Biden's subsequent government motion will tackle household segregation, authorized immigration and asylum
President Joe Biden will announce three executive orders on Tuesday aimed at reuniting families separated from the Trump administration, improving access to the asylum system and removing barriers to legal immigration.
It is the second set of executive actions on immigration the President has taken since taking office, signaling his continued commitment to the issue as a key priority.
The first seven executive measures issued by Biden concerned a number of former President Donald Trump's most controversial immigration policies: the Travel ban, Construction of the southern border wall and its attempt to end the protection of young undocumented immigrants through the program "Measures deferred on the arrival of children". In a way, these early actions represented the low hanging fruit; Biden was able to back up Trump's policies quickly and with immediate, visible effects.
Instead, Tuesday's actions are aimed at undoing Trump's complex web of regulations and policy changes and setting some of Biden's priorities for administrative reform of the immigration system, according to a memo shared with reporters. While immigrant advocates were hoping he could end pandemic-related restrictions on visas and at the border or a program that has trapped asylum seekers in Mexico, it is now clear that these policy changes will not occur immediately.
Here's what Biden is expected to announce:
Biden sets up a task force to reunite families who were separated under Trump
Biden will announce the creation of a task force to reunite separated immigrant families – the first step in redressing one of the Trump administration's cruelest immigration policies.
A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to end the separation in 2018 after more than 5,000 families were separated. Lawyers still cannot find the parents of more than 600 children identified through a court settlement. Many of the parents have been pushed back to their home countries, while others are believed to be in the United States. However, there may be many more affected children who have not yet been identified.
The task force, chaired by the Minister of Homeland Security (Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden's candidate, expected to be confirmed Tuesday) is expected to identify any remaining separated children, reunite them with their parents, and make recommendations on ensuring that the federal government adopts the guidelines and Do not repeat practices that led to the breakups.
A senior administration official said the task force would review each case individually, taking into account parents' preferences and the well-being of children. They might consider offering affected families a visa or suspended sentence, some sort of temporary permit to enter the U.S., the official said.
Lee Gelernt, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney representing separated families, has called on the government to also facilitate hearings in Congress to investigate politics, provide legal status for families in the United States, and set up a victims' fund, among other things.
"All families in the United States must be reunited immediately and then given permanent legal status and compensation for the abuse they suffered under the Trump administration," he told Vox.
The question also remains of what to do with families who have been separated after reunification, usually in cases where the parents are deported while the children are still in the US for protection.
Biden lays down a framework for reforming asylum policy
Biden will enact an executive order that will implement a comprehensive three-part plan to improve access to the asylum system and address the main causes of migration.
According to the memo, the government will address the "instability, violence and economic insecurity" that are driving Central American migrants from their home countries. It will work with overseas governments, international organizations, and nonprofits to ensure that people of Central America can seek asylum and economic opportunities as an alternative to traveling to the United States. And it will develop strategies to ensure that migrants arriving at the southern border can seek shelter to which they are legally entitled, as well as those promulgated by the Trump administration to eliminate or screen the asylum seekers as good as closing the door.
Policies for the Biden administration to review under the Executive Order include the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the "Remain in Mexico" directive, under which Trump sent tens of thousands of migrants back to Mexico to await their court hearings USA.
More than 67,000 migrants are currently enrolled or have previously been the subject of the program. Some of them continue to wait in camps along the US-Mexico border to be invited to their US court hearings. Before the pandemic, asylum seekers often had to wait months for a hearing. But in March the Trump administration all of their hearings suspended for an indefinite period due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Biden has started phasing out the policy and will stop adding new migrants to the program as of January 21. So far, however, he has stopped completely ending them.
A senior administrative official said that once Biden develops broader guidelines for processing asylum seekers, people currently in the program will be offered a new way to follow up their protection requests. The administration does not yet have a schedule for implementing these guidelines, but the official said that people subject to MPP will have priority given how long they have waited and under what conditions they have been waiting.
The administration needs to consider who is most vulnerable among MPP-vulnerable migrants and how to process them while maintaining public health protections during the pandemic.
Biden tries to remove obstacles to legal immigration
Biden will issue an executive order reviewing the Trump-era rules, guidelines, and guidelines that made it difficult for people to legally immigrate to the US, including the controversial "public indictment" rule.
The complex 217-page rule prescribes a Fortune test about immigrants applying for entry to the US, extending their visa or converting their temporary immigration status to a green card. The rule represents one of Trump's toughest blows to legal immigration and has resulted in immigrants being deterred from accessing much-needed public services in the face of the pandemic.
Though the government hasn't lifted this rule yet, under executive order it will repeal a Trump memorandum asking people who have sponsored their family members for immigration benefits to repay the government if their relatives receive public benefits.
The Executive Ordinance also establishes a task force for New Americans to facilitate the integration of immigrants and streamline the naturalization process for the more than 9 million people eligible to become US citizens. As part of this, the administration will address the significant backlog on citizenship applications, assist military personnel stationed abroad with citizenship applications, and coordinate with state and local governments.
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