Newly Sworn-In President Biden Immediately Issues Executive Order to Reverse Muslim Ban


Following through on his progressive agenda, newly elected President Biden has issues several important executive orders which will bring immediate changes to immigration policy.  At the top of the executive order list was the termination of the so-called Muslim-ban, a Trump era executive order which blocked travel to the United states from several predominantly Musilm and African countries.  At the behest of President Trump, who upon taking office in 2016, issued Executive Order 13769, together with Proclamation 9645 which severely limited travel to the United States by citizens of Chad, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.  Although Iraq was removed from this list through Executive Order 13780, and Chad was removed through Presidential Proclamation 9723 on April 10, 2018, on January 31, 2020 the restrictive travel ban was expanded to include travelers who are citizens of an additional 6 countries:  Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania.  Since many of these countries have significant Muslim populations, this became popularly known as Trump’s “Muslim Ban” and was a highly controversial order from the President.

Upon taking office, Presiden Joe Biden immediately moved to undo a lot of Trump’s legislation.  Part of this was the issuance, on January 20, 2021 of a proclamation revoking the Trump Executive Orders and Travel bans.  Nevertheless President Biden did add new travel advisories for travel in and out of the United States based on the prevalence of Covid-19 and related factors.

Further action by the Biden administration has resulted in a directive to the State Department to begin the process of visa processing and registration in order to facilitate the travel of residents of countries from the banned list to allow them to travel legally to the United States.  The processing of new visa commenced immediately.  Furthermore, the Biden administration has expressed an initiative to ascertain any harm that was caused by the Trump edicts and to find a solution to compensate any individuals who were deemed to be harmed or mistreated by the travel ban resulting in their prevention from coming to the United States.


Additionally, the Biden administration via an executive order from President Biden, has reinvigorated DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects immigrants who were brought or moved to the United States as children, from deportation.  President Biden went even further in addressing this issue by including in his executive order a call to Congress to enact legislation which would create a path for these types of child immigrants, often regarded as “Dreamers” in obtaining citizenship as well as securing permanent state in the interim.

President Biden was elected on a platform of unity and progressiveness and his agenda from the outset has looked to remove Trump era initiatives to limit travel and immigration to the United States. Through the executive directives issued, including the retraction of the Muslim Ban, the bolstering of DACA, and the pausing of the building of the border wall, President Biden has taken the opening steps to create a new immigration and naturalization policy in line with his campaign promises, with more policy reforms and adjustments to come.


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