Joe Biden is reportedly working on a plan to dismantle the principle features of President Donald Trump’s immigration policy which featured high on his successful 2016 election campaign, writes CBS News.
The Democrat candidate in the battle for the White House is gearing up a potential incoming administration to restore an Obama-era programme on the migrant issue that had been chipped away at throughout the Trump administration, the outlet writes, citing sources.
Biden, declared president-elect by US media outlets, which said he had drummed up the 270 Electoral College votes required to win, has been dismissive of Donald Trump’s refusal to admit defeat and intends to rescind agreements with Central American countries that had put up a “legal wall” against global migrants.
As Trump's immigration measures - such as the travel and immigration restrictions on 13 mostly African or predominantly Muslim countries, efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, new requirements for green cards and asylum restrictions for migrants at the US southern border - were enacted via a flurry of executive action, bypassing Congress, they would become vulnerable when faced with a potential Biden administration, writes the outlet.
"All that stuff was done administratively through the [President's] executive authority, and so a new executive can basically reject those and start from scratch," a source allegedly familiar with the Biden team's plans was cited as saying.
Sources claim that Joe Biden is considering plans for a 100-day freeze on deportations while guidance is issued to whittle down who can be arrested by immigration agents.
Scrapped by Donald Trump in 2017, memos dating back to the time of the former president, Barack Obama, prioritised deportation of immigrants with criminal convictions, recent border-crossers and those infiltrating the US borders illegally more than once.
Though Trump had revised the policy seeking to ensure that no unauthorised immigrant would be exempt from arrest and deportation, sources claim Biden's plan is designed to limit so-called "collateral arrests".
These are apprehensions of immigrants who are in the country without legal status, but are not the target of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operations.
The Democrat candidate in the race for the Oval Office has allegedly vowed to scrap the Trump-installed policy of requiring non-Mexican migrants at the southern border to wait out the duration of their US asylum case in Mexico.
No details were offered as to how the cases of asylum-seekers at present waiting in northern Mexico will be adjudicated and whether any would be allowed to continue their proceedings in the US.
A potential Biden administration would allegedly withdraw from the three bilateral agreements Donald Trump hammered out with Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to send rejected asylum-seekers there to try their chances.
On the issue of migrant children, Biden’s team would seek to reinstate an Obama administration initiative - the 2014 Central American Minors programme - granting a request for refugee or parole status to some at-risk categories of children in Central America, enabling them to reunite with their family in the US if their parents were authorised to be in the country, claim sources.
The initiative was curtailed by Trump in 2017, with the White House saying it had decided to end the programme "because the vast majority of individuals accessing the programme were not eligible for refugee resettlement".
Trump's executive order in January was aimed at “beefing up” US border security and to replace Obama-era refugee programmes with "more targeted" refugee processing in Central America.
Another suggested change in the making is the mulled termination of the "public charge" rules that the Trump administration implemented.
The latter denied green cards and immigrant visas to applicants whom US officials found to be claiming access to programmes such as food stamps, Medicaid and housing benefits.
The Trump Administration claimed the rule would filter out applicants who were unable to be self-sufficient while in the United States.
Though Biden's campaign said nothing publicly about plans concerning Trump's pandemic-induced limits on immigrant and work visas, it vowed that the former vice-president would direct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to review the expulsions policy "to ensure that people have the ability to submit their asylum claims while ensuring that we are taking the appropriate COVID-19 safety precautions."
On refugee admissions, Biden had pledged to expand them in a move away from Trump’s record-low 15,000, raising it to 125,000, says CBS.
Jennifer Molina, a spokeswoman for the Biden campaign, said a taskforce was envisaged to help locate migrant parents who were separated from their children at the US-Mexico border in 2017 and 2018.
Biden also campaigned on a promise to introduce legislation allowing America’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants to legalise their status.
However, the task would require approval by a divided Congress, as a number of House Democrats lost their seat last week, with Republicans all but securing their majority in the Senate. The final result will be known after two run-off Georgia races in January.
The report comes as on Saturday, US media pronounced Joe Biden president-elect, whereas Donald Trump maintains that the election was “stolen” from him. The Trump campaign has filed at least 15 lawsuits in Pennsylvania so far, citing a lack of transparency, back-dating and frauds. Similar lawsuits were filed in Michigan, Georgia and Arizona.