Executive Order on Creating a Comprehensive Regional Framework to Address the Causes of Migration
CREATING A COMPREHENSIVE REGIONAL FRAMEWORK TO ADDRESS THE CAUSES OF MIGRATION, TO MANAGE MIGRATION THROUGHOUT NORTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA, AND TO PROVIDE SAFE AND ORDERLY PROCESSING OF ASYLUM SEEKERS AT THE UNITED STATES BORDER
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. For generations, immigrants have come to the United States with little more than the clothes on their backs, hope in their hearts, and a desire to claim their own piece of the American Dream. These mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters have made our Nation better and stronger.
The United States is also a country with borders and with laws that must be enforced. Securing our borders does not require us to ignore the humanity of those who seek to cross them. The opposite is true. We cannot solve the humanitarian crisis at our border without addressing the violence, instability, and lack of opportunity that compel so many people to flee their homes. Nor is the United States safer when resources that should be invested in policies targeting actual threats, such as drug cartels and human traffickers, are squandered on efforts to stymie legitimate asylum seekers.
Consistent with these principles, my Administration will implement a multi-pronged approach toward managing migration throughout North and Central America that reflects the Nation’s highest values. We will work closely with civil society, international organizations, and the governments in the region to: establish a comprehensive strategy for addressing the causes of migration in the region; build, strengthen, and expand Central and North American countries’ asylum systems and resettlement capacity; and increase opportunities for vulnerable populations to apply for protection closer to home. At the same time, the United States will enhance lawful pathways for migration to this country and will restore and strengthen our own asylum system, which has been badly damaged by policies enacted over the last 4 years that contravened our values and caused needless human suffering.
Sec. 2. United States Strategies for Addressing the Root Causes of Irregular Migration and for Collaboratively Managing Migration in the Region. (a) The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA), in coordination with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the heads of any other relevant executive departments and agencies, shall as soon as possible prepare:
(i) the United States Strategy for Addressing the Root Causes of Migration (the “Root Causes Strategy”); and
(ii) the United States Strategy for Collaboratively Managing Migration in the Region (the “Collaborative Management Strategy”).
(b) The Root Causes Strategy shall identify and prioritize actions to address the underlying factors leading to migration in the region and ensure coherence of United States Government positions. The Root Causes Strategy shall take into account, as appropriate, the views of bilateral, multilateral, and private sector partners, as well as civil society, and it shall include proposals to:
(i) coordinate place-based efforts in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (the “Northern Triangle”) to address the root causes of migration, including by:
(A) combating corruption, strengthening democratic governance, and advancing the rule of law;
(B) promoting respect for human rights, labor rights, and a free press;
(C) countering and preventing violence, extortion, and other crimes perpetrated by criminal gangs, trafficking networks, and other organized criminal organizations;
(D) combating sexual, gender-based, and domestic violence; and
(E) addressing economic insecurity and inequality;
(ii) consult and collaborate with the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Secretary of Labor to evaluate compliance with the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement to ensure that unfair labor practices do not disadvantage competition; and
(iii) encourage the deployment of Northern Triangle domestic resources and the development of Northern Triangle domestic capacity to replicate and scale efforts to foster sustainable societies across the region.
(c) The Collaborative Management Strategy shall identify and prioritize actions to strengthen cooperative efforts to address migration flows, including by expanding and improving upon previous efforts to resettle throughout the region those migrants who qualify for humanitarian protection. The Collaborative Management Strategy should focus on programs and infrastructure that facilitate access to protection and other lawful immigration avenues, in both the United States and partner countries, as close to migrants’ homes as possible. Priorities should include support for expanding pathways through which individuals facing difficult or dangerous conditions in their home countries can find stability and safety in receiving countries throughout the region, not only through asylum and refugee resettlement, but also through labor and other non-protection-related programs. To support the development of the Collaborative Management Strategy, the United States Government shall promptly begin consultations with civil society, the private sector, international organizations, and governments in the region, including the Government of Mexico. These consultations should address:
(i) the continued development of asylum systems and resettlement capacities of receiving countries in the region, including through the provision of funding, training, and other support;
(ii) the development of internal relocation and integration programs for internally displaced persons, as well as return and reintegration programs for returnees in relevant countries of the region; and
(iii) humanitarian assistance, including through expansion of shelter networks, to address the immediate needs of individuals who have fled their homes to seek protection elsewhere in the region.
Sec. 3. Expansion of Lawful Pathways for Protection and Opportunity in the United States. (a) The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall promptly review mechanisms for better identifying and processing individuals from the Northern Triangle who are eligible for refugee resettlement to the United States. Consideration shall be given to increasing access and processing efficiency. As part of this review, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall also identify and implement all legally available and appropriate forms of relief to complement the protection afforded through the United States Refugee Admissions Program. The Secretary of State and Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit a report to the President with the results of the review.
(b) As part of the review conducted pursuant to section 3(a) of this order, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall:
(i) consider taking all appropriate actions to reverse the 2017 decision rescinding the Central American Minors (CAM) parole policy and terminating the CAM Parole Program, see “Termination of the Central American Minors Parole Program,” 82 Fed. Reg. 38,926 (August 16, 2017), and consider initiating appropriate actions to reinstitute and improve upon the CAM Parole Program; and
(ii) consider promoting family unity by exercising the Secretary’s discretionary parole authority to permit certain nationals of the Northern Triangle who are the beneficiaries of approved family-sponsored immigrant visa petitions to join their family members in the United States, on a case-by-case basis.
(c) The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall promptly evaluate and implement measures to enhance access for individuals from the Northern Triangle to visa programs, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law.
Sec. 4. Restoring and Enhancing Asylum Processing at the Border. (a) Resuming the Safe and Orderly Processing of Asylum Claims at United States Land Borders.
(i) The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in coordination with the Secretary of State, shall promptly begin consultation and planning with international and non-governmental organizations to develop policies and procedures for the safe and orderly processing of asylum claims at United States land borders, consistent with public health and safety and capacity constraints.
(ii) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Director of CDC, shall promptly begin taking steps to reinstate the safe and orderly reception and processing of arriving asylum seekers, consistent with public health and safety and capacity constraints. Additionally, in furtherance of this goal, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law:
(A) The Secretary of HHS and the Director of CDC, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall promptly review and determine whether termination, rescission, or modification of the following actions is necessary and appropriate: “Order Suspending the Right To Introduce Certain Persons From Countries Where a Quarantinable Communicable Disease Exists,” 85 Fed. Reg. 65,806 (October 13, 2020); and “Control of Communicable Diseases; Foreign Quarantine: Suspension of the Right to Introduce and Prohibition of Introduction of Persons into United States from Designated Foreign Countries or Places for Public Health Purposes,” 85 Fed. Reg. 56,424 (September 11, 2020) (codified at 42 C.F.R. 71.40).
(B) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall promptly review and determine whether to terminate or modify the program known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), including by considering whether to rescind the Memorandum of the Secretary of Homeland Security titled “Policy Guidance for Implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols” (January 25, 2019), and any implementing guidance. In coordination with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Director of CDC, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall promptly consider a phased strategy for the safe and orderly entry into the United States, consistent with public health and safety and capacity constraints, of those individuals who have been subjected to MPP for further processing of their asylum claims.
(C) The Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall promptly review and determine whether to rescind the interim final rule titled “Aliens Subject to a Bar on Entry Under Certain Presidential Proclamations; Procedures for Protection Claims,” 83 Fed. Reg. 55,934 (November 9, 2018), and the final rule titled “Asylum Eligibility and Procedural Modifications,” 85 Fed. Reg. 82,260 (December 17, 2020), as well as any agency memoranda or guidance that were issued in reliance on those rules.
(D) The Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall promptly review and determine whether to rescind the interim final rule titled “Implementing Bilateral and Multilateral Asylum Cooperative Agreements Under the Immigration and Nationality Act,” 84 Fed. Reg. 63,994 (November 19, 2019), as well as any agency memoranda or guidance issued in reliance on that rule. In the interim, the Secretary of State shall promptly consider whether to notify the governments of the Northern Triangle that, as efforts to establish a cooperative, mutually respectful approach to managing migration across the region begin, the United States intends to suspend and terminate the following agreements:
(1) “Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Guatemala on Cooperation Regarding the Examination of Protection Claims,” 84 Fed. Reg. 64,095 (July 26, 2019).
(2) “Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of El Salvador for Cooperation in the Examination of Protection Claims,” 85 Fed. Reg. 83,597 (September 20, 2019).
(3) “Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Honduras for Cooperation in the Examination of Protection Claims,” 85 Fed. Reg. 25,462 (September 25, 2019).
(E) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall promptly cease implementing the “Prompt Asylum Case Review” program and the “Humanitarian Asylum Review Program” and consider rescinding any orders, rules, regulations, guidelines or policies implementing those programs.
(F) The following Presidential documents are revoked:
(1) Executive Order 13767 of January 25, 2017 (Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements).
(2) Proclamation 9880 of May 8, 2019 (Addressing Mass Migration Through the Southern Border of the United States).
(3) Presidential Memorandum of April 29, 2019 (Additional Measures to Enhance Border Security and Restore Integrity to Our Immigration System).
(4) Presidential Memorandum of April 6, 2018 (Ending “Catch and Release” at the Border of the United States and Directing Other Enhancements to Immigration Enforcement).
(5) Presidential Memorandum of April 4, 2018 (Securing the Southern Border of the United States).
(G) The Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall promptly take steps to rescind any agency memoranda or guidance issued in reliance on or in furtherance of any directive revoked by section 4(a)(ii)(F) of this order.
(b) Ensuring a Timely and Fair Expedited Removal Process.
(i) The Secretary of Homeland Security, with support from the United States Digital Service within the Office of Management and Budget, shall promptly begin a review of procedures for individuals placed in expedited removal proceedings at the United States border. Within 120 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit a report to the President with the results of this review and recommendations for creating a more efficient and orderly process that facilitates timely adjudications and adherence to standards of fairness and due process.
(ii) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall promptly review and consider whether to modify, revoke, or rescind the designation titled “Designating Aliens for Expedited Removal,” 84 Fed. Reg. 35,409 (July 23, 2019), regarding the geographic scope of expedited removal pursuant to INA section 235(b)(1), 8 U.S.C. 1225(b)(1), consistent with applicable law. The review shall consider our legal and humanitarian obligations, constitutional principles of due process and other applicable law, enforcement resources, the public interest, and any other factors consistent with this order that the Secretary deems appropriate. If the Secretary determines that modifying, revoking, or rescinding the designation is appropriate, the Secretary shall do so through publication in the Federal Register.
(c) Asylum Eligibility. The Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall:
(i) within 180 days of the date of this order, conduct a comprehensive examination of current rules, regulations, precedential decisions, and internal guidelines governing the adjudication of asylum claims and determinations of refugee status to evaluate whether the United States provides protection for those fleeing domestic or gang violence in a manner consistent with international standards; and
(ii) within 270 days of the date of this order, promulgate joint regulations, consistent with applicable law, addressing the circumstances in which a person should be considered a member of a “particular social group,” as that term is used in 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(42)(A), as derived from the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol.
Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
February 2, 2021