President Joe Biden’s First 2 Days See A Flurry of Immigration-related Executive Actions, Proclamations and Memoranda

President Joseph R. Biden was inaugurated as President of the United States on January 20, 2021 at 12 Noon. Upon assuming the role, President Biden has gotten straight to work and has released at least a dozen or more executive actions and proclamations. Here is a summary of the most significant proclamations and EO’s related to immigration as well other agency actions:

1.White House Memorandum Issuing Regulatory Freeze– The Memorandum announces a review of all pending regulatory actions that have not yet been implemented. Of particular significance is that all rules that were pending at the Federal Register but have not yet been published must be withdrawn. This means that the “Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program Final Rule” which sought to amend the definition of the employer-employee relationship will be withdrawn. The Dept. of Labor has also withdrawn the OFLC Program Bulletin and WHD Field Assistance Bulletin that was released regarding changes to the LCA Filing Requirements that involved third-party placement.

Agencies will need to “consider” delaying the implementation of any rules that have been published but have not yet gone into effect by 60 days. This would include the “H-1B Wage Selection Final Rule.” If delayed, the implementation of the H-1B Cap Wage Rule would be pushed to March 21, making it unlikely that it would affect this year’s H-1B Registration. As the delay of the rule is not mandatory, we are monitoring the situation and will keep our readers posted.

2.“Muslim Ban” Revoked– President Biden has issued a Presidential Proclamation that revokes the previous administration’s proclamations banning the entry of individuals from mostly Muslim-majority and African countries. The final version of the ban, which was upheld by the courts and had affected thousands of people, had blocked those from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syrian, Yemen and Venezuela. President Biden’s Proclamation lifts the restrictions on entry and on visa issuance with immediate effect and orders the Secretary of State to direct that Embassies and Consulates to start getting through the backlog of cases.

3.DACA is safe, for now– The President issued a Memorandum that directs DHS to make whatever adjustments or actions are necessary to protect DACA. This of course follows the US District Court’s decision from the Eastern District of New York on December 4, 2020 to fully reinstate the DACA program.

3.DHS Memorandum on Immigration Enforcement Policies– The DHS Acting Secretary Pokoske has released a Memorandum directing CBP, ICE and USCIS to review all immigration enforcement policies. Significantly, starting on June 22, 2021, DHS will pause for 100 days the removal or “deportation” of many foreign nationals.

These are just some of the announcements and priorities announced in the last 2 days by the Biden Administration. VisaPro will continue to monitor forthcoming proclamations and announcements and will provide further updates as they come.

If you have any questions regarding any US immigration benefit, or need help securing a US visa, contact VisaPro Law Firm today. Our experienced immigration attorneys will be happy to assist you.

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