Joe Biden expands quick bid to undo Trump’s immigration policies
President Joe Biden planned to sign orders on family separation, border security and legal immigration, bringing to nine the amount of executive actions on immigration during his first fortnight in office.
The Biden administration on Tuesday announced steps to deal with harm to thousands of families that were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, expanding efforts to quickly undo relentless changes to immigration policy over the last four years.
President Joe Biden planned to sign orders on family separation, border security and legal immigration, bringing to nine the amount of executive actions on immigration during his first fortnight in office. Details were thin, but the moves aim to reverse many of former President Donald Trump's policies to discourage immigration, both legal and illegal.
Alejandro Mayorkas, whose nomination as Homeland Security secretary awaits Senate confirmation, will lead a task force on family separation, focused largely on reuniting parents and youngsters who remain apart. it's unclear what percentage , but about 5,500 children are identified in court documents as having been separated during Trump's presidency, including about 600 whose parents have yet to be found by a court-appointed committee.
The review of border security includes a policy to form asylum-seekers wait in Mexican border cities for hearings in U.S. immigration court. it's a step toward fulfilling a campaign pledge to finish the Remain in Mexico policy, known officially as Migrant Protection Protocols, which enrolled nearly 70,000 asylum-seekers since it began in January 2019.
The White House said it'll “create a humane asylum system” by rescinding or reconsidering Trump policies that caused “chaos, cruelty and confusion.” It warned that it'll take time, which can cause grumbling among some pro-immigration advocates.
“The situation at the border won't transform overnight, due in large part to the damage done over the last four years.” the White House said during a statement. “But the President is committed to an approach that keeps our country safe, strong, and prosperous which also aligns with our values.”
Roberta Jacobson, a top Biden aide on border issues, asked Spanish-language media on Friday to discourage audiences from coming to the U.S. border. “It isn't the instant ," she said in Spanish, adding that the journey was “very dangerous, and that we are within the middle of making a replacement system.”
The White House also will do a “top-to-bottom review of recent regulations, policies, and guidance that have found out barriers to our legal immigration system.” it'll include a review of Trump's “public charge rule,” which makes it harder for people that use government benefits to get green cards.
The moves demonstrate that, even as Trump remade immigration policies from the White House, Biden can undo them with the stroke of a pen — some more easily than others. On his first day in office, Biden halted work on a border wall with Mexico, lifted a travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries and reversed plans to exclude people within the country illegally from the 2020 census. He also ordered efforts to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, referred to as DACA, which has shielded many thousands of individuals who came to the U.S. as children from deportation.
More lasting changes must pass Congress, a frightening job that Trump and his predecessors Barack Obama and George W. Bush did not achieve. Also on his first day in office, Biden proposed legislation to offer status and a path to citizenship to everyone within the country who doesn't have it — an estimated 11 million people.
Biden promised far-reaching changes on immigration during his campaign, but it had been unclear how quickly he would tackle the lightning-rod issue. His first-day actions delighted and surprised many pro-immigration advocates who are now being asked for patience.
It is unclear when Biden will lift bans on many temporary work visas and green cards that took effect after the coronavirus pandemic struck or when he will stop allowing authorities to right away expel people at the approach public health grounds without a chance to hunt asylum.