President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed three executive orders on immigration as part of his administration’s push to reverse his predecessor’s policies.
“There’s a lot of talk, with good reason, about the number of executive orders that I have signed. I’m not making new law. I’m eliminating bad policy,” Biden said.
“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.”
One order creates a task force to reunite migrant families separated at the border, while another kicks off a review of recent barriers to legal immigration, such as a “public charge rule” that imposes a wealth test on would-be immigrants.
The White House billed another executive order as a move to “restore” the U.S. asylum system through moves such as starting to end the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” program that was aimed at Central American asylum seekers.
Organizations that favor stricter controls on immigration have been blasting Biden’s moves. In a National Interest opinion column last week, Center for Immigration Studies Executive Director Mark Krikorian said the new president is making it “easier for people likely to be dependent on welfare to get green cards” and rolling back “Trump administration rules designed to make it harder to use a mere claim of asylum as a gambit to gain release into the United States.”
The three orders initially had been expected on Friday. White House press secretary Jen Psaki last week attributed the delay to a Republican filibuster that held up the confirmation of Biden’s nominee for secretary of homeland security, Alejandro Mayorkas.