Biden should set up a task force for separated families, reshape border and immigration policies
President Biden will sign three executive orders on Tuesday to set up a task force to track down migrant families who are segregated under the Trump administrationAccording to administrative officials, the restrictions on the legal immigration system should be reviewed over the past four years.
One mandate sets up an inter-agency government task force, led by the Secretary of State for Homeland Security, to identify all migrant children who were separated from their parents during the Trump administration’s border crossing and earlier pilot programs.
Another task of the task force will be to facilitate the reunification of families who remain separated. Lawyers who have been working to track down separated families for over two years have yet to track down the parents of more than 600 children. Many of these parents were deported to Mexico and Central America without their children.
During a briefing with reporters Monday, an administrative official said the task force would be examining on a case-by-case basis whether separated families could be eligible for parole, visas or other immigration benefits to facilitate their reunification.
Another directive will deal with the processing of asylum seekers along the border with Mexico and oblige the Biden administration to deal with the poverty and violence that fuel migration from Central America to the US.
The order will officially mandate a review of the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy of holding 70,000 asylum seekers outside of US territory while their cases are settled. As part of the review, according to a government official, the government will look at how the US should continue handling cases of asylum seekers still waiting in Mexico, while prioritizing those considered the most vulnerable.
“If we are looking for ways to implement the president’s policy for a different and more humane screening of asylum seekers, this MPP population will certainly be considered because of the waiting time and the conditions in which they are waiting,” the official said, using an acronym for the Trump administration’s official name for politics.
The Order will also revive an Obama-era initiative that allowed some vulnerable Central American minors to legally enter the United States if they had legal families here. Former President Trump ended the program in 2017.
An administrative official said the edict would not address a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) -approved policy that U.S. border officials have been using since March to expel most migrants without an asylum interview or an immigration court hearing. The Trump administration has touted politics as a necessary public health measure, but CBS Newsthat the CDC came under political pressure from the White House to approve it.
The official, who found the measure being challenged in court, said the administration’s overarching goal was to replace policies restricting access to asylum.
AFGE Local 1924, a union that represents hundreds of U.S. government asylum and refugee officials, recently sent the new administration a white paper with far-reaching recommendations, including swiftly lifting Mr Trump’s spate of asylum restrictions.
One of the recommendations is to “repair the damage” to Trump-era border policies by increasing resources and personnel to review the asylum cases of migrants stranded in Mexico.
“We urge President Biden to correct the grave injustice inflicted on the thousands of asylum seekers who were turned from the door of freedom and thrown back into the storm they fled,” said Michael Knowles, union president , across from CBS News.
A third order for Mr Biden to sign is for State, Homeland Security and Justice departments to review Trump-era regulations and guidelines that placed restrictions on the entire legal immigration system. A administration official said the ordinance will also launch efforts to facilitate U.S. citizenship for immigrants with green cards, including service members.
“The review is likely to lead to dramatic changes in policies that have hindered access to immigration services, affecting families, workers, victims and survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking and other crime victims, and opening up the closed legal immigration process for many others “added the official.
One of the guidelines to be reviewed is “public indictment,” which makes it easier for US immigrants to reject green card applications based on past or potential public aid, officials said.
Proponents have condemned the policy as a fortune test that has scared low-income immigrants, including non-paper-minded US citizens, from accessing critical programs like grocery stamps. In 2020, over 13% of adults in immigrant households said they had waived state aid for fear that doing so could jeopardize their immigration cases. This comes from a report released this week by the Urban Institute.
When asked about sweeping restrictions on immigrant and work visas that Mr Trump put in place last year for economic reasons, an administrative official said more proclamations would be issued in the future. Last week, the Deputy Director of the White House Home Affairs Council, Esther Olavarriathat Mr Biden intended to lift the restrictions but did not offer a timetable.
On the day of the inauguration, Mr Biden ordered the construction of the border barrier to be stopped quickly. Lifted Mr. Trump’s travel and immigration restrictions for several African and Muslim majority countries; and tasked the Department of Homeland Security with protecting an Obama-era program that granted work permits and deportation facilities to more than 640,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as minors.
His administration also announced a 100-day hiatus for most deportations from the United States, but the moratorium, a key election promise, was later passedMonitoring a Texas Legal Challenge.