Biden to sign orders reviewing and rescinding Trump’s policies on legal and illegal migration

Mr Biden will also order a review of the Migrant Protection Program – Mr Trump’s policy to return asylum seekers to Mexico while their applications are reviewed

U.S. President Joe Biden, who has begun his second full week in office, will sign executive orders reviewing – and in some cases rescinding – his predecessor Donald Trump’s policies. These will include the establishment of a taskforce to unite minor children who had been separated from their parents at the southern border during the Trump administration, actions to address migration via the Southern border and orders regarding legal migration which could impact Indian citizens seeking work visas to the U.S.

One of Mr Biden’s three executive orders will create a task force that will make recommendations to him and federal agencies on how families can be reunited. It will also be required to report to him regularly on how family separations can be avoided, according to statement from the White House.

The Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy of detaining adults as they attempted to cross the southern U.S. border resulted in 3,000 children being taken from their parents in 2018. Six hundred and eleven of these children are still away from their parents, according to a recent court filing.

Mr Biden will also order a review of the Migrant Protection Program – Mr Trump’s policy to return asylum seekers to Mexico while their applications are reviewed. The Biden administration had already stopped accepting new entrants into the program. The order will also seek to restore the U.S.’s asylum program.

Third, Mr Biden will order a “top to bottom” review of Trump administration regulations that have hampered legal migration, the White House statement said.

Work visas

Mr Trump’s orders related to legal migration also included temporary suspensions of most work visas and new immigrant visas. These suspensions – scheduled to expire at the end of 2020, had been extended by the outgoing president to March 31. Given that close to three quarters of H1B visa or temporary visas for skilled workers went to Indian citizens each year in recent years, the Biden administration’s review could possibly bring relief to those hoping to get visas from India, to the extent they reverse Mr Trump’s policies in this regard. At the time of writing, it is unclear which legal migration policies of the Trump administration will be rescinded.

The orders will also elevate the role of the White House in integrating migrants and establish a Taskforce on New Americans to help ensure that the “legal immigration system operates fairly and efficiently,” according to the White House.

Additionally Mr Biden will order a review of the “public charge rule” (Mr Trump had made financial pre-requisites to immigration more difficult to meet) and streamline the process to acquire U.S. citizenship.

Mr Biden had already issued six immigration related orders on his first day in office and sent an immigration bill to Congress that proposed, among other things, policies to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented foreigners, reducing visa backlogs for families and removing country-wise caps on the number of employment-route green cards.

Also on Tuesday, the Senate is expected to confirm Alejandro Mayorkas as Homeland Security secretary.

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