Two-thousand-twenty-one was a year of reformation in the U.S. immigration world. With a new presidential administration in office and the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. immigration has experienced several changes. We’ve rounded up all of the must-know immigration events of 2021 to keep you in the loop.
January: President Biden took office and unveiled an immigration plan focused on reforming the country’s immigration system.
January 26: President Biden signed three executive orders to undo some of the previous administration’s regulations. The first executive order included an examination of recent regulations and policies established by the previous administration, including the Public Charge Rule. The second order commissioned a review of Trump’s policies limiting asylums and addressed immigration matters in Central America. Lastly, the third order mandated the reunification of over 5,000 families separated at the border during the “zero tolerance” policy.
February 4: Biden issued an executive order to increase refugee admission into the U.S. to a 125,000-person cap. A significant increase in comparison to the previous administration’s 15,000-person cap.
February 18: White House proposed the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, an 8-year pathway to citizenship.
February 22: Biden Administration reversed the previous administration’s revised U.S. Citizenship civic test to the 2008 test.
February 24: The president signed executive order to lift the ban on new green cards ordered during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
March 9: DHS revoked Public Charge Rule established by the previous administration in 2019.
March 17: The House passed a bill that would allow DACA recipients and TPS holders to obtain legal status.
May 10: White House announced the reinstatement of the Immigrant Entrepreneur Program established by the Obama Administration in 2017.
May 18: The Department of State announced a new policy to grant U.S. citizenship to children of U.S. citizens born abroad via in vitro fertilization or surrogacy.
July 16: A federal judge in Texas blocks DACA program, ruling that the U.S government could no longer accept new applications.
September 14: USCIS announced it would be requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to applicants seeking permanent residence.
September 27: Biden Administration announced a new rule to redesign the DACA program.
November 19: The House passed a spending bill with more than $100 billion allocated to immigration reform.
As 2021 came to an end, we are curious to see what this new year will bring to the ever-changing U.S. immigration system.