13:46 GMT08 March 2021
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    The Biden administration has been solid on its intention to reverse what it sees as Trump's "draconian" immigration policies, particularly ending construction on a US-Mexico border wall while rolling out a path for undocumented immigrants to obtain American citizenship.

    US President Joe Biden has signed three executive orders, which are believed to be aimed at addressing concerns over the Trump administration's immigration policies. Here's a glimpse into what are these orders are all about.

    Elimination of Bad Policy?

    Shortly after signing the orders, Biden told reporters on Tuesday that he is not "making new law” but is "eliminating bad policy", in an apparent nod to former US President Donald Trump.

    POTUS didn't mention Trump by name, but said the former US administration's orders "were counterproductive to our national security, counterproductive to who we are as a country". According to Biden, it is "particularly" related to "the area of immigration".

    Biden Seeking 'to Restore Faith' in US Immigration System

    One of the orders that Biden signed aims to "restore faith" in the US immigration system and "strengthen integration and inclusion of new Americans".

    The order scrapped the Trump administration rule making migrants ineligible for public assistance, instructing the State Department, the Justice Department, and the Department of Homeland Security to review the guidelines for becoming a US citizen.

    The government "should develop welcoming strategies that promote integration, inclusion, and citizenship, and it should embrace the full participation of the newest Americans in our democracy", the order pointed out.

    The document also stipulates reviewing the naturalisation process and revising the policy known as "public charge", which cracks down on those migrants who use public benefits by disrupting their efforts to receive green cards.

    Hondurans climb onto the back of a truck for a ride in a new caravan of migrants, set to head to the United States, in Cofradia, Honduras January 15, 2021.
    Hondurans climb onto the back of a truck for a ride in a new caravan of migrants, set to head to the United States, in Cofradia, Honduras January 15, 2021.

    The order is unlikely to work immediately given Tuesday's statement by White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who said the government wants "to put in place an immigration process here that can, that is humane, that is moral, that considers applications for refugees […] in a way that treats people as human beings".

    She made it clear that it's "going to take some time" and is "not going to happen overnight".

    Task Force to Reunite Children

    Another executive action envisages forming a task force chaired by the homeland security secretary to reunite migrant children who were separated from their parents under the so-called "zero tolerance" policy enacted by the Trump administration.

    The order gives the secretary a 120-day deadline to submit an initial report on the "reunification of families" along the border.

    According to Biden, this would "undo the moral and national shame of the previous administration that literally, not figuratively, ripped children from the arms of their families, their mothers and fathers, at the border".

    Migrant caravan on its way to the US
    © AP Photo / JOSE CABEZAS
    Migrant caravan on its way to the US

    The order does not address whether parents who have been deported will be given special protections to come back to the US to reunite with their children.

    Some, including immigration attorney Carol Anne Donohoe, have insisted that the task force's four-month timeframe is out of sync with Biden's previous promises to take immediate action.

    "The families we represent – who've not seen their kids in 3 years - are going to be so happy when we tell them not to worry! Joe Biden has created a task force to review the problem. Check back in 120 days", Donohoe tweeted on Wednesday.

    'Root Causes' of Migration

    Biden's third executive order pertains to the "safe and orderly" processing of asylum-seekers and to resolving the "root causes" of migration from Central America.

    The document urges the government to address the "violence, instability, and lack of opportunity that compel so many people to flee their homes".

    The government should use its resources in order to combat "drug cartels and human traffickers" rather than migrants, according to the order.

    The signing of the orders comes a week after Cochise County (Arizona) Sheriff Mark Dannels denounced Joe Biden's policies, calling the president's immigration position "hasty" and urging POTUS to "stop this madness".

    "It goes back to show you how vulnerable our southwest border is to include every American in this country if we don't have a secure border. We've worked so well over the years and why we need a secure border is just common sense", Dannels told Fox News.

    The Biden administration has repeatedly made it clear that it wants to reverse what it sees as Trump's "draconian" immigration policies, particularly fortifying the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) - the so-called Dreamers Act - and ending construction on a US-Mexico border wall.

    Former President Donald Trump, for his part, warned that "waves" of illegal immigrants may enter the US once his immigration policies are reversed. The warning came amid reports that halting the construction of a US wall near its border with Mexico may cost hefty sums.


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    families, policy, migrants, orders, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, US
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