It’s been nearly a month since the 46th President – Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Kamala D. Harris, the first woman, made history and became the true definition of anything is possible! You may recall that we’ve written an article recently: Looking Ahead to What 2021 Will Bring For Immigration – outlining plans and adjustments that Team Biden-Harris was going to implement. Today, we’re pleased to share with you that last week on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, President Biden signed three executive orders on immigration. Additionally, Senator Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham introduced the latest iteration of the Dream Act, part of a new immigration reform push.
What does all of this mean exactly for Immigration, DREAMERS, and our country? We’re here to explain it all to you and supply you with resources for further reading. Beginning with the executive orders:
The first executive order officially creates a task force that will seek to reunite families that were separated at the border during the previous administration, specifically revoking our former president’s executive order that established child separation policy. The main duties of the task force include working nationwide to find parents and children who were separated at the border, recommending to the President and federal agencies measures that can be taken to reunify families and prevent family separation in the future.
The second order addresses a plan for safe and lawful migration. The order calls for the study and investigation of the underlying issues that currently drive migrants from their homes, particularly migrants from Central America, and for proposing solutions to mitigate some of those issues. The Biden-Harris Administration also plans to ensure that Central American refugees and asylum seekers have access to legal avenues for relief in the United States and calls for a review of former President Trump’s policy of forcing immigrants to remain in Mexico while awaiting a court hearing in the U.S.
The final of the new executive orders demands a “top-to-bottom review” of current immigration policies. It specifically instructs agencies to review the “public charge” rule – which permits the U.S. government to deny admission to an immigrant if it believes the individual is likely to accept certain public benefits. The order directs agencies to conduct complete and thorough reviews of recent regulations and policies that have created barriers to legal immigration in the U.S.
Moving along to the latest iteration of the Dream Act, which is part of a new immigration reform push. The proposed DACA legislation, first introduced in 2001, gave some young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children the opportunity to pursue a path toward American citizenship. The reintroduction comes as President Joe Biden begins rolling out his immigration reform agenda and aims to reverse many of President Trump’s immigration policies. The bill would provide a pathway to citizenship for nearly 2 million undocumented individuals who came to the country at a young age, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, and other immigrant youth. This is a truly a promising first step in securing permanent protections and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals and DACA recipients in the country and ultimately building an immigration system that is more fair, humane, and workable.
For more information regarding Immigration & Naturalization law, The Law Offices of Marjory Cajoux is here to answer your immigration-related questions. You can depend on us to stay ahead of immigration developments and keep you informed.