President Joe Biden has signed three executive orders seeking to give a humane face to the country’s immigration system by reversing the Trump Administration’s policies that separated thousands of migrant families at the US-Mexico border.
A key action is the creation of a task force to find parents and children that remain separated by the Trump Administration. The task force, chaired by the Secretary of Homeland Security, will make recommendations to the President and federal agencies regarding steps that they can take to reunify such families.
This Order also revokes former President Donald Trump’s Executive Order that sought to justify separating children from their parents.
It is estimated that between 600 and 700 children were separated from their undocumented parents as they crossed the border from Mexico to find a better living in the United States.
Speaking before signing the first Executive order, Biden said, “We’re going to work to undo the moral and national shame of the previous administration that literally, not figuratively, ripped children from the arms of their families.”
The second order addresses the root causes of migration to the United States’ southern border and creates a humane asylum system. The Biden Administration will begin implementing a comprehensive three-part plan for safe, lawful, and orderly migration in the region. The order directs DHS to take steps to end the Migrant Protection Protocols program, which had led to a humanitarian crisis in northern Mexico. The government will ensure that Central American refugees and asylum seekers have access to legal avenues to the United States.
This Executive Order also directs a series of actions to restore the U.S. asylum system, including by rescinding and directing agency review of a host of Trump Administration proclamations, rules, and guidance documents that have effectively closed the U.S. border to asylum seekers.
The third order requires U.S. federal agencies to conduct a top-to-bottom review of recent regulations, policies, and guidance that have set up barriers to the nation’s legal immigration system.
It also rescinds Trump’s memorandum requiring family sponsors to repay the government if relatives receive public benefits, instructs the agencies to review the public charge rule and related policies, and streamline the naturalization process.
Biden said the three executive orders that he signed Tuesday are going to strengthen the U.S. immigration system, building on the executive actions he took on day one to protect DREAMers, repeal the ban on Muslim nations, and to better manage the country’s borders.
Referring to criticism over the new President signing a large number of executive orders instead of legislation, Biden said, “I’m not making new law; I’m eliminating bad policy.”
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