Nicole Hallett on How Biden Could Use Executive Actions to Reform Immigration Policy

Op-Ed: How to reverse Trump’s immigration disasters — even without Congress

Of all the promises Donald Trump made during the 2016 campaign, his pledge to crack down on immigration is the one he has come closest to keeping. Since the beginning, the Trump administration has taken a sledgehammer to immigration policy. The right to asylum viciously attacked. Human rights abuses flourishing in the immigration detention system. Legal immigration slowed to a crawl. The Muslim Ban. The effort to end DACA. Family separation at the border. The list goes on.

Fortunately, Joe Biden has the power to reverse those policies when he takes office in January. Because Trump used executive action to carry out his immigration agenda, Biden can unwind it in the same way — even without the cooperation of Congress.

Recent news reports suggest that Biden plans to take swift action to reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, repeal the Muslim ban and end the “Remain in Mexico” program that has left asylum seekers languishing in refugee camps across the U.S.-Mexico border. But a lot of the damage done to the system was through hundreds of smaller immigration policy changes that did not receive much public or press notice even though they did enormous harm to immigrants.

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