President Biden’s New Immigration Executive Orders
President Biden has only been in office for a short time now, but he has gotten right to implementing Executive Orders, requests, and memorandums, many of which undo Executive Orders set by the previous administration. One of his main focuses during his first few days in office has been immigration. Here’s a look at some of President Biden’s immigration Executive Orders and memorandums already established by his administration:
1- Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
DACA was created during the Obama administration in 2012. President Biden’s memorandum describes DACA as a program that defers removal of some undocumented immigrants who entered the United States “as children, have obeyed the law, and stayed in school or enlisted in the military . . . .” DACA reflects a judgment that these immigrants should not be a priority for removal based on humanitarian concerns and other considerations . . . .”
The Trump administration tried to eliminate the DACA program but was blocked from doing so by the United States Supreme Court. President Biden’s memorandum was created to ensure that the DACA program continues without the threat of being curtailed or eliminated.
2- Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to The United States
In 2017 (but not effective until 2018), the Trump administration issued a ban on entry and visa issuance for certain individuals from several Middle Eastern/African countries, most of which are majority-Muslim. Those countries included:
President Biden issued an Executive Order to rescind the travel ban to those countries and, instead, they will apply a “rigorous, individualized vetting system” to visa applicants from those countries.
3- Stopping Construction of the Border Wall
President Biden issued a proclamation calling for the immediate pause of construction of the border wall between the United States and Mexico. President Biden also called for the redirection of funds that were allocated to the border wall construction. The proclamation states: “no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall.”
The proclamation further states that President Biden’s administration will examine the legality of the funding and contracting methods used to construct the wall, which raises the possibility that the Biden administration believes that border wall construction could have been illegally funded to some degree.
Importantly, this is just a pause on construction. The proclamation states that the new administration will assess the contractual consequences of completely stopping the construction of the wall.
4- Revision of Civil Immigration Enforcement Policies and Priorities
President Biden issued this Executive Order which rescinds the Trump administration’s Executive Order 13768 of January 25, 2017 (Enhancing Public Safety in the interior of the United States). The goal of revoking Executive Order 13768 is to “reset the policies and practices for enforcing civil immigration laws to align enforcement with these values and priorities.”
The Secretary of State, Attorney General, Secretary of Homeland Security, and the heads of any other relevant agencies or executive departments must review their practices and eliminate any actions which were implemented because of Executive Order 13768 to target immigrants unfairly.
5- Reinstating Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians
Between 1991 and 2003, the United States gave Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Liberians who fled their country due to armed conflicts and civil war. When the TPS was set to end in 2007, President Bush deferred the enforced departure of the Liberians who were granted TPS. During his time as President, Obama later did the same thing and extended the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) period until March 2018. President Trump ended up deferring the departure until January 10th, 2021. President Biden has decided to follow in the footsteps of the previous Presidents and has reinstated the DED for Liberians covered under the DED until July 30, 2022.
Liberians who are protected under the DED are eligible for employment authorization.
This was a look at only a handful of President Biden’s immigration Executive Orders and memorandums. President Biden and his administration have issued additional Executive Orders, proclamations, and memorandums within his first week of office. To get a full rundown on each Executive Order, check out the White House’s website here.
At BridgehouseLaw, immigration law is one of our main focuses. Contact us to discuss with us your immigration needs.