Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Biden Administration's Executive Actions

The Biden Administration this morning released a fact sheet on the Executive Orders it will issue later today.  The  immigration items are listed below:

Reverse President Trump’s Executive Order Excluding Undocumented Immigrants from the Reapportionment Count

President-elect Biden will sign an Executive Order to revoke the prior Administration’s orders setting out an unlawful plan to exclude noncitizens from the census and apportionment of Congressional representatives. President-elect Biden will ensure that the Census Bureau has time to complete an accurate population count for each state. He will then present to Congress an apportionment that is fair and accurate so federal resources are efficiently and fairly distributed for the next decade.

Preserve and Fortify Protections for Dreamers

In 2012, the Obama-Biden administration adopted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to provide temporary relief from deportation on a case-by-case basis to Dreamers, young people who were brought to this country as children. Since then, more than 700,000 young people have applied for this relief and met rigorous requirements and background checks. Many are serving our country in the armed services or as essential workers on the front lines of the pandemic. The Trump administration has tried to terminate DACA since 2017, but the U.S. Supreme Court rejected that effort and required reconsideration of that decision. The program continues, accepting new applications and renewing DACA for those who qualify under the 2012 requirements. But those opposed to DACA continue to challenge the program, threatening its continuance. The president-elect is committed to preserving and fortifying DACA. Today, he will sign a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, to take all appropriate actions under the law to achieve that goal. The Presidential Memorandum will also call on Congress to
enact legislation providing permanent status and a path to citizenship for people who came to this country as children and have lived, worked, and contributed to our country for many years.

Reverse the Muslim Ban

The president-elect will sign an Executive Action putting an end to the Muslim Ban, a policy rooted in religious animus and xenophobia. It repeals Proclamations 9645 and 9983, which restrict entry into the United States from primarily Muslim and African countries, and instructs the State Department to restart visa processing for affected countries and to swiftly develop a proposal to restore fairness and remedy the harms caused by the bans, especially for individuals stuck in the waiver process and those who had immigrant visas denied. This is an important step in providing relief to individuals and families harmed by this Trump Administration policy that is inconsistent with American values. The Executive Action also provides for the strengthening of screening and vetting for travelers by enhancing information sharing with foreign governments and capacity building with our partners, and directs reviews of other Trump Administration “extreme vetting” practices.

Repeal of Trump Interior Enforcement Executive Order

President-elect Biden will sign an Executive Order revoking a Trump Executive Order that directed harsh and extreme immigration enforcement. This revocation will allow the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to set civil immigration enforcement policies that best protect the American people and are in line with our values and priorities.

Stop Border Wall Construction

Bipartisan majorities in Congress refused in 2019 to fund President Trump’s plans for a massive wall along our southern border, even after he shut down the government over this issue. He then wastefully diverted billions of dollars to that construction. By proclamation, President-elect Biden will today declare an immediate termination of the national emergency declaration that was used as a pretext to justify some of the funding diversions for the wall. The proclamation directs an immediate pause in wall construction projects to allow a close review of the legality of the funding and contracting methods used, and to determine the best way to redirect funds that were diverted by the prior Administration to fund wall construction.

Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians Presidential Memorandum

The president-elect will sign a Presidential Memorandum to extend until June 30, 2022 the long-standing Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) designation for Liberians who have been in the United States for many years. Liberians with DED will also have their work authorization extended. This PM also directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to ensure that Citizen Immigration Services facilitates ease of application and timely adjudication for Liberians applying for residency by the Liberian Relief and Fairness Act.

UPDATE (1/21): Here is the Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to The United States.

Here is the Proclamation on the Termination Of Emergency With Respect To The Southern Border Of The United States And Redirection Of Funds Diverted To Border Wall Construction.

Here is a DHS memorandum issued yesterday that begins as follows:  "This memorandum directs  Department of Homeland Security components to conduct a review of policies and practices concerning immigration enforcement. It also sets interim policies during the course of that review, including a 100-day pause on certain removals to enable focusing the Department’s resources where they are most needed. " (bold added).


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