President Biden Signs Three Executive Orders for Immigration Reform

February 3, 2021 Ian Love

Key Points

  • President Biden has issued three executive orders to reform the U.S. immigration system
  • The executive orders address the Public Charge rule, naturalization, border control, and family reunification
  • All three orders instruct a full agency review of existing immigration policies and procedures
  • The executive actions are part of a broader plan for comprehensive immigration reform
  • Impacts from these executive orders will not be immediate, but updates will be provided as they become available


On February 2, 2021, President Biden issued three executive orders as part of his broader plan for immigration reform in the U.S. The executive orders address the Public Charge rule and irregular migration policies, along with establishing a family reunification task force.

What are the Changes?

The Biden administration’s latest executive orders are intended to promote the lawful assimilation of foreign nationals into the U.S., address irregular and destructive migration policies at the U.S.-Mexico border and reunite families separated by strict regulations. The executive orders build upon the comprehensive immigration reform initiatives outlined by President Biden starting on inauguration day.

Public Charge and Agency Review

One of the three executive orders issued by the Biden administration directs a comprehensive agency review of existing policies and regulations that create hurdles for legal immigration in the U.S. The executive order also mandates a review of the controversial Public Charge rule, which has been extensively litigated since its implementation in February 2020.

President Biden’s executive order directs federal agencies to conduct a comprehensive review of existing policies, regulations and guidance that have created barriers in the nation’s legal immigration system. The executive order also rescinds the Presidential Memorandum of May 23, 2019 (Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens) that was issued by President Trump. The memo required family sponsors of immigrants to reimburse government agencies if the immigrants accessed certain public benefits. The executive order also calls for a review of the naturalization process.

Irregular Migration Policies and Family Reunification

A second executive order issued on February 2 will establish a three-part plan for improving migration policies along the Southern U.S. border that allow for lawful and safe migration into the region. The executive order provides legal migration pathways for Central American asylum seekers and refugees. It also orders the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to review the current Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program.

The third executive order creates a task force to reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. The task force, expected to be headed by newly confirmed Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, will work with the U.S. government and federal agencies to develop a plan for reuniting separated families and implement additional policies to prevent families from being separated at the border in the future.  

Looking Ahead

Although President Biden is signing three executive orders now, the changes that the orders will bring to the nation’s immigration system will not be immediate. Updates will be provided as they become available.

Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Ian Love, who is a Managing Attorney at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (, Envoy’s affiliated law firm.

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.

About the Author

Ian is a Partner at Global Immigration Associates. His practice focuses on immigrant and nonimmigrant matters for companies ranging from small startups to Fortune 500 companies.

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