President –Elect Joe Biden to Start Presidency with a Sharp Focus on Immigration
Within hours of being sworn in as president on Wednesday, Joe Biden will announce an immigration bill that would open a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the country unlawfully, a sharp contrast to the policies of outgoing Republican President Donald Trump.
Biden, a Democrat, will also sign 15 executive actions on Wednesday, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. At least six of those will deal with immigration, according to a memo, making it a major focus of Biden’s first day in office.
The actions include immediately lifting a travel ban on some, mostly Muslim-majority countries, immediately halting construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and reversing a Trump order preventing migrants who are in the United States illegally from being counted when U.S. congressional voting districts are next redrawn.
Biden will also sign a memorandum directing the Department of Homeland Security and the attorney general to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects migrants who came to the country as children from deportation, and reverse a Trump executive order calling for stricter interior immigration enforcement.
Taken together, the actions show Biden is beginning his presidency with a sharp focus on immigration, just as Trump kept the issue at the center of his policy agenda until the last days of his administration. In one of his few post-election public appearances, Trump visited a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall earlier this month.
Biden’s decision to immediately roll back Trump’s so-called Muslim ban – which targeted travellers and immigrants from several Muslim-majority nations – underscores his desire to restore U.S. standing in the world. While Trump insisted the ban was instated for security reasons, it was widely panned as discriminatory.