Biden’s Day One Challenges: Resetting Immigration


President-elect Biden has an aggressive Day 1 immigration program that relies heavily on executive actions to reverse President Trump’s crackdown.
Why is this important: It is not so easy. Trump has released more than 400 executive actions on immigration. The defenders are on fire. The Supreme Court could threaten the Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and experts warn there could be another wave at the border.

Where it starts: On his first day, Biden said he would overturn Trump’s ban on Muslims through executive action and send a law to Congress with a path to citizenship for nearly 11 million. undocumented immigrants.

  • Biden is expected to use executive action to bolster the DACA even as the courts consider its validity. It is not known whether it will extend protections for more immigrants or add benefits.
  • He will suspend deportations for the first 100 days, stop construction of the border wall and create a task force to reunite immigrant families.
  • Biden “will work to ensure that our immigration policies reflect our American values, ”Jennifer Molina, spokesperson for Biden’s transition team, told Axios.

Even so, it will be difficult for Biden to cancel many The policies Trump pushed to enact, uphold immigration law and pacify progressive Democrats and the immigration advocacy community, who will be much more critical of anything Biden does that during Barack President of Obama.

At the border, Biden has vowed to end Trump’s “stay in Mexico” policy, which has forced tens of thousands of asylum seekers from all over to wait for their court dates in Mexico.

  • But undoing all of Trump’s strict border policies too quickly could leave the United States unprepared for a surge in migrants at the border. To alleviate large flows of migrants to the border, the Biden administration should invest in refugee programs in Central American countries.
  • Biden will also be under pressure to take in more refugees from around the world after Trump slashes the number of refugees allowed in the United States by 80%.

Biden a notamment do not said he would end coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevenention (CDC) emergency order, which enabled the authorities to deport almost 60,000 migrants at the border almost immediately.

  • Temporarily leaving order in place could help maintain some order at the end of Staying in Mexico, several immigration experts have said.
  • Border crossings are already starting to increase. Leon Fresco, an immigration lawyer who worked in the Justice Department under Obama, said it was “quite likely” that Biden will face a push at the border as early as next summer.
  • Biden would like to avoid the scenes of detained children and families that marked both Obama and Trump, but must maintain order.

On DACA, Biden can easily restore the program by executive action – for now. But immigration advocates and experts are watching a lawsuit in Texas challenging the legality of DACA.

  • “What the DACA recipients deserve is for Congress to shift a path to citizenship immediately within the next year,” said Todd Schulte, president of, a leading advocate for reform of the immigration.
  • That’s a tall order for a likely divided Congress – especially after a four-year crackdown on immigration from Trump who was widely popular within the Republican Party.

At DHS: Once confirmed, Alejandro Mayorkas – a favorite among supporters – will have to reshape one of the most politicized agencies under Trump.

  • It will need leaders on board the immigration-focused sub-agencies of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Any permanent leader must be confirmed by the Senate.

ICE has become one of the most controversial agencies for its role in the arrest and detention of immigrants.

  • Biden will likely reset priorities so that officers focus arrests on immigrants with serious criminal records, such as under Obama.
  • But John Sandweg, who ran ICE under Obama, said Biden would have “a legal obligation to faithfully carry out the laws” and “there will always be a big gap between who lawyers say should be stopped, and the size. agency, and legal requirements. ”


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