Washington, D.C. — Today, the Biden White House announced three new executive orders that, together with those issued previously and those yet to come, will begin to undo some of the worst immigration policies of the Trump administration. Today’s actions include creating a task force to reunite separated families; taking steps to restore the asylum system and promote fair, humane, and workable solutions to migration in the Western Hemisphere; and beginning a top-to-bottom review of Trump administration attacks on legal immigration, including by initiating the administrative process to undo the public charge rule. Additionally, the U.S. Senate confirmed Alejandro Mayorkas as the first Latino and first immigrant to lead the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
In response, Tom Jawetz, vice president of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
Alejandro Mayorkas’ confirmation as secretary of homeland security is a historic milestone worth celebrating. The task before him is daunting, but there is no one more prepared to handle the challenge than Mayorkas. One of Secretary Mayorkas’ first responsibilities will be leading the newly announced Family Reunification Task Force, charged with rectifying a signature cruelty of the Trump administration—the separation of thousands of children from their parents. The executive order reflects that the administration understands both the complexity of the problem and the compelling need to spare no efforts to repair the damage done.
A second executive order issued today will begin the process of restoring our asylum system and establishing fair, humane, and workable immigration and humanitarian pathways in the region. As we have long argued, getting migration in the Americas right requires constructive engagement with the countries in the region to promote human security and address the systemic issues pushing people to flee their countries. While we were heartened to see the administration stop putting people into the “Remain in Mexico” program on day one, we are similarly eager to see it use its authorities to begin to offer meaningful protection and due process to those already in the program. We are also hopeful that by offering new pathways to humanitarian protection for asylum-seekers and vulnerable children, the administration’s proactive approach will better live up to America’s best ideals.
Finally, with its executive order promoting integration and inclusion—especially by beginning a review of the Trump administration’s attacks on legal immigration—the Biden administration is sending a clear signal that the United States will return once again to its historic place as a beacon of hope and welcome for newcomers. Likewise, undoing the public charge rule will work to undo the chilling effect it has had on immigrant communities across the country.
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Claudia Montecinos at firstname.lastname@example.org.