E.g., 02/21/2024
E.g., 02/21/2024
In Its First Three Years, Biden Administration Has Issued More Immigration-Related Executive Actions than during Entire Trump Term
Press Release
Friday, January 19, 2024

In Its First Three Years, Biden Administration Has Issued More Immigration-Related Executive Actions than during Entire Trump Term

WASHINGTON, DC — The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) has tallied that President Joe Biden and his administration have taken 535 immigration-related executive actions during their first three years, surpassing the 472 advanced during all four years of the Trump administration—which was widely viewed as having the most activist presidency yet on immigration.

Partly as a result of these Biden executive actions, which have touched virtually every aspect of the immigration system, legal immigration has returned to, and in some cases surpassed, pre-pandemic levels. Temporary humanitarian protections have been extended to hundreds of thousands of migrants, including displaced Afghans, Ukrainians and Venezuelans. Immigration enforcement in the U.S. interior has been more narrowly targeted. And the government has put in place new border processes that seek to incentivize arrivals at official ports of entry and disincentivize irregular arrivals.

Despite the pace of executive activity on immigration, the administration has been accused by its critics of inaction at the U.S.-Mexico border, which is experiencing record levels of encounters of asylum seekers and other migrants. Since Biden took office on January 20, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has recorded at least 6.3 million migrant encounters at and between ports of entry at the Southwest border (nearly 2.5 million resulting in immediate expulsion). More than 2.4 million border arrivals have been allowed into the country, where most will face proceedings in immigration court.

The pressures at the border are being acutely felt by some U.S. cities and states experiencing high migrant arrivals, analysts Muzaffar Chishti, Kathleen Bush-Joseph and Colleen Putzel-Kavanaugh note in their analysis published today in MPI’s Migration Information Source magazine. “Even some of Biden’s fellow Democrats have begun advocating for more stringent border control, adding a new dimension to immigration politics in a presidential election year when the issue is sure to be a defining one between the two political parties,” they write.

The article reviews the major immigration actions taken during the Biden administration, focusing on border enforcement, interior enforcement and impacts on U.S. cities, humanitarian protection, the immigration courts and legal admissions. MPI has annually issued these analyses during the Trump and Biden presidencies.

The speeded-up pace of executive actions taken by the current and last administrations is in part a response to continued inaction in Congress, which has not passed a major immigration overhaul in nearly three decades.

The MPI analysts assess two areas of executive action in particular may stand as defining ones for this administration on immigration:

  • The ballooning population of 2.3 million immigrants in the United States who hold a twilight legal status such as parole or Temporary Protected Status, which provide access to work permits and protection from deportation but do not lead to a green card. This swelling population is one reason why asylum cases are at record highs.
  • The focus on increased coordination with partner countries throughout Latin America to respond to massive migration movements within the Western Hemisphere, some of it headed to the United States.

Read the article here: www.migrationpolicy.org/article/biden-three-immigration-record.

Sign up for the Migration Information Source’s monthly U.S. immigration policy updates, which go beyond the daily headlines to offer fresh analysis and data on national, state and local and legal developments: www.migrationpolicy.org/content/sign-us-immigration-policy-beat.

Find more from the Migration Information Source, which publishes profiles of countries’ migration histories, features about interesting migration developments globally and data spotlights on particular U.S. immigrant populations, all accessible at www.migrationinformation.org.