US President Joe Biden on Tuesday will order a major review of asylum processing at the US-Mexico border and the asylum and legal immigration systems that will dismantle portions of former President Donald Trump’s hardline policies, according to a fact sheet circulated on Tuesday.
Biden planned to sign orders on family separation, border security and legal immigration, bringing to nine the number of executive actions on immigration during his first two weeks in office.
The fact sheet listed three goals: creating a task force to reunite separated families, developing a strategy to address irregular migration at the US-Mexico border and creating a “humane” asylum system, and restoring faith in the US legal migration system and integrating new Americans.
Alejandro Mayorkas, whose nomination as Homeland Security secretary awaits Senate confirmation, will lead the task force on family separation, focused largely on reuniting parents and children who remain apart.
It is unclear how many, but about 5,500 children have been identified in court documents as having been separated during Trump’s presidency, including about 600 whose parents have yet to be found by a court-appointed committee.
The review of border security includes a policy to make asylum seekers wait in Mexican border cities for hearings in US immigration courts.
It is a step towards fulfilling a campaign pledge to end the “Remain in Mexico policy“, known officially as Migrant Protection Protocols, which enrolled nearly 70,000 asylum seekers since it began in January 2019.
The White House said it will “create a humane asylum system” by rescinding or reconsidering Trump policies that caused “chaos, cruelty and confusion”. It warned that it will take time, which may cause grumbling among some pro-immigration advocates.