Biden Orders Federal Review of Restrictive Immigration Policies, Public Charge, Naturalization

On Tuesday, February 2nd, President Biden signed an Executive Order calling for the immediate federal review of restrictive immigration policies in order to “restor[e] trust in our legal immigration system.” The Order instructs the Secretary of State (Anthony J. Blinken), Attorney General (Monty Wilkinson), Secretary of Homeland Security (Alejandro Mayorkas), and other relevant agency heads to review existing government policy for barriers that “impede access to immigration benefits” and produce a plan within 90 days of the Order recommending steps to revise or rescind restrictive policies.

The Order also calls for the immediate review of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) actions on public charge inadmissibility, a long-existing part of U.S. immigration law since the 1800s. Since February 24, 2020, many green card applicants have been required to submit extensive financial information and documentation under the Trump Administration’s public charge final rule, which has undergone a long series of court challenges since its implementation.

Finally, the naturalization process will also go under federal review, with specific emphasis on reducing current processing times, which severely worsened under the Trump Administration.

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