What is Joe Biden doing about deportations?
Shortly after taking office, President Biden wasted no time dealing with some important immigration issues. Once he took office, he headed back to the White House and started signing a series of executive orders. President Biden signed five or six executive orders about immigration itself.
One thing that the president did was reaffirm the executive branch’s commitment to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. This is the DACA program, which was started under President Obama and allows individuals who are in the United States, who came as minors through no fault of their own, who have followed the law, who have either enrolled in college or obtained a GED and who are contributing to society.
DACA allows these people to do two things.
First, it allowed them to pause their deportation.
Second, DACA allowed them to get an employment authorization document – a work card. While ex-President Trump tried to dismantle DACA, he and his anti-immigrant cronies failed miserably. Their first attempt was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court for failing to follow the rule-making procedures of the Administrative Procedures Act.
The second try failed because the Courts ruled that the clowns that Trump put in charge of Homeland Security had never been legally appointed. The courts ruled that since Trump’s team had not followed the procedures in appointing the department heads, their attempt to dismantle DACA was illegal. And he got struck down again. So, although Trump never was able to fully kill off DACA, Biden came in to make clear that he is very much committed to the DACA program.
So the Biden administration will be sending legislation to Congress to not only restore DACA, but to allow a path to citizenship for these young people. I think this is a bill and a cause that’s been going on for decades. And I think that with a democratically controlled House and Senate, we might just see meaningful immigration reform for these young people. We’ll see how broadly Biden goes. But it’s an interesting time.
In addition, the president signed some other executive orders that have to do with deportation. One is that he ordered ICE to cut back on these interior immigration detentions. In other words, ICE is still going to be able to get people who were in the United States without authorization. However, Biden is limiting ICE’s authority after the Trump team had expanded it.
Perhaps more importantly Joe Biden has directed ICE and Homeland Security to prioritize who they want to deport and to not just give these roaming patrols to ICE. And so he curtailed or limited a lot of the authority that ICE has in these scenarios.
Another thing that the president did is he’s going to do away with a very controversial program called the Remain in Mexico program, the MPP. This forced immigrants who were trying to enter the United States to remain in Mexico. They’re now going to be able to make their claims at the border subject to the coronavirus concerns.
Finally, the president gave a little special love to a group of Liberians who are in the United States to allow them greater protection to stop their deportation. So an exciting first day of executive orders
It seems Joe Biden is really working to undo a lot of the damage that President Trump has brought on immigrants and on immigrant families. And we of course are very excited about this.
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