Biden Makes Changes to Immigration Law

President Joe Biden has has made significant changes to immigration policy during his time in office. Below is a list of policies that have been enacted and are currently in use by the U.S. government that have changed since President Biden took office in January.

  • The Department of Homeland Security added Haiti to its list of countries for which migrants living in the U.S. are eligible to apply for Temporary Protection Status (TPS).
  • Additionally, Temporary Protection Status has been extended to Venezuelans already in the U.S.
  • The application process to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR, “green card”) is back open after being paused in early 2020 at the start of the pandemic.
  • The Biden administration is in the process of launching a new directive to immigration courts in select cities that speeds up the timeline for immigration court cases for families that cross the Southern border with children. Boston is not yet on the list of cities, but hopefully will be soon.
  • In February, the Biden administration announced an executive order that would begin the processing of asylum seekers who presented at the southern border of the U.S. and were forced to remain in Mexico while their case was being processed will now have an online application portal to begin their migration process into the U.S. Since the executive order was announced, more than 8,000 asylum seekers who were forced to wait in Mexico have been allowed to stay in the U.S. pending their application decision.
  • President Biden created a task force to locate and reunite migrant parents and children that were separated at the southern border during the Trump administration. However, this effort has not yet been successful.
  • The Department of Homeland Security has given new guidance to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to limit immigration enforcement actions in or near courthouses.
  • Along with the changes that have already begun, there are many proposed changes to keep an eye on that could go into effect soon. We will keep track of this and add them to the implemented changes list once they are in action. The proposed changes are:
  • Adding victims of gang and domestic violence to the list of people that are eligible to apply for asylum within the United States. President Trump had disqualified victims of gang and domestic violence from asylum during his presidency. President Biden promised to reverse that policy during his presidency.
  • President Biden promised during his campaign that he would end for-profit immigration detention centers. We have already seen the closure of some of these ICE detention centers, such as the one in Bristol County, MA.