Former President Donald Trump became known early in his tenure as a stickler for tough immigration policies — but with Trump out of the White House, it looks like that era has met a swift end.
According to Fox News, President Joe Biden signed a series of executive orders Tuesday that indicate America will be taking a much more lax approach to both legal and illegal immigration.
Among the new measures earning Biden flak from conservatives is a reversal of a Clinton-era policy reinstated by Trump that “delegated all financial responsibility” for legal immigrants seeking green cards “to a family member or business sponsor,” as Breitbart reported.
The Trump measure also “ensured that the income of a sponsor was taken into consideration” if a green card holder applied for welfare benefits, which could have saved taxpayers “billions over the years,” Breitbart reported. But on Tuesday, Biden revoked all of that.
Biden walks it back
Trump had also instated what was known as a “public charge” rule, which Fox said “limited green cards to immigrants are deemed likely to be reliant on welfare.” On that point, Biden ordered an “immediate review” by the heads of various federal agencies, ostensibly teeing up a move to quash the policy.
“The Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the heads of other relevant agencies, as appropriate, shall review all agency actions related to implementation of the public charge ground of inadmissibility,” Biden’s Tuesday order read.
Biden’s orders also promise to “eliminate barriers in and otherwise improve the existing naturalization process,” “substantially reduce current naturalization processing times,” and “make the naturalization process more accessible to all eligible individuals,” including by cutting down on costs and fees.
“Eliminating bad policy”
In addition to taking action on immigration and citizenship, Biden has spent his first weeks in office signing a number of executive orders on everything from civil rights to energy policy. But it hasn’t come without pushback.
Responding to critics, the president insisted Tuesday that he’s “not making new law” with his orders.
“There’s a lot of talk, with good reason, about the number of executive orders that I have signed,” Biden conceded, according to MarketWatch. “I’m not making new law. I’m eliminating bad policy.”
He went on: “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.”
Come midterms 2022, Democrats will find out first-hand if Americans actually agree.