Biden to Sign 3 Orders That Will Roll Back Trump’s Immigration Agenda
WASHINGTON — President Biden plans to sign three executive orders on Tuesday aimed at further rolling back his predecessor’s assault on immigration and at reuniting migrant children who were separated from their families at the Mexican border, according to administration officials.
In one order, the president will direct the secretary of homeland security to lead a task force that will try to put back together several hundred families that remain separated under former President Donald J. Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, which sought to discourage migration across the country’s southern border.
With two other orders, Mr. Biden will authorize a wholesale review of Mr. Trump’s immigration policies that limited asylum, stopped funding to foreign countries, made it more difficult to get green cards or be naturalized, and slowed down legal immigration into the United States, officials told reporters Monday night in a briefing ahead of the official announcement scheduled for Tuesday at the White House.
The three orders help satisfy promises that Mr. Biden made on the campaign trail to reverse Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda. But they also underscore the difficulty that the new president faces in unraveling scores of individual policies and regulations.
Senior administration officials said Monday night that most of Mr. Biden’s directives on Tuesday would not make immediate changes. Rather, they are intended to give officials at the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the State Department time to evaluate how best to undo the policies.
That is likely to disappoint advocates for migrants, who are eager for action that will help people immediately. One of Mr. Biden’s orders, for example, will instruct officials to review a Trump-era program that forced Central American migrants seeking asylum to wait in squalid camps in Mexico.
But the order will not immediately address the reality that many of those migrants, including families and children, have been waiting for months in dangerous conditions.
The most prominent of the three orders seeks to remedy the family separation policy, which was widely condemned after Mr. Trump officially put it in place in the summer of 2018. More than 5,000 families were separated.
Under Mr. Biden’s order, the federal government will seek to either bring parents to the United States or return children to parents who are living abroad, depending on the wishes of the families and the specifics of immigration law.
Officials said that could include providing visas or other legal means of entry to parents who have been deported back to their home countries. Or it could involve sending children who are living in the United States back to those countries to be with their parents. They said each case would be looked at separately.
Officials said Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Mr. Biden’s nominee to be the homeland security secretary, would lead the task force. The Senate cleared the way last week for a confirmation vote on Mr. Mayorkas, and is expected to approve him on Tuesday. The secretary of state and the attorney general will also be on the task force, officials said.
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