President Joe Biden signed an executive order Tuesday that sets a new tone toward immigrants and directs agencies to review existing immigration regulations, guidance and policies to reduce barriers to legal immigration routes, including an immediate review of the public charge rule.

Key Provisions:

  • Restoring Legal Immigration. The Executive Order on Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans directs the State Department, Attorney General and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to:
    • Review existing regulations, orders, guidance, policies and other agency actions; identify agency actions that impede access to legal immigration, including the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services fee regulation; and recommend steps to revise or rescind agency actions.
    • Submit plans to the president within 90 days describing steps each agency will take to reduce barriers to legal immigration and submit a progress report 180 days thereafter.
  • Public Charge Rule. The State Department, Justice Department and DHS are directed to conduct an immediate review of all agency actions related to implementation of the Trump administration’s public charge regulation and to:
    • Evaluate their current effects and implications of their continued implementation.
    • Identify actions to address concerns about their effect on the integrity of the immigration system and public health.
    • Recommend steps the agencies should take to communicate public charge policies to reduce fear and confusion.
    • Submit reports to the president within 60 days, describing agency actions and plans.
  • Naturalization. The relevant agencies are ordered to submit plans within 60 days to eliminate barriers to naturalization, improve the process, and to:
    • Reduce processing times and fees, restore fee waivers, and review denaturalization and passport revocation policies.
    • Submit progress reports within 180 days.
    • Establish an Interagency Working Group on Promoting Naturalization.
  • Task Force for New Americans. The White House Domestic Policy Council will create a new task force to coordinate the federal government’s efforts to welcome and support immigrants, including refugees, and promote integration and inclusion efforts for new Americans.
  • Immediately Revoke “Enforcing Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens” memo. The Biden order revokes a May 23, 2019, Trump memorandum that directed agencies to update procedures and guidance to strictly enforce a requirement that sponsors reimburse the government for any federal means-tested benefits received by the immigrant they are sponsoring.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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