We write to bring some uplifting immigration news after years of agency turmoil, heartbreaking family separation, and devastating losses to US employers that rely on foreign nationals as an essential part of their workforce. Within his first few days in office, President Biden has issued over 30 executive orders reversing previous immigration directives, including:
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) remains in place.
- Travel bans* barring entry for nationals of certain Muslim-majority and African nations were revoked.
(*Applying to Burma, Eritrea, Iran, Libya, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela, and Yemen.)
- 100-day pause on deportations as of January 22nd with some exceptions and new enforcement policies will be adopted.
- Extending deferrals of deportation and allowing work authorizations for Liberians with a safe haven in the United States until June 30, 2022
- Reversing the expansion of immigration enforcement within the United States
- Strengthening DACA after previous efforts to undo protections for individuals brought into the country as children
- Enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocols that keep asylum seekers waiting in Mexico were suspended — but it is unclear how cases will be handled at the border
In addition to the above executive orders, President Biden has also proposed new legislation designed to address the cause of migration; border management; and outlining a 8-year path to citizenship for those unlawfully present in the United States as of January 1, 2021. The proposed legislation is still being negotiated and may change significantly if it is passed at all. Our office will continue to monitor the Bill’s progress on Capitol Hill. If your case is impacted in any manner by the new developments, you will be contacted in the coming days.