DHS encourages COVID-19 Immigrant Vaccination & other Immigration News for February 5, 2021
Peri B. Edelman | February 5, 2021
Senate Confirmed the First Latino and Immigrant as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Alejandro N. Mayorkas as secretary of DHS. Vice President Kamala Harris swore Mr. Mayorkas into office, making him the first Latino and the first immigrant to hold that position which has been vacant for 21 months.
Supreme Court Cancels Oral Arguments for 2 Trump Immigration Policies
The Supreme Court has cancelled oral arguments of 2 Trump orders --President Trump's border wall construction, and the other, the asylum "remain in Mexico" policy. President Biden through executive orders has already issued executive orders pausing both the erection of the border wall, and the "remain in Mexico" policy, under which approximately 68,700 asylum seekers and others who crossed the border without authorization, were sent back to Mexico to wait for their asylum applications to be processed. Both cases are still pending in the Court but will probably be dismissed as moot.
DHS encourages COVID-19 Immigrant Vaccination
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Monday that it would not conduct enforcement activities near COVID-19 vaccination sites. DHS is encouraging immigrants to get vaccinated regardless of their status.
President Biden signed Executive Orders on Tuesday
The Orders are as follows:
- A review of Trump’s ‘public charge’ rule, which makes it more challenging for poorer immigrants to obtain permanent residency in the United States.
- An asylum-focused order called on U.S. agencies to address drivers of migration in Central America to the United States, expand legal pathways to the United States and consider ending Trump-era asylum pacts with Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
- A review of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), a Trump program that ordered non-Mexican 68,700 asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their U.S. court hearings, but not immediately cancel the program.
- To establish a task force designed to reunite more than 600 migrant children with their parents after federal authorities had split them up at the border in 2017 and 2018. Officials say first lady Jill Biden is expected to play an active role in the effort.
President Biden Raises the Cap on Refugees
President Biden announced yesterday he plans to raise the cap on refugees allowed to enter the U.S. President Trump set a cap of 15,000 for the current fiscal year — the lowest level since the passage of the Refugee Act in 1980. President Biden pledged to increase the annual refugee admissions cap to 125,000 in the 12-month period starting Oct. 1, the next fiscal year. Biden must consult Congress before setting the annual limit.
This newsletter is a general information regarding recent changes in immigration law. Every matter is different. If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.