On February 2, 2021, Alejandro Mayorkas was confirmed by the US Senate and sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”). Secretary Mayorkas previously served as Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security under the Obama administration. After Secretary Mayorkas was confirmed and sworn in, President Biden issued three executive orders on immigration issues.
First, President Biden signed an order to reunite separated families as a result of the Trump administration’s “Zero Tolerance” border policy. The help to these families will also include trauma and mental health services.
Second, President Biden signed an order directing the DHS Secretary to review the Migrant Protection Protocols that required many asylum seekers to wait for decisions on their cases in Mexico. Part of this review includes reconsidering the asylum cooperation agreements with Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
Finally, President Biden issued a final order to review several aspects of the US immigration system, including the public charge rule and how to streamline the naturalization process.