On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued several orders on immigration. Some orders take immediate effect while others may take more time to be implemented. Among the changes are:
- The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program remains in place.
- Deportations were paused for 100 days (starting January 22), with some exceptions, and new enforcement guidelines that target national security and public safety threats have been published. However, on January 26, a district court temporarily prevented the implementation of the 100-day pause. To read an earlier client alert on the 100-day pause, click here.
- The “Muslim Ban,” affecting mainly Muslim-majority and African nations, has been revoked. The ban applied to nationals from Burma, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela, and Yemen.
- Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) protection was extended for Liberian nationals until June 30, 2022.
- Enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocols that keep asylum seekers waiting in Mexico were suspended.
President Biden also added South Africa to the COVID-19 related travel ban countries and reinstated the travel bans for those who have been physically present in Brazil, the U.K., Ireland, and the Schengen Area in the immediately preceding 14-day period.
Further, the president has proposed a sweeping immigration bill that would make more people eligible for legal status. However, at this time, 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.