The newly inaugurated President Joe Biden got right to work mainly focusing on undoing the work of former President Donald Trump. Biden signed several executive orders centered on immigration in the U.S. One of the orders pauses deportations in the U.S. for certain non-citizens for the next 100 days. It also stops enrollment in the Migrant Protection Protocols policy (MPP) known as the “remain in Mexico” program. The controversial Trump administration policy required certain asylum seekers from the southern border to wait in Mexico for the duration of their cases pending in the U.S.
“The horrific MPP program ended with POTUS 45. No one else will be added to the program as of today. A huge and important first step in restoring humanity to our asylum system,” Karen Tumlin, founder of the Justice Action Center, tweeted.
Here's a short & very sweet statement from the new @DHSgov that so many have been waiting for. The horrific MPP program ended with POTUS 45. No one else will be added to the program as of today. A huge and important first step in restoring humanity to our asylum system. #hope /1 pic.twitter.com/nu40yRxzTD
— Karen Tumlin (@KarenTumlin) January 21, 2021
Biden also rescinded Trump’s exclusion of undocumented immigrants in the Census count which determines the size of congressional districts and how many Electoral College votes each state gets for the next decade. He also border wall construction. He also ended the national emergency declaration used by the Trump administration to divert billions to the building of the border wall.
Part of Biden’s campaign promise was to aid undocumented immigrants in the U.S. which was also part of his executive orders, with six in total focused on immigration. Biden is calling on Congress to adopt legislation that gives DACA recipients, there are currently about 700,000, permanent legal status and a pathway to citizenship. In 2017 Trump tried to terminate the DACA program but the Supreme Court deemed that it was not illegal.
“This action represents a victory for immigrant families, the communities that have supported them throughout years of attacks, and for everyone in this country who recognizes that immigrants are essential and have always been essential to our nation,” the National Immigration Law Center said in a statement.
Biden sent Congress an immigration policy that includes an eight-year pathway to citizenship for immigrants without legal status, and expand admissions for refugees to the country. For those without legal status as of Jan. 1, Biden’s planned pathway would allow for five years of temporary status, and the chance to earn a green card upon meeting requirements like paying taxes, and passing a background check. The eligibility to apply for citizenship would come three years later.
“After four brutal years of cruel and truly incomprehensible deportations, the US Government seems ready to inject some common sense into the enforcement of civil immigration laws,” Lynn Tramonte, director of the immigrant advocacy group Ohio Immigrant Alliance, said in a statement.