He was sworn in as head of state that same afternoon46NS President Joe Biden will take executive action that will reverse several of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, his transition team said on Wednesday.
The list of orders includes re-issuing safeguards established under the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, stopping the further construction of a border barrier, and withdrawing the priorities set by the previous government for enforcing internal immigration.
The measures come on the same day that Biden is reportedly set to propose a comprehensive immigration bill to Congress that, if passed, could open legal avenues to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, including more than 1.7 million in Texas .
“These measures are bold, beginning by keeping the promises made by President-elect Biden to the American people, and most importantly falling into the constitutional role of the president,” the transition team said of the executive orders, which also include measures to combat COVID-19. Pandemic, eviction moratoriums, student loan debt and the environment.
The day one DACA ordinance will direct the Secretary of Homeland Security and Attorney General to maintain the program, which the federal government said included about 645,000 beneficiaries as of June, including about 106,400 in Texas statistics. Trump announced an end to DACA in 2017, but the program has persisted after a series of legal challenges, including a 2020 US Supreme Court ruling that the government did not act properly to enforce the policy break up.
But the Biden administration is also facing a lawsuit from the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxtonwho filed a separate complaint questioning the legality of the program.
A separate Biden executive aims to reverse Trump’s domestic immigration enforcement initiatives and allow federal immigration authorities to “establish civil immigration enforcement policies.” In 2017, Trump quickly ended the Obama-era Priority Enforcement Program, which directed federal, state, and local authorities to do theirslimited resources to address major public safety threats, such as convicted or wanted felons and repeat offenders. Biden’s transition team generally described Wednesday’s order as a way to return to “policies that best protect the American people and reflect our values and priorities.”
In building a border barrier, Biden will end a declaration of emergency that allowed Trump to divert billions of dollars towards military construction and payrolls for building the barrier. Last week, Trump made his final visit to the Rio Grande Valley as president on the border to celebrate about 450 miles of new barrier along the nearly 2,000-mile southern border. But according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, there are several Projects are under construction or in the construction preparation phase and the fate of ongoing or pending orders is unclear.
Biden’s order will halt construction as his administration reviews the financing and contracting methods used.
“In 2019, bipartisan majorities in Congress refused to fund President Trump’s plans for a massive wall along our southern border, even after he shut down the government on the issue,” the transitional website said.
Immigration groups have urged Biden to pass the executive orders to provide immediate protection to some groups while Congress debates the larger, broader immigration law that would provide a route to citizenship for most undocumented immigrants in the country when they get to US by early this year.
Texas has an estimated 1.7 million undocumented immigrants, including approximately 1.2 million from Mexico. according to to the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute. The Biden proposal provides for five-year temporary status to qualified applicants who can then apply for a green card or permanent residence status if they pass background checks and pay taxes.according to the transition team.
It is still unclear how many people will be eligible for relief under the Biden Plan, which could go uphill in the evenly divided US Senate, where at least 10 Republicans would have to support the bill.
The proposed legislation would also provide a faster route to citizenship for DACA recipients, some farm workers, and recipients of temporarily protected status by giving them the opportunity to apply for green cards immediately. After three years, green card holders are allowed to apply for citizenship if they pass additional background checks, learn English, and research about U.S. citizenship, according to the transition team.
The TPS program was established in 1990 under President George HW Bush and enables citizens of countries affected by armed conflict, natural disasters or other emergencies to seek temporary refuge in the US or to extend their current stay. According to Dan Wallace, assistant director of New American Economy, a bipartisan study, Texas has approximately 49,000 TPS recipients, most of them from Central America group which focuses on the economic benefits of immigration.
Wallace said Texas TPS owners have about $ 1 billion purchasing power and one in five works in the construction industry, which has helped sustain the state’s economy.
“Just knowing that people can stay is so hopeful, not just for these individuals and their families, but also for the employers and cities they live in,” he said.
Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, an advocacy group on immigration, said he was optimistic that Biden could convince Congress to support the larger immigration proposal despite lacking traditional border enforcement elements such as more agents and barriers. Instead, the proposal calls for improvements in technology and infrastructure to better control frontier workers and goods.
“I think there is some limit exhaustion for Republicans,” he said. “[Trump’s wall] was a great organizational tool, but not necessarily a very smart security tool. And the concern numbers [of undocumented border crossers] went up when Trump built his wall. “