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President Biden on Tuesday signed a trio of executive orders to reverse the immigration policies of former President Donald Trump, continuing his brisk shift of policies by the stroke of a pen.
Biden signed orders to end a 2018 “zero tolerance” policy on prosecuting illegal border crossings and to seek unification of parents with children detained at the border.
He also signed an order requesting a comprehensive review Trump-era immigration policies,
“There’s a lot of talk, with good reason, about the number of executive orders that I signed. I’m not making new law, I’m eliminating bad policy,” Biden told reporters in the Oval Office.
“The last president of the United States issued executive orders I felt were very counterproductive to our security, counterproductive to who we are as a country, particularly in the area of immigration.”
Biden was joined in the Oval Office by Vice President Kamala Harris and his just-confirmed Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who was approved by the Senate in a 56-43 vote on Tuesday.
“We’re going to work to undo the moral and national shame of the previous administration that literally — not figuratively — ripped children from the arms of their families and mothers and fathers at the border, and with no plan, none whatsoever to reunify children,” Biden said.
Biden has signed 25 other executive orders since taking office on Jan.
The Justice Department said in December that attorneys have been unable to locate the parents of more than 600 children apprehended at the border. Biden’s new executive order establishes a task force that will review family separations and reunification.
Biden’s order requesting a review of Trump immigration policies requires a specific reivew of Trump’s “public charge rule” that prevents immigrants on public assistance from receiving a green card.
President Joe Biden signing executive orders on February 2, 2021.AP Photo/Evan Vucci
The new president has reversed a range of other Trump policies by executive order, including ending a visa ban on a group of predominately Muslim countries including Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen that Trump said was about national security.
He urged people not to rush to the border hoping for more favorable treatment..