WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed new immigration executive orders Tuesday aimed at undoing critical border security gains from the Trump administration. Senior Research Fellow Lora Ries, former Department of Homeland Security acting deputy chief of staff, responded to this latest round of harmful executive orders which will undermine America’s immigration system:
“America’s immigration policy should protect our borders, uphold our laws, and safeguard our values, but these immigration executive orders are just more evidence that the Biden administration is intent on implementing a radical immigration agenda that does none of those things. The executive orders are designed to do one thing: end policies that have helped halt the uncontrolled flow of migrants to the border, undermine the rule of law, and usher in a new era where the U.S. government becomes an active participant in facilitating illegal immigration. We can certainly expect to see more caravans and a rush of illegal immigration that will overwhelm our border and immigration system. Americans worried about their country’s security, sovereignty and economic recovery should be gravely concerned about the Biden administration’s reckless and radical immigration agenda.”
Ries released the following analysis on the various policies affected by the executive orders:
Public Charge Rule: “American taxpayers should not have to assume financial responsibility for those who come to this country. They should either be self-sufficient or have family who can financially sponsor and support them. The concept of public charge—or that immigrants be self-reliant—has been part of U.S. immigration law since the 1880s, and by looking to end this rule, the Biden administration is putting American taxpayers on the hook for the costs incurred by those who are not citizens.”
“Remain in Mexico” Program: “The ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy served as an incredibly effective border security tool and way to prevent abuse of the America’s asylum process. Caravans stopped coming to the U.S. when immigrants learned they could no longer enter and disappear into the U.S. after claiming they were afraid to return to their country. The program is fully lawful, and has been authorized by Congress for more than 20 years—the Trump administration was just the first to use it. Biden’s quest to end use of this valuable program will have consequences for our entire system.”
Safe Third Country Rule and Agreements: “America has the most generous immigration laws in the world. We are a welcoming, generous country. However, asylum is about safety, not country shopping. The Biden administration would prefer to encourage illegal immigration from Central America instead of pushing regional governments to improve the conditions for their citizens. President Biden claims he wants to get at the root of illegal migration from Central America with a regional approach, but these actions speak louder than his words. It makes no sense to end these Trump administration agreements negotiated with multiple Central American governments that effectively addressed illegal migration.”
Family Separations: “The Biden administration has blamed the Trump administration for failing to reunite children in the U.S. with parents who were already returned to their home countries. In truth, often many of these parents could not be reached, or wanted their children to remain in the U.S., which would make it easier for these individuals to reunite with the children in the U.S. The Biden administration will empower this approach.”
*To request an interview with Lora, please contact Gloria Taylor, communications manager for the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, Gloria.Taylor@heritage.org.