Biden administration will sign a new executive order to measures the damage to thousands of families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, extending efforts over the last four years to reverse relentless changes to immigration policy rapidly.
Alejandro Mayorkas, whose appointment as Secretary of Homeland Security is pending approval by the Senate, will chair a family separation task force focused primarily on reuniting parents and children who remain separated. It is uncertain how many, but about 5,500 children were reported as having been separated during Trump's presidency in court records, including about 600 whose parents have yet to be uncovered by a court-appointed committee.
President Joe Biden will continue to review and roll back some of the Trump administration's hardline immigration policies on Tuesday, including introducing a family reunification task force and signing an executive order updating the "Migrant Protection Protocols."
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Trump took more than 400 administrative measures related to immigration while in office. Meanwhile, Biden unveiled a comprehensive immigration reform plan on his first day in the office and signed numerous immigration-related executive orders to stop further construction of the border wall, stress dedication in maintaining the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, and end Trump's so-called Muslim ban.
Owing to the family separation policy under Trump, the task force will first seek to classify all children who are separated from their parents at the border, according to information from administration officials and in a fact sheet. Biden and federal agencies will then make suggestions on measures they should take to reunify families. And it will include updates and recommendations on measures to avoid the re-occurrence of family separation policies.
The explanation of the task force by administration officials falls short of what immigrant advocates and human rights organizations have encouraged the Biden administration to do. The ACLU called on Biden's administration to encourage families to settle in the United States, be granted some legal status, and provide funds for basic needs and medical care.
The border protection analysis involves having asylum seekers wait for U.S. immigration court hearings in Mexican border cities. It is a step towards fulfilling a campaign promise to end the Remain in Mexico scheme, officially known as Migrant Security Protocols, which since its beginning in January 2019 has enrolled nearly 70,000 asylum seekers.
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Joe Biden Executive Orders call of action.
Overall, the officials said, Joe Biden will release three executive orders dealing with regional migration, legal immigration, and family reunification.
He would call for a study of a Trump-era law as one of the actions that made it more difficult for more impoverished immigrants to get permanent residency in the United States, they said. A revision of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), a divisive program that pushed 65,000 asylum seekers back to Mexico to wait for U.S. court hearings, will also be mandated. Most seekers went back to their home countries, but some stayed near the Mexican border in a makeshift camp.
According to immigration reform analysts, former officials, and advocates on both sides of the issue, Biden's efforts face logistical obstacles and resistance from Republicans.
Although making border protection a big theme of his campaign, Trump won the presidency in 2016. Sarah Pierce, the policy analyst with the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute, said that if Biden fails to deter illegal immigration spikes on the U.S.-Mexico border, he might give ammunition Republicans in the 2022 congressional elections.