Biden’s plans for US immigration and refugee policy
Newly minted US president Joe Biden is set to radically revamp America’s asylum and migration system after it was effectively dismantled by the Trump administration.
Recent reports from Washington have revealed how US President Joe Biden is expected to use executive orders on asylum, refugee resettlement and the reunification of migrant families.
President Biden has already vowed to reverse many policies put in place by former Republican President Donald Trump in a process that could take months.
While the White House has not officially commented on its plan, reports say that President Biden plans to rescind the Trump policies that made it harder to obtain asylum in the United States.
Already, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced it would end all enrolments in the Migrant Protection Protocols, a Trump administration program that has forced more than 65,000 asylum seekers back to Mexico to wait for US immigration court hearings.
While the administration has not said what will happen to migrants already enrolled in the program, the DHS has advised “remain where they are” and wait for further US government instruction.
President Biden is also reported to be intending to direct US agencies to create strategies to address the causes of migration from Central America and expand opportunities for migrants to come to the United States legally.
The reports says President Biden will also create a task force to reunite migrant families who were separated by President Trump’s immigration policies.
The president pledged during his presidential campaign to create a task force to reunite children and parents separated at the US-Mexico border.
Parties in a lawsuit over the separations have been unable to reach the parents of more than 600 children, according to a court documents.
President Biden is also expected to order a review of the legal immigration system.
The president is expected to issue an executive order that would remove barriers to legal immigration and citizenship.
The reports says that as part of that effort, the order will begin the process of rescinding President Trump’s so-called “public charge” rule, which makes it harder for immigrants who are poor or need certain government benefits to secure residency and stay in the country.
There will also be changes to the US’ refugee program.
It is expected that the administration will lay out principles that will guide President Biden’s global refugee policy.
President Biden has pledged to raise annual refugee intake levels to 125,000, up from the record-low 15,000-person ceiling set by Trump for fiscal year 2021, which began on October 1, 2020.
The president has already issued six immigration-themed executive orders.
The orders lifted a travel ban on 13 mostly Muslim-majority and African countries, halted construction of the US-Mexico border wall and reversed a Trump order preventing migrants who are in the US illegally from being counted for congressional districts.