[COLUMN] Biden’s newest executive orders on immigration

ON February 2, 2021, Pres. Biden issued several additional Executive Orders (EO) on immigration. They include: (a) establishing a task force to reunify families separated at the border; (b) developing a strategy to address the irregular migration across the southern border, including a plan for safe, lawful, and orderly migration to the U.S.; and (c) setting up a task force to “restore faith in our legal immigration system and promote integration of new Americans,” as well as rescinding some of Trump’s public charge policies.

The White House’s Fact Sheet on these EO’s notes that during Pres. Biden’s first day in office, he took steps to “fortify protections for Dreamers, end the Muslim and African ban, halt border wall construction,” as well as sending a proposed immigration reform to Congress, the “United States Citizenship Act of 2021”, which seeks to “modernize our immigration system and smartly manage our borders, while addressing the root causes of migration.”

Pres. Biden’s strategy is based on the premise that our country is “safer, stronger, and more prosperous with a fair, safe and orderly immigration system that welcomes immigrants, keep families together, and allows people – both newly arrived immigrants and people who have lived here for generations – to more fully contribute to our country.”

As part of his EO to restore faith in our legal immigration system, Pres. Biden will establish a “task force on new Americans,” to ensure our legal immigration system “operates fairly and efficiently.” He instructs various governmental agencies to “conduct a top to bottom review” of Trump’s recent immigration regulations, policies, and guidance that have set up barriers to our legal immigration system.

More importantly, this particular EO rescinds or cancels Trump’s policy/memorandum “requiring family sponsors to repay the government if relatives receive public benefits.” It also instructs governmental agencies to review the public charge rule and related policies, as well as streamline the naturalization process.

While this EO holds promise and is encouraging in terms of its pro-immigration tone, most of it appears to be setting up task forces to study the problems and make recommendations for future changes. However, at least it shows that Biden is focusing on taking a radical departure from Trump’s harsh enforcement policies, and is taking a very liberal, pro-immigration stance.

I will continue to keep you updated on further developments and changes to immigration laws and enforcement policies, and how those changes may affect you, your family, and your case.

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Michael J. Gurfinkel has been an attorney for over 40 years and is licensed, and an active member of the State Bars of California and New York. All immigration services are provided by, or under the supervision of, an active member of the State Bar of California. Each case is different and results may depend on the facts of the particular case. The information and opinions contained herein (including testimonials, “Success Stories,” endorsements and re-enactments) are of a general nature, and are not intended to apply to any particular case, and do not constitute a prediction, warranty, guarantee or legal advice regarding the outcome of your legal matter. No attorney-client relationship is, or shall be, established with any reader.

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Atty. Michael Gurfinkel
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