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Buzzfeed news has reported this week via a leaked memo that the Biden Administration has directed the DHS to reframe the terminology used by the immigration authorities. Specifically, the memorandum directs agencies to no longer use the term “alien” and “illegal alien”. Instead, the memo recommends the terms “noncitizen,” “undocumented noncitizen,” or “undocumented individual.” The term “alien” is included in the Immigration and Nationality act, but the impact of the memo is instead directed at outreach and rebranding the immigration agencies.
President Biden underlined his commitment to finding a legal immigration solution to the undocumented individuals in the country at a townhall discussion in Wisconsin. In addition, he highlighted overhaul of the refugee program as a priority. Of note the President also highlighted his willingness to pass parts of his proposed legislation to move forward his agenda, potentially leaving other parts of the proposed bill behind.
The Biden Administration has disavowed a last-minute Trump appointee move to hamper the administration’s policy agenda. News broke that Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli signed an agreement with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employee’s union to require all ICE related administration policies to be approved by the 7,000 member union. The agreement was brought by a whistleblower and through their actions ICE administrators were able to disavow the agreement just before it went into effect.
House democrats and the Biden Administration have indicated they will be releasing the legislative text of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 this week. The bill is expected to include legal pathways to citizenship for undocumented individuals, DACA recipients as well overhauls to asylum benefits program, certain visa categories and new method for tackling the Southern border. Senators, and President Biden, have indicated that they are open to breaking up the legislation into smaller parts for passage.
On Thursday, House democrats and President Biden unveiled the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 to both the House and Senate. This legislation will reflect priorities that the President outlined in an executive order back on his first day in office. This proposed bill will establish an 8-year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who arrived to the U.S. and provide an expedited path to citizenship for farm workers and individuals who have temporary protected status under DACA. The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 will also repeal the penalty that prohibits undocumented immigrants who leave the country from returning to the U.S. for between three and ten years.
Tully Rinckey is able to assist people and organizations world-wide with domestic and international immigration matters. Attorney Michael Freestone is well versed in representing large corporations and is able to navigate complex immigration issues and analyze the facts and recommend the best course of action.