President Biden Issues Executive Orders on Immigration
On his first day in office, President Joe Biden signed six executive orders that overturned unjust Trump administration policies that restore immigrant rights in the U.S. Two weeks later, he followed up with three additional orders the reverse Trump policies that have hurt and separated families. The RWDSU has long-advocated against Trump’s anti-immigrant policies and advocated for increased protections and expansion of rights for immigrant workers. Biden’s announcement is a welcome change and a positive start to advancing reforms that benefit our membership.
The recent orders include:
- Re-unifying separated families at the border by directing the secretary of homeland security to lead a task force to try to unite several hundred families who remain separated from former President Donald J. Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy.
- Authorizing a review of Trump’s 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.
- Preserving and strengthening the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and requesting that Congress create a pathway to permanent residency and United States citizenship for DACA recipients. DACA provides deportation deferral and work authorization for individuals who arrived in the United States as children without lawful immigration status.
- Ending unjust deportation of immigrants by overturning policy that broadened the authority of government agents to find and deport unauthorized immigrants without prioritization. The Biden administration will return to Obama-era policy which prioritized removing undocumented immigrants who were convicted of serious crimes, those who posed a threat to national security, and recent unauthorized border crossers. The Department of Homeland Security will put deportations on hold for 100 days and implement interim civil enforcement policies.
- Ending the Muslim travel ban that blocked nationals from 13 countries, many of them African and/or Muslim-majority countries. President Biden also directed the State Department to process visas for individuals from the affected countries and develop plans to address the harm caused to them because of the ban.
- Immediate halt to construction of the US-Mexico border wall.
- Reinstating protection from deportation and providing work authorization to Liberians living in the US under the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program through June 30, 2022.
- Revoking the Trump administration’s plan to exclude non-citizens from the census.
President Biden also asked Congress to pass comprehensive immigration legislation to modernize the immigration system and create pathways to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the U.S.