CBS News is reporting that President Biden will delay, by at least a few days, some expected Executive Orders that will reverse some Trump-era immigration policies. Specifically mentioned are executive actions on asylum policies and a plan to reunite migrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. The reason for the delay is unclear at this time.
According to a document circulating around Washington, Biden was expected to issue several executive actions on immigration Friday. CBS has two sources who confirm that this will not take place as planned. In the document, an order addressing the processing of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, a reversal of the Trump policies that narrowed asylum eligibility, and the Remain in Mexico policies are all in the works.
Esther Olavarria, a top White House immigration official, told U.S. mayors last week that in addition to scrapping the “Remain in Mexico” policy and the safe-third-country deals, the executive order will reinstate an Obama-era program terminated by Mr. Trump that allowed at-risk Central American children to come to the U.S. under refugee or parole status if their parents were in the country legally, according to a recording of the meeting obtained by CBS News.
The order would also expand legal avenues for Central Americans to reunite with family in the U.S. and allocate funds to help curb violence, poverty and corruption in the region, Olavarria said.
That’s a shame because the Remain in Mexico policy has been a successful one which allows the border patrol and immigration judges some breathing room amidst streams of migrants flooding the border in search of asylum. By being sent back across the U.S. border, the migrants remain there until their request for asylum is processed. The Biden administration has no intention of enforcing asylum laws and instead is promising to put into place the left’s dreams of an open border.
Biden is expected to sign in to place a task force with its mission to “help advocates locate migrant families who were separated under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy in 2018 and earlier pilot programs.” There will also be a directive for an immediate review of “public charge” rules. These rules grant officials more power to deny green card and visa applications from immigrants used stricter controls in order to discourage abuse of food stamps and housing vouchers. In other words, migrants were required to show proof that they will not be in need of American public assistance programs. The Trump administration put the stricter requirements into effect in 2019.
But wait, there’s more. Biden is planning to issue another proclamation to fulfill his campaign pledge of resettling more people abroad fleeing persecution and setting a 125,000-person annual refugee ceiling. Obama set a 110,000-person cap and the Trump administration went about cutting that number. Last year there were 15,000 spots allocated for refugees, a historic low. There is no requirement for officials to resettle a specific amount of people, as the annual refugee cap is a target, not an official agreement.
As you can see, the further Biden goes in immigration law and policy reforms, the more it becomes clear that the executive actions are all about erasing Trump’s successes in working with Central American countries to control the chaos on the southern border. It’s all feel-good liberal policy at the expense of legal American residents. The hard reality is that most Americans support border security and expect the federal government to keep Americans safe at home. Biden may be delaying further actions because his choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, is expected to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Monday. Republicans created a delay in his confirmation after expressing concerns about Mayorkas.
Before the committee held its vote on Tuesday, some committee members acknowledged that their opinions on immigration policy differed from that of Mayorkas. They also referenced concerns about a 2015 DHS Office of the Inspector General report, which said Mayorkas’ work while leading the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services contributed to a perception of special treatment for some benefits through the agency’s EB-5 immigration program.
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, the committee’s outgoing Republican chairman, read sections from the 2015 report before voting against Mayorkas’ nomination moving forward. “Should Mr. Mayorkas be confirmed—and again, I am recommending against it—I hope he has learned from his past mistakes and can perform his new duties with the integrity required of the position,” Johnson said.
Shortly after Johnson spoke, Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah told the committee he had spoken with Mayorkas about the inspector general report and that Mayorkas had acknowledged errors made in the past. “I’ve made errors in my life, I’ve seen others that I have had the occasion to hire acknowledge errors in their life,” Romney told the committee before voting to move Mayorkas’ nomination forward. “People who identify those errors, recognize them and are willing to take a different course in the future are people who I generally will support or provide the opportunity to given an opportunity to demonstrate that behavior in the future,” he said.
Perhaps Biden didn’t expect the buzzsaw effect of the conservative opposition to his open borders policies in the form of legal action taken by states such as Texas. Already the State of Texas has secured a temporary halt to Biden’s freeze on deportations that he included in an executive order last week. Team Biden can look forward to more legal challenges, especially from border states like Texas, over immigration orders as long as he acts unilaterally to bow to pressures from the open borders crowd.