Biden Immigration Policies Saw Wins, Setbacks in First 100 Days

Biden Immigration Policies Saw Wins, Setbacks in First 100 Days

America's Voice Admin
April 29, 2021

As President Joe Biden marks 100 days in office, here is an overview of his administration’s actions and positions on key immigration issues.

Refugees

The administration had promised to welcome up to 125,000 refugees, up from the cap of 15,000 set by his immediate predecessor, Donald Trump.

Earlier this month, Biden signed an order on extending the admissions cap because of “humanitarian concerns.” After encountering strong criticism from agencies that help resettle refugees, Biden said he would raise the ceiling on the number.

Migrant families, mostly from Central American countries, wade through shallow waters after being delivered by smugglers on small inflatable rafts on U.S. soil in Roma, Texas, March 24, 2021.
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DACA and Dreamers

Biden reinstated Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era policy that prevents the deportation of undocumented young people brought to the country as children and who meet certain policy requirements. Those impacted by DACA are often described as “Dreamers,” which is derived from proposed legislation called the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

The Trump administration was blocked from canceling DACA by the Supreme Court but was able to stop accepting new applications.

In March, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced a rule in the Federal Register to “preserve and fortify DACA,” but a Texas court challenge could nullify protections.

Immigration agents

Biden has added funds for investigating misconduct and for training in his proposed immigration bill and in the budget he sent to Congress. The Biden administration said it wanted to make sure immigration law enforcement officials were held accountable for misconduct or inhumane treatment.

The administration is already facing allegations of abuse in one Texas detention facility.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement that they were not allowed to comment on specific cases but that the department “has a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of sexual abuse, sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual behavior.”

The allegations are under investigation.

Family separation  

Family separation made headlines in 2018 after video emerged from a detention facility showing scores of sobbing children packed together and wailing for their parents. The situation emerged after Trump initiated a zero-tolerance policy for illegal border crossings — a program that led to the separation of more than 5,000 migrant children from their parents. While nearly all parents were sent back to their home countries, their kids remained in U.S. custody.

Biden took office amid efforts from immigration advocates to reunite children with their parents. The administration created a task force, and the president has signed an executive order ending the policy. Although the task force is making progress, there are still hundreds of parents separated from their children. 

Original Article