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President Joe Biden’s Immigration Executive Order represents a clear and determined shift from the previous administration’s approach to immigration policy. Issued early in his tenure, the order outlines comprehensive changes designed to create a more humane, fair, and efficient immigration system.
The key elements include prioritizing the reunification of families, protecting the rights of immigrants, and addressing the root causes of migration. Biden’s directive also seeks to roll back some of the most controversial policies of his predecessor, signaling a commitment to reestablishing the United States as a nation that welcomes and values immigrants.
Biden’s Immigration Executive Order also sends a clear message to the millions of lawful permanent residents in the United States, acknowledging their contributions and affirming their place in the American narrative. It emphasizes the role of law enforcement agencies in maintaining national security and public safety while advocating for practices that respect human dignity and the rights of all individuals.
Keep reading to learn more.
An executive order (EO) has the same effect as federal law and must not violate the US Constitution. For this reason, executive orders are made after careful consideration of their impact on the nation.
Executive orders are necessary for the smooth running of the US immigration system because:
Since President Joseph R. Biden Jr. took office in January 2021, the Biden Administration has committed to rescinding harmful restrictions on immigration that former president Trump implemented. In addition, through immigration executive actions, he has revitalized the US immigration system by increasing access to immigration benefits, increasing the refugee admissions ceiling, and endorsing the US Citizenship Act of 2021.
After decades of immigration policy failures, sweeping immigration reform was necessary. President Biden’s executive order created the most extensive legalization program in the nation’s immigration system. The EO aims to address the following:
Since his first day in office, President Joe Biden has issued the following EOs and administrative policy changes that address immigration:
The Act introduced legalization programs for certain groups of immigrants who were eligible for immigration relief. Undocumented immigrants physically present in the US on or before January 2021 can apply to become temporary lawful prospective immigrants (LPIs) through an eight-year path to citizenship. After five years, they can apply for their permanent residence card.
Immigrants involved in essential critical labor or services during the COVID-19 emergency, temporary agricultural workers, and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients would also be eligible for LPI status. The Act also changed the word “alien” to “noncitizen” in all immigration laws to recognize the US as a nation of immigrants.
As a result of former President Trump’s inhumane border policy (EO 13481), hundreds of migrant children were separated from their families. The parents were kept in detention centers while their children were taken into the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) custody. After the order was revoked, the Biden Administration created the Family Reunification Task Force to reunite families.
The Trump Administration introduced policies to impede legal immigration. However, Biden’s EO created a national strategy promoting naturalization, integration, inclusion, and citizenship. It seeks to improve immigration processes and other benefits for foreign nationals in the US.
The directive also instructs the relevant agencies to identify agency actions, such as the recent increase in USCIS fees, that prevent easy access to the immigration system.
This EO aims to strengthen asylum and refugee protection systems in North and Central America, especially along the US-Mexico border. It revokes the Trump Administration’s EO 13767, which instructed executive agencies to secure the southern border and prevent illegal immigration into the US.
This EO is intended to terminate asylum cooperative agreements between the US and the Northern Triangle countries and directs an interagency team to address the underlying causes of migration.
The Biden Administration removed certain restrictions on immigrant visas for Muslim travelers (the Muslim ban). However, former President Trump, in January 2017, prohibited the entry of foreign nationals traveling from certain Muslim countries, including Burma, Eritrea, Iran, Venezuela, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, and Yemen.
The new administration rescinded the travel bans (EO 13780; Proclamation 9645, 9723, and 9983) and sought to improve visitor screening by strengthening information sharing with foreign governments.
President Biden ended the national emergency that former president Trump declared on the border in February 2018 by halting the construction of the wall along the US-Mexico border (Proclamation 9844).
The border wall construction cost American taxpayers billions of dollars, triggering the most prolonged government shutdown in US history.
The new administration reviews construction contracts and coordinates with an interagency working group to redirect the funds to other serious policy issues.
This order rescinded the Trump administration’s EO 13768, which called for the immediate removal of all undocumented immigrants living in the US. President Biden’s EO directs relevant federal agencies to issue new guidance about immigration enforcement priorities.
Contact an immigration attorney in Texas today if you have been detained and placed under removal proceedings. Our experience with EOs allows us to provide you with advice on the best approach for securing your release.
The DACA EO directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary and Attorney General to take consistent and necessary actions to preserve and fortify the DACA program.
The program protects undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children (under 16) from deportation. In addition, President Biden has called on Congress to adopt legislations that give DACA recipients permanent residence status and a path to citizenship.
In 2017, the Trump Administration announced the end of the DACA program directing the DHS to pause the processing of new applications. However, the Supreme Court in 2020 ruled that the termination was unlawful because they failed to follow the federal rules relating to termination.
Immigration executive orders apply to all immigration laws in Texas and across the country. Understanding their role in immigration enforcement is not always straightforward.
If you believe these EOs on immigration will impact your legal status in the US, contact Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, Today! We can represent you at the Houston Immigration Court and assist you in obtaining lawful status.
Schedule a free consultation now.