July 20, 2022

President Biden Signs Executive Order Bolstering Efforts to Bring Home Detained U.S. Nationals

President Joseph R. Biden signed an Executive Order ("E.O.") declaring a national emergency to combat the threat of hostage-taking and the wrongful detention of U.S. nationals in foreign countries.

In the E.O., President Biden reinforced (i) the responsibilities and commitments contained in hostage recovery directives and seeks to ensure that interagency coordination, family engagement and diplomatic tools are enshrined in U.S. government efforts to secure the safe release of wrongfully detained U.S. nationals and (ii) tools to deter and impose tangible consequences on those responsible for or complicit in hostage-taking or the wrongful detention of U.S. nationals abroad.

President Biden encouraged communication and information sharing between agencies in order to bolster efforts to safely return hostages and detained U.S. nationals in foreign countries. He also encouraged resource sharing as a means to ensure that relevant agencies have access to all the necessary information to develop strategies and options for recovery.

The E.O. was published pursuant to various authorities, including (i) the Levinson Act, (ii) the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, (iii) the National Emergencies Act, (iv) Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and (v) section 301 of title 3 of the United States Code.

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