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Strengthening Immigration Integrity: President Biden's Bold Move Against Corruption

In a significant development for U.S. immigration policy, President Joe Biden has introduced a groundbreaking proclamation aimed at combatting global corruption. As reported by Alyssa Aquino in Law360, this presidential proclamation establishes unprecedented anti-corruption visa restrictions, barring noncitizens involved in significant corruption from entering the United States. This move, part of a broader anti-corruption initiative by the Biden administration, represents a decisive step in reinforcing the integrity of the U.S. immigration system.

This proclamation empowers the Secretary of State to identify individuals involved in activities like money laundering that enable corruption to thrive. Once identified, these individuals, along with their immediate family members, will be subject to visa restrictions. This approach marks the U.S. as the first country to implement such targeted visa restrictions, reflecting a strong commitment to upholding global ethical standards and combating corruption at its roots.

The White House's announcement details how this measure is aligned with the U.S.'s core national security interests. The fight against international corruption has been a significant aspect of the Biden administration's policy, emphasizing the need to curb foreign tax havens and illicit financing. The administration's strategy, released in early 2022, particularly focuses on professional service providers who support corrupt public officials and those involved in financing terrorist acts.

A key aspect of this initiative is its comprehensive nature. It targets not only the individuals directly involved in significant corruption but also their support networks. The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, is tasked with identifying these individuals and determining the application of the proclamation in terms of visa restrictions.

Importantly, the proclamation makes clear exceptions. Green card holders and individuals with certain humanitarian immigration protections, such as asylum seekers and refugees, will not be impacted by these visa restrictions. Additionally, the Secretary of State retains the discretion to exempt individuals from these restrictions if their entry into the U.S. aligns with national interests.

This proclamation is part of a suite of measures under the Biden administration’s anti-corruption campaign. These include the establishment of an Anti-Corruption Center within the U.S. Agency for International Development, the issuance of anti-corruption sanctions, and new reporting requirements for companies operating in the U.S. Furthermore, the White House has indicated that the Treasury Department is developing regulations to prevent money laundering in the residential real estate sector, along with new obligations for real estate investment advisors.

For immigration attorneys and their clients, this development underscores the importance of understanding the evolving landscape of U.S. immigration law and policy. It highlights the need for transparency and adherence to legal and ethical standards in all immigration-related activities. This proclamation not only reinforces the U.S.'s stance against global corruption but also signals a more vigilant approach to scrutinizing the backgrounds of individuals seeking entry into the country.

In conclusion, President Biden's proclamation represents a significant step in the U.S.'s ongoing efforts to combat global corruption and safeguard its immigration system. As an immigration law firm, it is crucial to stay informed about such policy changes and advise clients accordingly, ensuring compliance with U.S. immigration laws and contributing to the global fight against corruption.


Aquino, Alyssa. “Feds Look To Lock Out Corruption 'Enablers' From US.” Law360, December 11, 2023.

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