Federal Action on Immigration 2017-2019


The administration has issued a number of executive orders, memos, proclamations and other actions related to immigration and refugees. This timeline summarizes major administrative actions, SCOTUS decisions and select Congressional action on immigration. 

Jan. 25, 2017—Executive orders on sanctuary cities and the proposed border wall.

Jan. 27, 2017Executive order on refugee admissions and immigration bans.

Feb. 20, 2017—Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implementation memos on “Implementing the President's Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvement Policies” and “Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest."

March 6, 2017Executive order temporarily suspending immigration from six countries.

March 20, 2017—DHS "Declined Detainer Outcome Report" highlighting jurisdictions that have declined to honor immigration and customs enforcement detainers for potentially removable individuals who have been arrested or held in police custody.

April 18, 2017Presidential executive order on Buy American, Hire American prioritizing federal use of American goods and services and directing changes in the process for issuing H-1B visas including a policy change to strip spouses of H-1B visa holders of their right to work.

June 15, 2017—DHS Secretary John Kelly rescinds Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) policy.

July 11, 2017—DHS delays implementation of International Entrepreneur Rule that would have allowed, under certain conditions, entrepreneurs from foreign countries to enter the United States for 30 months to establish a startup business.

July 27, 2017—The House passes a $788 billion spending bill including $1.6 billion for border wall funding.

Sept. 5, 2017—The Trump administration ends DACA.

Sept. 20, 2017—California files a lawsuit against the administration to stop the border wall plan. The suit contends the plan doesn't comply with the federal government's own environmental legislation and infringes on states' rights, among other claims.

Sept. 24, 2017—The Trump administration releases updated travel restrictions.

Sept. 27, 2017—The Trump administration reduces the ceiling for refugee admissions to the U.S. to 45,000.

Oct. 24, 2017—Restrictions on refugee admissions expire; new guidelines established related to officer training, fraud detection, and sharing information between federal agencies.

Nov. 20, 2017—DHS announces an end date for Haitians living and working in the U.S. on Temporary Protected Status. Haitians living in the U.S. will have until July 22, 2019, to return to Haiti or apply for lawful immigration status in the U.S., if eligible.

Dec. 4, 2017—The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) announces a temporary stay on Fourth and Ninth Circuit injunctions on the Sept. 24 travel restrictions, allowing them to go into effect.

Jan. 9, 2018—A California judge orders the administration to resume DACA renewals.

Jan. 19, 2018—SCOTUS announces that it will hear challenges to the latest version of the travel ban.

Feb. 13, 2018—A federal judge in Brooklyn issues an injunction to block the Trump administration’s termination of DACA.

Feb. 26, 2018—SCOTUS rules that it will not hear the Trump administration’s request to review DACA, keeping the program alive and allowing DACA recipients to renew their status after the March 5 deadline.

April 6, 2018—The U.S. attorney general announces a “zero-tolerance” policy for criminal illegal entry.

April 24, 2018—A District of Columbia judge rules that DACA protections must stay in place and that the government must resume accepting new applications.

April 25, 2018—SCOTUS hears oral arguments on the challenge to the travel ban.

June 11, 2018—The U.S. attorney general announces that individuals who are victims of private crime such as domestic violence or gang violence are not eligible for asylum.

June 15, 2018—The DHS reports how many children have been separated from their parents during the zero-tolerance initiative: nearly 2,000 children from April 19 to May 31.

June 20, 2018—An executive order ends family separation at the border.

June 21, 2018—The Justice Department asks a federal judge to modify the Flores Settlement Agreement related to the detention of children.

June 26, 2018—SCOTUS upholds Trump’s travel ban.

June 26, 2018—A federal judge in California orders U.S. immigration authorities to reunite parents with children younger than 5 within 14 days and all others within 30 days.

July 19, 2018—The DHS secretary extends the Temporary Protected Status designation for Somalia for 18 months through March 17, 2020.

Sept. 7, 2018—Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued on proposed changes to the Flores Settlement Agreement.

Oct. 4, 2018Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions, FY2019 caps the number of refugee admissions at 30,000 for fiscal year 2019.

Oct. 10, 2018Federal Register Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the DHS’s proposed changes to the definition of “public charge.”

Oct. 26, 2018—Trump orders the Department of Defense to deploy military to the southwest border to support the DHS’s border control efforts.

Nov. 9, 2018—Trump issues a presidential proclamation limiting asylum claims to migrants who enter the country through legal ports of entry.

Nov. 21, 2018—A U.S. district judge issues a preliminary injunction on the presidential proclamation on asylum. The judge rules that federal law allows migrants to seek asylum anywhere on U.S. soil.

Dec. 19, 2018—A U.S. district judge ruled that the administration's order that individuals who are victims of private crime such as domestic violence or gang violence are not eligible for asylum violated the Administrative Procedure Act and immigration laws.

Jan. 30, 2019—The Conference Committee on Homeland Security Appropriations, a bipartisan, bicameral group of 17 lawmakers, met to negotiate immigration and border security for FY19 by the next budget deadline of Feb. 15.

Prepared by Ishanee Chanda and Ann Morse