9 Immigration Takeaways from Inauguration Day

by | Jan 21, 2021 | Immigration |

The last five years or so have brought significant changes to the United States’ immigration law. With a new presidential administration, 2021 brought more change. Wednesday’s Inauguration Day was momentous for immigration, and here is a summary of key developments and what they mean:

  1. Introduction of a comprehensive immigration reform bill into Congress- If passed as-is, this would be tremendous, and, among other things, give a path to citizenship for approximately 11 million people who are here without status. This bill, however, faces a huge uphill battle in Congress and could be altered, or not passed at all.  Therefore, this is something to watch closely, but people should not make concrete plans assuming it will pass.
  2. 100-day moratorium on deportations and revision of enforcement priorities– DHS’ overzealous enforcement, including overreach by ICE and USCIS’ increased practice of placing people in removal proceedings stemmed from an executive order and subsequent policy memos issued at the beginning of the prior administration. Those orders were all rescinded, with DHS directed to revisit their enforcement priorities.  In the meantime, there is an immediate 100-day moratorium on deportations, and, beginning February 1, DHS is directed to prioritize security threats, recent entrants, and non-citizens recently released after aggravated felony convictions.  While we are waiting for more guidance, this policy should make things safer for immigrants and may provide some new options for those in removal proceedings or with outstanding removal orders.
  3. Ending the Muslim Ban– The order rescinds a ban on immigration from several majority-Muslim countries. While effective immediately, consulates are currently at reduced capacities due to COVID, so it may still take some time for people previously subject to the ban to come to the U.S.
  4. No new enrollment in the MPP (or “Remain in Mexico” program)- MPP has forced tens of thousands of asylum seekers to stay in dangerous camps in Mexico while fighting their cases in U.S. immigration courts.  With the immigration court closures due to COVID, however, even these hearings have been delayed.  Asylum seekers will still need to address the ban on non-essential travel from the land border with Mexico,  and this order does not help those currently in the MPP system.  This is therefore a positive first step, but much more will need to be done soon.
  5. Defunding and pausing the border wall– President Biden lifted the “emergency” declaration which allowed expedited construction of the border wall, paused construction, and ordered funds for the Department of Defense which had been diverted to the border wall to be reallocated. This does not necessarily mean construction of the border will stop in this administration but is a positive first step.
  6. “Preserving and fortifying DACA”- President Biden directed the administration to “preserve and fortify DACA.” There were no particular instructions with this order, so it is unclear what effect, if any, it will have.  This would, at a minimum, mean stopping efforts by the DHS to rescind DACA.  Also, there have been some legal challenges to DACA on procedural grounds- it is possible DHS will address those issues.
  7. Stopping efforts to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census- While this will not impact immigration directly, it is an important step to provide representation to everyone living in the U.S.
  8. Reinstating Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians- This will allow Liberians to again apply for protection from removal and employment authorization. Note- many Liberians eligible for DED are also able to apply for residency through a separate program.
  9. Regulatory freeze- The President stopped the processing of regulations begun in the past administration that had not yet been finalized. This includes many immigration regulations that the prior administration tried to implement, but could not finish in time, and would have included things such as requiring biometrics for permanent residents and visa petitioners, as well as more changes to asylum and removal proceedings.  While not unexpected, the official halt of these potential regulations is welcome news.

The White House has indicated that upcoming executive orders will be focused on a specific issue each day.  The next set of executive orders on immigration is planned for Friday, January 29th.  We anticipate that the orders will include lifting the immigrant visa bans, and other positive developments.

We recommend that anyone who thinks they could benefit from the changes continue watching for further developments, and consult with an immigration attorney before filing anything with the government.

Bean, Lloyd, Mukherji, & Taylor is an immigration law firm in Oakland, California

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Big News- Firm Merger and Consolidation to Oakland!

Bean + Lloyd, LLP and Park & Taylor has formed Bean, Lloyd, Mukherji, & Taylor, LLP

San Francisco Office has Moved to Join Oakland Office

We are thrilled to announce the merger of Bean + Lloyd, LLP and Park & Taylor, two highly respected Bay Area immigration law firms, which took place in April 2021. The new firm, Bean, Lloyd, Mukherji, & Taylor, LLP, combines decades of immigration experience in the subfields of family-based immigration, removal defense, asylum, humanitarian visas, and criminal immigration.

Additionally, the former Park & Taylor office in San Francisco has moved to join the Oakland office at 110 11th Street, Oakland, CA 94607. While the office is temporarily closed to the public due to COVID-19, our staff is still available by phone, email, and text message, and all consultations and client appointments will continue by phone or video. We look forward to physically reopening our expanded and improved Oakland office when it is safe to do so.

Partners Jesse Lloyd and Anita Mukherji, both certified specialists in immigration and nationality law by the California State Bar, lead the firm. Karyn Taylor has joined as Of Counsel, and Angela Bean remains as partner and Anna von Herrmann as Of Counsel. The Park & Taylor staff have brought their two decades of experience to the team.

Please contact us at (510) 433-1900 or www.beanlloyd.com with any inquiries.

¡Anuncio importante- Unión y Consolidación de Dos Bufetes! Bean + Lloyd, LLP y Park & Taylor han Formado Bean, Lloyd, Mukherji, & Taylor, LLP

La oficina de Park & Taylor se ha mudado para unirse a la oficina de Oakland

Estamos emocionados de anunciar la unión entre Bean + Lloyd, LLP y Park & Taylor, dos bufetes de inmigración muy respetados en el Área de la Bahía, lo cual ocurrió en abril del 2021. El bufete nuevo, Bean, Lloyd, Mukherji, & Taylor, LLP, combina décadas de experiencia en inmigración familiar, defensa de deportación, asilo, visas humanitarias, e inmigración criminal.

Además, la antigua oficina de Park & Taylor en San Francisco se ha mudado para unirse a la oficina de Oakland en 110 11th Street, Oakland, CA 94607. Nuestra oficina está temporalmente cerrada al público debido a COVID-19. Nuestro personal seguirá estando disponible por teléfono, correo electrónico y texto. Todas las consultas y citas de clientes, continuarán por teléfono o videollamada. Estamos emocionados para reabrir físicamente nuestra ampliada y mejorada oficina de Oakland cuando sea seguro hacerlo.

Los socios Jesse Lloyd y Anita Mukherji, dos especialistas certificados en ley de inmigración y nacionalidad por la Barra del Estado de California, dirigen el bufete. Karyn Taylor es abogada retirada pero se ha unido al bufete, Angela Bean permanece como socia y Anna von Herrmann sigue siendo parte del bufete. El personal de Park & Taylor ha compartido sus dos décadas de experiencia con el equipo.

Por favor contáctenos al (510) 433-1900 o www.beanlloyd.com con sus preguntas.

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