Day one: U.S. immigration changes under President Biden's administration

22 January 2021

Hours after sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, on January 20, 2021, President Biden finalized 17 executive orders, presidential memoranda and agency directives, five of which directly focus on immigration policies.



The following highlights President Biden's executive actions on immigration policies from January 20th:

  • Bans on Entry to the U.S. This presidential proclamation directs the Department of State to resume the visa processing for the seven Muslin-majority countries, the passport holders of which were previously banned to enter the U.S. The proclamation also develops a plan to address people affected including those who were denied entry to the U.S.
  • Border wall. This presidential proclamation halts construction of the border wall with Mexico by terminating the national emergency declaration used to fund the border wall.
  • DACA. This presidential memorandum preserves, fortifies and strengthens DACA protections for Dreamers.
  • Enforcement. This executive order reverses the expansion of immigration law enforcement within the U.S.
  • Deferrals of Deportation. This presidential memorandum extends the deferred departure protections for Liberian nationals with a safe haven in the U.S. until June 30, 2022.

President Biden also unveiled a sweeping immigration bill that outlines immigration reform including changes to reunify families, a path to citizenship for undocumented people residing in the U.S. and the use of smart border controls deploying technology and new infrastructure.

Gowling WLG

Immigration legislation and practices continue to change frequently amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and we anticipate continued sweeping immigration change in the U.S. under the new administration. For any questions you may have about U.S. corporate and employment-based immigration, the Gowling WLG Immigration Group would be pleased to assist. Find out more about our Group.


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