President Joe Biden will sign three executive orders on Tuesday aimed at reforming the U.S. immigration system and rolling his predecessor's policies, such as making a task force aimed at reuniting children who American authorities separated from their families around the boundary, according to the White House.
Chaired by the homeland security secretary, the task force could work to identify all households broken apart beneath the various forms of the Trump government's"zero-tolerance policy," which separated children from relatives in the U.S. border, even before it became a formal policy, a senior Biden government official said.
The task force, that would be vice-chaired by the secretaries of state and health and human services, would manage family reunifications on a case-by-case basis, making distinct immigration benefit determinations for different households, the officer said.
"There's no one solution fits all," the official said. "It will be a single assessment."
Biden plans to sign another order that would direct his government to address the root causes of migration from Central America and have the secretary of homeland security review the Trump government's Migrant Protection Protocols program, under which asylum seekers in the USA are delivered to Mexico to await court appearances north of the boundary, the White House explained.
That executive order and a third one the president intends to signal Tuesday will kick off a review of restrictive immigration policies enacted by the Trump administration and"revive the U.S. asylum system," such as by streamlining the naturalization process and placing the White House at the middle of"coordinating the federal government's plan to promote immigrant integration and inclusion," the White House said.
The Trump administration's aggressive immigration agenda wasn't limited to the southern border, and was Biden's proposed policy reversals.
The third order will involve a review of this"public charge" rule former President Donald Trump attempted to use to limit poor immigrants from coming to the United States lawfully, according to the White House. The rule prevents those with public benefits from getting green cards; the Trump administration expanded the list of public entitlement programs that qualified, to add home benefits and food stamps.
As a presidential candidate, Biden vowed to reverse a lot of his predecessor's harsh and restrictive immigration policies. On his first day in office, he also ended Trump's ban on migration from a number of Muslim-majority and African nations.
The rollout of these immigration activities had been pushed back when the Senate postponed a confirmation vote for Biden's choice for homeland security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, '' the White House said last week.
The nonprofit organization leading the effort to reunite more than 500 migrant kids still split to their own parents, Justice in Motion, told ABC News a month that such a task force was desperately needed to cut through bureaucratic tape and scale up the resources involved with the hunt.
The group's director, Cathleen Caron, stated it was"the first step in healing those families" that would be"forever harmed" by the"zero-tolerance" policy.
The search for parents has been a painstaking process, hampered by hurricanes, the COVID-19 pandemic and bureaucracy. Many parents are back in Central America while their children stay in the USA.
"It is fairly shocking two and a half a year later, after this policy was stopped, that the government is still handing over information and we're still looking for a number of those families," Caron said.
Over 4,000 families separated under Trump's household separation coverage, she said.
"The hope is that we find these parents and that these households are reunified," Caron said.
Justice In Motion, the American Civil Liberties Union and other advocates are pressing Biden to expand legal standing to the affected families and have the reunifications occur on U.S. soil.
Tuesday's actions don't address all Biden's immigration-related promises, such as the ones associated with the refugee system, however, immigrant advocates have largely praised his strategy up to now.
"Donald Trump spent years trying to dismantle America's legal immigration system," Doug Rand, who runs Boundless Immigration, a legal services provider, stated. "Now, President Biden is committing the whole executive branch to constructing it back."
It has funding for border security, but minus the hardline legal steps utilized to immediately remove unauthorized migrants in the Southwest.
Immigration restrictionists, such as groups like Numbers USA, have criticized the Biden administration for pursuing what they call open borders policies.
"I feel the Biden government is not as enthusiastic about authorities and trying to dissuade future immigration and they're showing it through their activities," Numbers USA Deputy Director Chris Chmielenski explained.