President Biden Moves to Dismantle Trump Era Asylum Policies in New Executive Order


Welcome back to Visalawyerblog! In this post, we continue with our efforts to provide our readers with an overview of President Biden’s recent executive orders on immigration.

Last week, we discussed the major provisions of Executive Order, “Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans.”

In today’s blog post, we continue to break down President Biden’s new executive orders focusing specifically on, “Creating a Comprehensive Regional Framework to Address the Causes of Migration, Manage Migration Throughout North and Central America, and to Provide Safe and Orderly Processing of Asylum Seekers at the United States Border,” and what it means for you.

What is this Executive Order all about?

President Biden signed this executive order on February 2, 2021, to create a multi-pronged approach that will help the United States manage and address the root cause of mass migration from North and Central America.

President Biden plans to work with civil society, international organizations, and govenments in the region to create a strategy that will increase opportunities for vulnerable groups of immigrants to apply for asylum protection closer to home. With this order, his administration hopes to streamline the asylum process in these regions by expanding systems and resettlement capacity.

Among its provisions, the order will increase lawful pathways for vulnerable groups of people to immigrate to the United States, while strengthening our asylum system.

With these targets in mind, the President has ordered the heads of several agencies to take the following actions:

  • coordinate place-based efforts in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (the “Northern Triangle”) to
  • combat corruption, strengthening democratic governance, and advancing the rule of law;
  • promote respect for human rights, labor rights, and a free press;
  • counter and prevent violence, extortion, and other crimes perpetrated by criminal gangs, trafficking networks, and other organized criminal organizations;
  • combat sexual, gender-based, and domestic violence; and
  • address economic insecurity and inequality;
  • consult and collaborate with several agencies to evaluate compliance with the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement to ensure that unfair labor practices do not disadvantage competition
  • encourage the deployment of Northern Triangle domestic resources and the development of Northern Triangle domestic capacity to replicate and scale efforts to foster sustainable societies across the region.
  • expand and improve upon previous efforts to resettle migrants who qualify for humanitarian protection.
  • focus on programs and infrastructure that facilitate access to protection and other lawful immigration avenues, in both the United States and partner countries, as close to migrants’ homes as possible.
  • expand pathways through which individuals facing difficult or dangerous conditions in their home countries can find stability and safety in receiving countries throughout the region, not only through asylum and refugee resettlement, but also through labor and other non-protection-related programs.
  • the Government will promptly begin consultations with civil society, the private sector, international organizations, and governments in the region, including the Government of Mexico.  These consultations will address:

(i)    the continued development of asylum systems and resettlement capacities of receiving countries in the region, including through the provision of funding, training, and other support;

(ii)   the development of internal relocation and integration programs for internally displaced persons, as well as return and reintegration programs for returnees in relevant countries of the region; and

(iii)  humanitarian assistance, including through expansion of shelter networks, to address the immediate needs of individuals who have fled their homes to seek protection elsewhere in the region.

Expanding Lawful Pathways for Protection and Opportunity in the U.S.

Among its provisions, the Executive Order calls for more effective mechanisms to identity and process individuals from the Northern Triangle, who are eligible for refugee resettlement to the United States. The focus will be on increasing access and creating a more efficient immigration system altogether.

First, the Biden administration has called on DHS to reverse the 2017 decision rescinding the Central American Minors (CAM) parole policy and terminating the CAM Parole program. President Biden wishes the program to be re-instituted and improved during his term.

Second, the administration is granting agencies the authority to exercise discretionary parole authority to permit certain nationals of the Northern Triangle, who are the beneficiaries of approved family-sponsored immigrant visa petitions, to join their family members in the United States, on a case-by-case basis.

Restoring and Enhancing Asylum Processing at the Border

In terms of improving asylum processing, President Biden has ordered the DHS, CDC, and DOS to develop policies and procedures that will ensure the safe and orderly processing of asylum claims at U.S. land borders.

President Biden is also focused on dismantling harmful actions issued by the Trump administration that do not align with his agenda as follows:

  • Terminating or rescinding “Order Suspending the Right To Introduce Certain Persons From Countries Where a Quarantinable Communicable Disease Exists,” 85 Fed. Reg. 65,806 (October 13, 2020); and “Control of Communicable Diseases; Foreign Quarantine: Suspension of the Right to Introduce and Prohibition of Introduction of Persons into United States from Designated Foreign Countries or Places for Public Health Purposes,” 85 Fed. Reg. 56,424 (September 11, 2020) (codified at 42 C.F.R. 71.40)
  • Terminating or rescinding the Migrant Protection Protocols (MAPP) program
  • Terminating or rescinding the memorandum of the Secretary of Homeland Security titled “Policy Guidance for Implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols” (January 25, 2019), and any implementing guidance
  • Terminating or rescinding the interim final rule titled “Aliens Subject to a Bar on Entry Under Certain Presidential Proclamations; Procedures for Protection Claims,” 83 Fed. Reg. 55,934 (November 9, 2018), and the final rule titled “Asylum Eligibility and Procedural Modifications,” 85 Fed. Reg. 82,260 (December 17, 2020)
  • Terminating or rescinding the interim final rule titled “Implementing Bilateral and Multilateral Asylum Cooperative Agreements Under the Immigration and Nationality Act,” 84 Fed. Reg. 63,994 (November 19, 2019),
  • Terminating “Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Guatemala on Cooperation Regarding the Examination of Protection Claims,” 84 Fed. Reg. 64,095 (July 26, 2019).
  • Terminating “Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of El Salvador for Cooperation in the Examination of Protection Claims,” 85 Fed. Reg. 83,597 (September 20, 2019).
  • Terminating “Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Honduras for Cooperation in the Examination of Protection Claims,” 85 Fed. Reg. 25,462 (September 25, 2019).
  • Terminating “Prompt Asylum Case Review” program and the “Humanitarian Asylum Review Program”
  • Terminating Executive Order 13767 of January 25, 2017 (Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements).
  • Terminating Proclamation 9880 of May 8, 2019 (Addressing Mass Migration Through the Southern Border of the United States).
  • Terminating Presidential Memorandum of April 29, 2019 (Additional Measures to Enhance Border Security and Restore Integrity to Our Immigration System).
  • Terminating Presidential Memorandum of April 6, 2018 (Ending “Catch and Release” at the Border of the United States and Directing Other Enhancements to Immigration Enforcement).
  • Terminating Presidential Memorandum of April 4, 2018 (Securing the Southern Border of the United States).
  • Possibly Terminating “Designating Aliens for Expedited Removal,” 84 Fed. Reg. 35,409 (July 23, 2019), regarding the geographic scope of expedited removal pursuant to INA section 235(b)(1), 8 U.S.C. 1225(b)(1),

What will Biden do for those who are in removal proceedings?

The executive order calls upon DHS to promptly review procedures for individuals placed in expedited removal proceedings at the U.S. border. Within 120 days, DHS will be required to submit a report to the President with the results of their review and recommendations to create a more efficient and orderly process.

What will Biden change in terms of Asylum eligibility?

Within 180 days, DHS must conduct a comprehensive examination of current rules, regulations, precedential decisions, and internal guidelines that govern asylum claims and determinations of refugee status, to ensure that vulnerable populations are receiving necessary protections from domestic or gang violence.

Moreover, within 270 days, DHS must create new rules and regulations, addressing the circumstances in which a person should be considered a member of a “particular social group” to claim eligibility for asylum consistent with 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(42)(A).

We applaud these efforts by the Biden administration and look forward to a new set of rules and guidelines that will increase the efficiency of the current asylum process.

Questions? If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-569-1768 or call 619-819-9204.

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