president biden immigration
US presidential race. The names of Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden on the roadside sign on the background of the American flag and a stormy sky

President Biden Signs Executive Orders Reuniting Migrant Families

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President Joe Biden signs executive orders to undo Trump’s legacy on hardline immigration policy in a show of White House power.

After igniting fears of illegal migration from Mexico to justify a $15bn border wall, Trump’s hardline anti-immigration policies led to the separation of over 5000 children at the border and caused widespread global outrage.

In an attempt to right the wrongs of his predecessor, President Biden has introduced three new executive orders that will help to reunite migrant families.

American immigration policy, and many other aspects of the country’s path, stand at a crossroads [Image: Drop of Light, Shuttershock]

Part of this order is to introduce a task force, led by Alejandro Mayorkas, the Secretary of Homeland Security, to reunite the estimated 600-700 children who are still separated from their families.

Mr Biden’s second and third executive orders call for a review into the Trump administration’s handling of immigration. It will investigate Trump’s immigration policies that damaged the effectiveness of people seeking asylum in the states. 

In a speech made at the White House, Mr Biden said: ‘We’re going to work to undo the moral and national shame of the previous administration that literally, not figuratively, ripped children from the arms of their families at the border’.

Biden’s Hesitation

Analysts have stated that Mr Biden has avoided completely reversing key aspects of Trump’s hardline immigration policy because it’s predicted this would lead to a massive surge in illegal immigration from the south of the border.

President Joe Biden [Image: Crush Rush, Shuttershock]

And while many are hopeful of Mr Biden’s approach to immigration so far, he also had a hand to play in thousands of children who were separated from their families.

During the Obama administration, Mr Biden oversaw the separation of undocumented children from families at the border when he was acting as Vice-President.

Over 8 years he aided in a record number of deportations of migrants;2 million were deported as a result of Obama’s immigration policy.

In fact, Trump originally fought with the courts to detain families for extended periods of time because a judicial order had been put in place to prevent Obama from doing the exact same thing.

Despite this legacy, Biden does appear to want to rectify the mistakes made by his predecessors, regardless of the hand he played in the current state of American immigration.

The President has indicated that he will seek avenues to grant legal status and citizenship to approximately 11 million undocumented migrants, something that the Obama administration had also promised, although in much smaller numbers.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden on the campaign trail [Image: K2 images, Shuttershock]

The Future of Biden’s Immigration Policy

Executive orders aside, Biden will no doubt face many hurdles if he plans to completely reform immigration in the US. Part of Trump’s legacy is the people he appointed to help push his policies.

These same executive figures will have an agenda against Biden and his policies and will make it difficult for him to push forward a high amount of necessary reforms. Already he is fighting with a Trump-appointed judge who has halted a Texas ban on deportation, lasting 100 days.

He will also face challenges with the Senate, although not as dramatically as Obama did. The Senate currently holds more Republican seats than Democratic by a small margin. However, those Republican votes matter and Biden will have to go a long way to convince enough Republican senators to vote in favour of his policies.

Nonetheless, the future’s looking bright for Biden’s immigration policy, as Theresa Cardinal Brown told NPR: “One of the ironic things of the results of the Trump presidency that we have seen is that actually, people who believe that immigrants are good for the country and people who support either keeping immigration the same or increasing it, have actually gone up.

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Written by
Kieran Isgin