The Biden administration on Tuesday announced steps to address harm to thousands of families that were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, expanding efforts to quickly undo relentless changes to immigration policy over the last four years.
President Joe 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. Details were thin, but the moves aim to reverse many of former President Donald Trump’s policies to deter immigration, both legal and illegal.
Alejandro Mayorkas, whose nomination as Homeland Security secretary awaits Senate confirmation, will lead a 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.
With files from the Associated Press
Bill Hing, professor of law and migration studies at the University of San Francisco