Biden signs executive orders undoing Trump’s anti-immigration efforts
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Biden signs executive orders undoing Trump’s anti-immigration efforts

US President Joe Biden signed three executive orders Tuesday to reverse the anti-immigration efforts pushed by his predecessor Donald Trump.

The first order is aimed at “strengthening integration and inclusion efforts for new Americans.” The second order sets out to create a framework to handle asylum seekers and other migrants. The third order is intended to set up a task force to reunify separated families.

Biden’s order for increased integration and inclusion efforts discussed restoring trust in the immigration system by having the Secretary of State, Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security “review existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions.” The goal of the immigration system review is to “identify barriers that impede access to immigration” and “agency actions that fail to promote access to the legal immigration system.” Each individual conducting this review is ordered to submit a plan with steps for advancing a more fair system within their respective agency. The order aims to promote and improve the naturalization process by speeding up the system and eliminating barriers to it. Moreover, the order revoked the Presidential Memorandum of May 23, 2019 (Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens).

Biden’s order on the creation of a regional framework for addressing migration systems in the country calls for a focus on the “Root Causes of Migration” in various countries, such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The so-called “Root Causes Strategy” includes promoting human rights in these countries, combatting corruption, encouraging the deployment of resources and collaborating on migration issues. The order also discussed the need to resume “the safe and orderly processing of asylum claims at United States land borders.” This order revoked three memoranda, a proclamation and an executive order signed by Trump.

His third order targeting the reunification of separated migrant families is also directly aiming to undo the effects of a Trump administration practice that separated immigrant children from parents. Although a court ordered that the families be reunited in June of 2018, a report released in October 2020 by a court-appointed steering committee stated that the parents separated from more than 500 migrant children at the border have still not been located. The order calls for further efforts to identify parents and children who were separated by a task force. The task force is also ordered to recommend and take steps to facilitate reunification. This order revokes Executive Order 13841 of June 20, 2018, signed by Trump.

Biden has signed nearly 30 executive orders since his inauguration on January 30. Many of these orders have been undoing policies put in place by the Trump administration.