President Biden wasted absolutely no time once being sworn into office, signing a flurry of executive orders in an effort to reverse a number of his predecessor’s policies. This blog will deconstruct the specific legislation enacted to briefly outline the new administration’s outlook towards immigration.
In mere hours after his inauguration, the president signed seventeen executive orders, six of which directly pertained to immigration and deportation. The subject of immigration and border ‘security’ were one of the hot topics that Donald Trump based his campaign and presidency on, so it was no surprise that his successor saw this as a priority to address upon taking office.
Construction of Trump’s infamous wall across the US-Mexico border was ordered to cease immediately, a direct halting of the former president’s most ubiquitous policies.
President Biden also put a pause on most forced deportations from the US interior, along with lifting the travel restrictions the previous administration placed on a number of countries with predominantly Muslim populations.
Another significant order was the safeguarding of protections for so-called “Dreamers”, named after the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The DREAM Act is a legislative proposal to provide temporary residency and right to work to unauthorised immigrants to entered the US as minors with the view for them to gain full citizenship should they achieve future qualifications.
The Department of Homeland Security has clearly had a busy few days on the phone with the White House. President Biden ordered the DHS to safeguard the Obama era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme which offers works permits and deportation relief to more than 640,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children. Donald Trump’s many attempts to suspend programme were previously blocked in court.
As well as the DHS announcing a 100 day moratorium on deportations for immigrants in the US facing removal, it suspended the Trump administration’s policy of requiring non-Mexican asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for their US court hearings.
This is a very succinct view of some of the immediate actions taken by the new President, but it’s a view that paints a much kinder picture for immigrants in the US, as well as for those looking to live there in the future. With travel restrictions ceased, borders opened and deportations greatly relaxed, the new administration’s stark opposition to the previous one’s immigration policies couldn’t be clearer.
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