Trump Administration tried to unlawfully exclude undocumented immigrants from the Census count. Biden's order revokes this order, saying that it “conflicted with the principle of equal representation enshrined in our Constitution, census statutes, and historical tradition.”
  • Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
    • This orders the DHS Secretary and the AG to take steps to “protect and fortify” DACA, which is needed to protect the program should a federal judge in Texas strike it down in the next few weeks
  • Reinstating Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians
    • Previously set to expire on January 10, 2021, this order reinstates Deferred Enforcement Departure for thousands of Liberians and directs USCIS to process their LRIF applications faster.
  • Proclamation on the Termination Of Emergency With Respect To The Southern Border Of The United States And Redirection Of Funds Diverted To Border Wall Construction
    • This order officially stops new border wall construction
      • Terminates the National Emergency declaration.
      • Orders halt to all construction as quickly as possible (max 7 days).
      • Orders review of all contracts.

More executive orders are expected to be announced Friday, January 29, 2021. Brown Immigration Law will continue to provide updates on how the Biden Administration’s policies could impact your immigration case. Contact our office for a free phone consultation today!