President Biden Signs Six Executive Orders on Immigration on his First Day in Office

Six out of 17 executive orders signed by President Biden after his inauguration on January 20 are aimed at sweeping aside former President Trump’s anti-immigration policies, finally giving immigrants and asylum seekers in the American and global community reason for hope.

With an executive order, Mr. Biden has bolstered the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, often called dreamers.  During his term as president, Mr. Trump tried to end the program, known as DACA.  President Biden’s order also calls on Congress to pass legislation that guarantees these young immigrants permanent status and a path to citizenship.

Another executive order revokes the Trump administration’s efforts to exclude non-citizens from the census count, denying them representation and federal services, and another overturns a Trump executive order that pushed aggressive efforts by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to find and deport unauthorized immigrants.  Yet another order blocks the deportation of Liberians who have been living in the U.S.

In a blow to one of Trump’s earliest actions to limit immigration, Mr. Biden has also ended the so-called Muslim ban, which blocked travel to the U.S. from several majority Muslim and African countries.  Mr. Biden has authorized the State Department to restart visa processing for immigrants from the affected countries and to deal with the harm to those who were prevented from coming to the U.S. because of the ban.

President Biden has also halted construction on Trump’s border wall with Mexico, a rallying cry of Trump’s 2016 campaign.  The order includes an “immediate termination” of the national emergency declaration that allowed the Trump administration to redirect billions of dollars to the wall.  It also states that there will be “a close review” of the legality of Trump’s effort to divert federal money to fund the wall.