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Key Points
  • President Biden has issued three executive orders to reform the U.S. immigration system
  • The executive orders address the Public Charge rule, naturalization, border control, and family reunification
  • President Biden’s executive orders revoke anti-immigration policies issued by President Trump and instruct a full agency review of existing immigration policies
  • The executive actions are part of a broader plan for comprehensive immigration reform
  • Impacts from today’s executive orders will not be immediate, but updates will be provided as available

Today, President Biden issued three executive orders as part of his broader plan for immigration reform. The executive orders address the Public Charge rule and border policies along with establishing a family reunification task force.

What are the Changes?

The Biden Administration’s latest executive orders are intended to promote the lawful assimilation of foreign nationals into the U.S., address irregular and destructive migration policies at the U.S.-Mexico border, and reunite families separated by strict regulations. The executive orders build upon the comprehensive immigration reform initiatives outlined by President Biden on inauguration day.

Public Charge and Agency Review

One of the three executive orders issued by the Biden Administration directs a comprehensive agency review of existing policies and regulations that create hurdles for legal immigration in the U.S. The executive order also mandates a review of the controversial Public Charge rule, which has been extensively litigated since its implementation in February 2020.

President Biden’s executive order directs federal agencies to conduct a comprehensive review of existing policies, regulations, and guidance that have created barriers in the nation’s legal immigration system. The executive order also rescinds a memo issued by President Trump that imposes a wealth test for green card applicants to determine their admissibility into the United States based on their likelihood of becoming a public charge, which is the likelihood that they will rely on government benefits such as Medicare, food stamps, and housing vouchers. The executive order also calls for a review of the naturalization process.

Irregular Migration Policies and Family Reunification

A second executive order issued today will establish a three-part plan for improving migration policies along the Southern U.S. border that allow for lawful and safe migration into the region. The executive order provides legal migration pathways for Central American asylum seekers and refugees. It also orders the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to review the current Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program.

The third executive order creates a task force to reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. The task force will work with the U.S. government and federal agencies to develop a plan for reuniting separated families and implement additional policies to prevent families from being separated at the border in the future. This executive order revokes strict border control policies issued by the Trump Administration.

Looking Ahead

Although President Biden is signing three executive orders today, the changes that the orders will bring to the nation’s immigration system will not be immediate. Updates will be provided as available.

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