Friday, February 11, 2022

Readout of Director Ur M. Jaddou’s Virtual Briefing with Stakeholders to Mark One-Year Anniversary of Executive Orders Aimed at Restoring Faith in Our Immigration System

WASHINGTON— Yesterday, on the one-year anniversary of several executive orders (EOs) from the Biden-Harris administration aimed at restoring faith in our nation's legal immigration system, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Ur M. Jaddou briefed national stakeholders on the agency's efforts to implement these EOs. During this briefing, Director Jaddou and senior USCIS leadership shared policy and operational updates highlighting USCIS' progress in responding to these executive orders.

Director Jaddou sitting looking at monitors of people and accomplishments regarding the Executive Order Anniversary

Key Excerpts

  • "President Biden issued several executive orders and proclamations that impact all U.S. federal agencies involved in the immigration process. These EO's seek to accomplish many things – but rooted in all of them is a firm and meaningful commitment to making the United States a stronger, more inclusive, and welcoming nation."
  • "It doesn't matter what benefit we are talking about or what you applied for, every single applicant who seeks a benefit from USCIS is entitled to a timely decision. USCIS is clear-eyed about this and we are taking important steps to ensure that we are addressing case processing times in a meaningful way and, although there is still much to do that will take time given our large backlog, we have made progress in key areas."
  • "We hear you. We know those seeking our services need and deserve this commitment. We will continue working together to solidify our progress for the good of the nation. As a daughter of immigrants, I'm humbled to be the first woman and first Mexican-American and Chaldean-American to serve as USCIS director. Thanks to my family and personal experience, I know very well that naturalization, and so many other immigration benefits, are critical to those who seek them."
  • "USCIS welcomed 855,000 New Americans and hosted more than 40,000 naturalization ceremonies in FY 2021.  We also decreased the pending naturalization case queue by approximately 20% in calendar year 2021 and returned to pre-pandemic processing levels for naturalization. We certainly have more work to do in getting through our naturalization workload and this is a key focus for us."
  • "The work that we have in front of us is complex but is exciting, and while much has been done to restore confidence and trust in our immigration system, there is still so much work ahead of us. At USCIS, we will continue to fulfill our obligations under President Biden's executive orders that help to restore and rebuild our immigration system."
  • "As we look towards the future, you have my commitment that USCIS will continue to serve the public with respect and reflect America's promise as a nation of welcome and possibility. That is the mission of our agency."

Executive Orders

Last year, the Biden-Harris administration issued the following EOs:

  • EO 14012, Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans;
  • EO 14010, 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;
  • EO 14013, Rebuilding and Enhancing Programs to Resettle Refugees and Planning for the Impact of Climate Change on Migration; and
  • EO 14011, Establishment of Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families.
  • Presidential Memorandum on Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Throughout this past year, USCIS has advanced policies and procedures, consistent with applicable law, that support the EOs issued by the president, including by identifying and removing barriers that impede access to immigration benefits and identifying agency actions that fail to promote access to the legal immigration system. USCIS remains committed to empowering lawful permanent residents to pursue citizenship, along with the rights, responsibilities and opportunities that come with it.

A complete list of the progress USCIS has made towards fulfilling the expectations set out by these EOs can be found here (PDF, 3.08 MB).

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