What You Need to Know About Biden’s 3 Most Recent Immigration Executive Orders
On February 2, 2021 President Joe Biden signed into effect three immigration executive orders that aim to create a more “fair, orderly, and humane” immigration system. These orders eliminate policies created by the prior administration, including the abhorrent separation of migrant children from their families at the US border.
So what are the new executive orders and what do they mean?
Executive order #1: Reuniting migrant children with their parents
The goal of this executive order is to reunite migrant children separated from their parents after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. This revokes Trump’s previous order justifying separating families at the border and creates a task force that recommends steps to Biden to reunite separated families.
This process, administration officials and immigration advocates warn, will not be immediate, nor does it address whether parents who have been deported will be given special protections to come back to the United States to reunite with their children. Once more information is reviewed, more actions are certain to follow.
Executive order #2: Restore asylum
This order aims to address economic and political causes of migration, works with organizations to provide protection to asylum seekers, and ensures Central American asylum seekers have legal access to the United States. It rescinds the Trump administration policies and guidelines and also initiates a review of policies “that have effectively closed the U.S. border to asylum seekers.”
One goal of this order is to build, detail, and expand asylum systems and resettlement capacity in the United States. Details of how this will be implemented are still to be determined.
Executive Order #3: Review of recent regulations, policies and guidance that have created barriers to the legal immigration system
This order rescinds Trump’s memo requiring immigrants to repay the government if they receive public benefits. It also elevates the role of the executive branch in promoting immigrant integration and inclusion, including reestablishing a Task Force on New Americans. Finally, it requires agencies to review immigration regulations and policies.
Immigration advocates hope this order will support immigrants struggling with healthcare, food, and other social services during the COVID-19 pandemic.