Featured Issue: First 100 Days of the Biden Administration

In the Spotlight Graphic

On February 24, 2021, President Biden issued a proclamation revoking Proclamation 10014, section 1 of Proclamation 10052, and section 1 of Proclamation 10131, rejecting the previous administration’s claim that the entry of immigrants presents a risk to the U.S. economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he did not take action to revoke the entry ban on temporary nonimmigrant workers. A civil rights coalition, including AILA, celebrated the partial end of the immigration ban:

Read AILA’s Press Statement


With President Biden taking office on January 20, AILA looks forward to partnering with his administration and advocating for a new vision for America’s immigration system. AILA’s Vision for America as a Welcoming Nation sets forth a comprehensive plan for executive branch reforms. AILA will be tracking the Biden administration’s executive and legislative announcements and assessing progress based on AILA’s vision and the promises Biden has made for bold immigration reform.

This featured issue page will track the new administration’s actions during the first 100 days. While we expect many announcements in the initial months, the real, lasting work of overturning the deleterious policies of the Trump administration and implementing a new vision will take time. AILA will be marshalling its resources—including the power and expertise of its members—to push for action be it putting in place new leadership and personnel, implementing new policies, or advancing bills in Congress. AILA is also advocating for the Biden administration to restore liaison and agency stakeholder meetings as soon as possible. You can also get agency updates at AILA's Spring Conference on April 15, 2021. Stay tuned for additional information.

Get Involved: AILA will be hosting its first virtual National Day of Action on Thursday, April 22, to call for immigration reform.

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U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021

On February 18, 2021, Representative Sánchez (D-CA) introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 in the House. (An identical bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate by Senator Menendez (D-NJ) on February 22, 2021.) Both bills embody the legislative proposals that President Biden announced on his first day in office. At this time, AILA has not yet taken a position on the bill, but will be carefully reviewing the legislative proposal to determine whether to endorse the legislation. For more information, check out this Forbes article: New Bill Has Many Good but Two Bad Measures for Employment Immigrants.

Read Section-By-Section   Read Summary

Read White House Fact Sheet on the Immigration Bill

Join the conversation about the legislation on AILA's Message Cener:

Visit AILA's Message Center


Table of Substantive Changes | Government Announcements | Other Announcements and News | Personnel Changes | Advocacy Resources | Media Coverage

Table of Substantive Changes

Use this table to keep track of proposed and promulgated changes to immigration-related regulations and policies issued during the first 100 days of the Biden administration. The chart includes notices published in the Federal Register, agency memoranda, executive orders, presidential proclamations and memoranda, and more.

To see a list of select immigration-related actions taken during the last two years of the Trump administration, please visit AILA's Tracking Notable Executive Branch Action page.

Agency/Document Type/Topics Title and Date Issued Description Status Resources
White House
Presidential Proclamation

Topics: Admissions and Border, Consular Processing
White House Releases Proclamation Revoking Immigrant Visa Ban – February 24, 2021 The White House released a proclamation revoking Proclamation 10014, section 1 of Proclamation 10052, and section 1 of Proclamation 10131, which suspended immigrant visas due to the 2019 novel Coronavirus outbreak. In effect
USCIS
Policy Alert

Topics: Naturalization and Citizenship
USCIS Revises Guidance on Naturalization Civics Educational Requirement – February 22, 2021 USCIS updated guidance in its Policy Manual regarding the educational requirements for naturalization. The update, effective 3/1/21, provides that USCIS will revert to administering the 2008 civics test to applicants who filed for naturalization before 12/1/20, or who will file on or after 3/1/21. Effective March 1, 2021
ICE
Memorandum

Topics: Removal and Relief
ICE Acting Director Issues Interim Guidance on Civil Immigration Enforcement and Removal Priorities – February 18, 2021 ICE Acting Director issued a memo establishing interim guidance in support of the interim civil immigration enforcement and removal priorities issued by DHS on 1/20/21. The guidance, effective immediately, covers enforcement actions, custody decisions, execution of final orders of removal, and more. In effect
White House
Executive Order

Topics: Asylum and Protection
White House Issues Executive Order on Enhancing Refugee Resettlement Programs and Planning for the Impact of Climate Change on Migration – February 4, 2021 President Biden issued an Executive Order revoking certain past presidential actions on refugee admissions and resettlement; directing government agencies to take steps to improve URSAP; to complete a review of SIV programs; and to submit a report on climate change and its impact on migration. In effect
USCIS
Policy Memorandum

Topics: H-1B
USCIS Rescinds 2017 Memo Rescinding 2000 Guidance on H-1B Computer Related Positions – February 3, 2021 USCIS issued a policy memo noting that, in light of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Innova Solutions v. Baran, effective immediately, it is rescinding the 2017 policy memo (PM-602-0142), “Rescission of the December 22, 2000 ‘Guidance Memo on H1B Computer Related Positions.’” In effect
White House
Executive Order

Topics: Admissions and Border, Asylum and Protection
White House Issues Executive Order on the Southern Border and the Asylum System – February 2, 2021 The White House issued an executive order to implement a comprehensive three-part plan for safe, lawful, and orderly migration across the southern border, as well as to review the Migrant Protection Protocols program. The order also directs a series of actions to restore the U.S. asylum system. In effect
White House
Executive Order

Topics: Admissions and Border
White House Issues Executive Order on the Establishment of Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families – February 2, 2021 The White House issued an executive order establishing a task force to reunite families that remain separated and also revokes the Trump administration’s Executive Order that sought to justify separating children from their parents. In effect
White House
Executive Order

Topics: N/A
White House Issues Executive Order to Restore Faith in Our Immigration System and Promote Integration of New Americans – February 2, 2021 The White House issued an executive order that requires agencies to conduct a top-to-bottom review of recent regulations, policies, and guidance that have set up barriers to the legal immigration system, and orders immediate review of agency actions on public charge inadmissibility. In effect
Department of Labor
FR Notice

Topics: Labor Certification (PERM), H-1B/H-1B1
DOL Proposed Delay of Effective Date of Final Rule on Computation of Prevailing Wage Levels (86 FR 7656, 2/1/21) DOL document proposing to delay until 5/14/21 the effective date of the final rule on computation of prevailing wage levels which was published at 86 FR 3608 on 1/14/21. The current effective date of the rule is 3/15/21. Comments on the proposed delayed effective date must be received by 2/16/21. Comments due February 16, 2021
USCIS
FR Notice

Topics: N/A
USCIS Notification of Preliminary Injunctions Against Fee Rule (86 FR 7493, 1/29/21) USCIS notification of two preliminary injunctions issued in 2020 against the USCIS fee rule published at 85 FR 46788. The notification states that DHS is complying with the terms of these court orders and is not enforcing the regulatory changes set out in the final rule. In effect
White House
Executive Order

Topics: H-1B/H-1B1 Specialty Occupation
President Biden Issues Executive Order Which Revokes “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order (86 FR 7475, 1/28/21) On 1/25/21, President Biden issued an executive order titled “Ensuring the Future Is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers.” Section 14 revokes several previous executive orders, including Executive Order 13788, “Buy American and Hire American.” In effect
Department of Justice
Memorandum

Topics: Admissions and Border
Acting Attorney General Rescinds Zero Tolerance Policy – January 26, 2021 Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson issued a memo rescinding the department’s 2018 policy directive on “Zero Tolerance for Offenses Under 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a).” Wilkinson called the policy “inconsistent with our principles.” Effective January 26, 2021
Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security
FR Notice

Topics: Asylum and Protection, Removal and Relief
USCIS and EOIR Delay Effective Date of Final Rule on Pandemic-Related Security Bars to Asylum and Withholding of Removal (86 FR 6847, 1/25/21) USCIS and EOIR document delaying the effective date of the final rule “Security Bars and Processing” (85 FR 84160, 12/23/20), which was scheduled to become effective on 1/22/21. The effective date is delayed until 3/22/21. In effect
White House
Presidential Proclamation

Topics: Admissions and Border
Presidential Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus Disease – January 25, 2021 President Biden issued a proclamation suspending and limiting the entry, with exceptions, of noncitizens who were present in the Schengen Area, the U.K., Ireland, Brazil (all effective 1/26/21), and South Africa (effective 1/30/21) during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry. Effective 12:01 am (ET), January 30, 2021, for South Africa, and January 26, 2021, for others
White House
Executive Order

Topics: Admissions and Border
President Biden Issues Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel - January 21, 2021 President Biden issued an Executive Order, which, among other things, directs various government officials to assess the CDC order of January 12, 2021, requiring a negative COVID-19 test from airline passengers traveling to the United States, and to take "further appropriate regulatory action" to implement public health measures for international travel. Effective January 21, 2021
Department of Homeland Security
Memorandum

Topics: Removal and Relief
DHS Acting Secretary Issues Memorandum on Immigration Enforcement Policies - January 20, 2021 Acting DHS Secretary Pekoske issued a memorandum directing DHS components to conduct a review of immigration enforcement policies, and setting interim policies for civil enforcement during that review. Beginning 1/22/21, DHS will pause removals of certain noncitizens ordered deported for 100 days. On 1/26/21, the government was enjoined from executing the 100-day deportation pause for 14 days.
White House
Presidential Memorandum

Topics: DACA
President Biden Issues Memorandum on Preserving and Fortifying DACA - January 20, 2021 President Biden issued a memorandum directing the DHS Secretary, in consultation with the Attorney General, to take all actions he deems appropriate, consistent with applicable law, to preserve and fortify DACA. Effective January 20, 2021
White House
Presidential Memorandum

Topics: DED
President Biden Issues Memorandum Reinstating Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians - January 20, 2021 President Biden issued a memorandum deferring through June 30, 2022, the removal of any Liberian national, or person without nationality who last habitually resided in Liberia, who is present in the United States and who was under a grant of DED as of January 10, 2021, with some exceptions. The memo also allows for continued employment authorization for such individuals through June 30, 2022. Effective January 20, 2021
White House
Presidential Proclamation

Topics: Admissions and Border
Presidential Proclamation Terminating Emergency with Respect to the U.S. Southern Border and Redirecting Funds Diverted to Border Wall Construction - January 20, 2021 President Biden issued a proclamation declaring that the national emergency declared by Proclamation 9844, and continued on 2/13/20 and 1/15/21, is terminated and that the authorities invoked in that proclamation will no longer be used to construct a wall at the southern border. The proclamation further directs appropriate government officials to pause work on construction on the southern border wall and to develop a plan to redirect funds and repurpose contracts. Effective January 20, 2021
White House
Executive Order

Topics: Census
President Biden Issues Executive Order Revoking Prior Presidential Actions Excluding Undocumented Immigrants from the Apportionment Base Following the Decennial Census - January 20, 2021 President Biden issued an Executive Order revoking Executive Order 13880 of July 11, 2019, (Collecting Information About Citizenship Status in Connection With the Decennial Census), and the Presidential Memorandum of July 21, 2020 (Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census). The order directs the Commerce Secretary to ensure that the apportionment base and state-level tabulations include all inhabitants without regard to immigration status. Effective January 20, 2021
White House
Executive Order

Topics: Removal and Relief
President Biden Issues Executive Order Revising Civil Immigration Enforcement Policies and Priorities - January 20, 2021 President Biden issued an Executive Order revoking Executive Order 13768 of January 25, 2017, (Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States), and directing the DOS Secretary, the Attorney General, the DHS Secretary, and other government officials to review any agency actions developed pursuant to Executive Order 13768 and to take action, including issuing revised guidance, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law. Effective January 20, 2021
White House
Presidential Proclamation

Topics: Admissions and Border; Consular Processing
Presidential Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to the United States - January 20, 2021 President Biden issued a proclamation revoking Executive Order 13780 of March 6, 2017; Proclamation 9645 of September 24, 2017; Proclamation 9723 of April 10, 2018; and Proclamation 9983 of January 31, 2020. The proclamation directs the DOS secretary to direct embassies and consulates, consistent with applicable law and visa processing procedures, including any related to COVID-19, to resume visa processing in a manner consistent with the revocation of the executive order and proclamations specified. Effective January 20, 2021
White House
Memorandum

Topics: N/A
White House Issues Memo on Regulatory Freeze Pending Review - January 20, 2021 White House Chief of Staff Ronald A. Klain issued a memorandum for the heads of executive departments and agencies instituting a regulatory freeze pending review. Effective January 20, 2021

Government Announcements

Other Announcements and News

View More Announcements and News
  • The Hill: Here Are the Executive Actions Biden Will Take This Week – January 24, 2021
    • “The president, according to the memo obtained by The Hill, is likely to sign an order related to regional migration and border processing that will rescind Trump administration policies around the asylum system and direct the creation of strategies to address root causes of migration from Central America.
      Biden will also sign an order establishing a task force to reunify migrant families separated during the Trump administration. Biden himself faced criticism during the Democratic primaries for the Obama administration's deportation policies, but the Trump administration implemented an official zero tolerance policy that led to the separation of thousands of migrant families.
      The president will also sign an order directing an immediate review of the public charge rule "and other actions to remove barriers and restore trust in the legal immigration system, including improving the naturalization process."
      A fourth order, establishing principles to guide the implementation of the Refugee Admission Program, is tentatively on the schedule for Friday but could be scrapped or changed, according to the memo.”
    • White House Early Calendar of Themed Days
  • On January 20, 2021, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) announced that "he will lead the legislative effort in the United States Senate and introduce the Biden-Harris Administration’s bold immigration bill to build a fair, humane and functional immigration system."
  • On January, 20, 2021, Representative Linda Sánchez (D-CA) announced that she will be leading the introduction of the U.S. Citizenship Act in the House.
  • On January 20, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain issued a memorandum regarding review of pending regulatory actions which directs, in part, that 1) all rules pending at the Federal Register that have not been published must be immediately withdrawn and 2) agencies must “consider” postponing the effective dates for regulations that have been published, but not yet taken effect, for 60 days from the date of this memorandum. As a result, the modified version of the Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program Final Rule sent to the Federal Register on January 15, but not yet published, will be withdrawn. In addition, any final rule that has already published, but not yet taken effect may upon further agency action be postponed for until March 21, 2021, including the H-1B Wage Selection Final Rule. AILA will continue to monitor any agency action taken to delay the effective dates of the rule.
  • Fact Sheet: President-Elect Biden’s Day One Executive Actions Deliver Relief for Families Across America Amid Converging Crises – January 20, 2021
    • Immigration-related executive actions are expected to include:
      • Reverse President Trump’s Executive Order Excluding Undocumented Immigrants from the Reapportionment Count
      • Preserve and Fortify Protections for Dreamers
      • Reverse the Muslim Ban
      • Repeal of Trump Interior Enforcement Executive Order
      • Stop Border Wall Construction
      • Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians Presidential Memorandum
    • Fact Sheet: President Biden Sends Immigration Bill to Congress as Part of His Commitment to Modernize our Immigration System – January 20, 2021
    • Immigration Update from the Biden-Harris Transition Team
      • "President Elect Joe Biden and Vice President Elect Kamala Harris are committed to ending the Trump administration’s inhumane and unfair immigration policies while also laying out a bold and expansive agenda that will ensure our immigration system reflects our values. Included in this agenda is a Day 1 bill that provides a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who call America home."
    • On January 18, 2021, Jen Psaki, the incoming Press Secretary, tweeted that the Biden administration will not be lifting restrictions on international travel due to COVID-19.
    • Memo from Incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain to Incoming White House Senior Staff on the First Ten Days of the Administration - January 16, 2021
      • "On Inauguration Day, President-elect Biden will sign roughly a dozen actions to combat the four crises, restore humanity to our immigration system, and make government function for the people. As previously announced, he will ask the Department of Education to extend the existing pause on student loan payments and interest for millions of Americans with federal student loans, re-join the Paris Agreement, and reverse the Muslim Ban."

Personnel Changes

View More on Personnel Changes
  • On January 25, 2021, BuzzFeed News reporter Hamed Aleazis tweeted: “Ashley Tabaddor, formerly head of the union representing immigration judges, will take over as the lead attorney at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (chief counsel).
  • On January 25, 2021, BuzzFeed News reporter Hamed Aleaziz tweeted: “San Francisco native John Trasvina has taken over as the top attorney at ICE.”
  • On January 25, 2021, BuzzFeed News reporter Hamed Aleaziz tweeted: “Tim Perry, a CA official, is joining as [ICE] chief of staff.”
  • On January 22, 2021, BuzzFeed News reporter Hamed Aleaziz tweeted: “Amanda Baran, a former DHS policy official in the Obama administration, is taking over as the head of USCIS policy.”
  • On January 19, 2021, BuzzFeed News reporter Hamed Aleaziz tweeted: “Andrea Flores, an ACLU attorney, is joining the White House’s immigration team. Elsewhere, David Shahoulian, democratic chief counsel at House Judiciary, is expected to join the DHS policy office.”
  • According to Bloomberg Government, Ur Jaddou tops the list to lead USCIS.
  • President Joe Biden Announces Acting Federal Agency Leadership - January 20, 2021
  • On January 20, 2021, BuzzFeed News reporter Hamed Aleaziz tweeted the following:
    • He also added, "The DHS General Counsel is now Joseph Maher."
  • On January 19, 2021, the Senate will host a hearing to confirm the nomination of Alejandro N. Mayorkas as DHS Secretary.
  • On January 14, 2021, Hamed Aleaziz, a reporter for BuzzFeed News posted the following on Twitter: "Joseph Edlow, the acting USCIS leader, announced to staff today that he will resign on 1/20 at noon. He said that Larry Denayer will oversee the agency in an acting role afterward."
  • According to the Biden-Harris transition website, Tyler Moran will be appointed as Special Assistant to the President for Immigration for the Domestic Policy Council, and Esther Olavarria will serve as Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council for Immigration.
  • On January 13, 2021, Hamed Aleaziz, a reporter for BuzzFeed News, posted on Twitter that the acting leader of ICE had resigned and that "Until another acting director is named, pursuant to the delegation of authority, Tae Johnson, the deputy director, will serve as acting director.”

Advocacy Resources

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Media Coverage

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Cite as AILA Doc. No. 21011407.