President Joe Biden announced executive orders to improve the country’s immigration system.
The orders create a task force to reunify families separated by the Trump administration, address the flow of migrants including by addressing the root causes of migration like instability and violence, requires a review of recent regulations including the public charge rule, which would have penalized immigrants who used certain public benefits that they were legally entitled to. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), one of the “Closers” named to oversee the passage of the Biden immigration reform plan in the House of Representatives, and who co-led a letter signed by 57 Members of Congress urging Biden to direct the relevant agencies to repeal the public charge rule, issued the following statement:
“As president, Joe Biden promised that he would restore our immigration system to one that served our families and the needs of the country. And I have been thrilled to see the President live up to this promise starting from his first day in office when he took action to protect Dreamers and end the Muslim Ban.
Now, with these orders, President Biden is taking concrete steps to heal the damage caused by the last administration, starting by reuniting families that were separated by the Trump Administration when they kidnapped children at the border and separated them from their families as a scare tactic to deter immigrants. That hateful policy has caused lasting damage for children and their parents.
It is only right that we use every resource possible to try to bring these families back together and begin the healing process. I am also pleased that instead of treating immigrants as an invading horde in order to stir nativist anger and resentment, President Biden is looking to respond to the flow of immigrants fairly and humanely. That means addressing the root causes that lead to migration in the first place, and ensuring opportunity and care throughout the journey to our borders.
“I am especially thankful that President Biden is directing agencies to review the public charge rule and rescinding a memorandum that required families to repay the government for relatives who used public benefits. I am also thrilled that the Task Force on New Americans will be re-established to help provide resources to immigrants and their families, who so greatly enrich our communities.
This is especially important now as we are continuing to struggle with an historic pandemic. These executive orders will help more immigrant families get access to healthcare, vaccines and other benefits which makes our communities as a whole safer. We know that immigrants are more likely to serve in front line jobs, like healthcare, risking their safety for our own. And we know that communities of color are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Therefore it is more important than ever before that our policies are inclusive, no matter where you were born.
America has always been made stronger because of the contributions of our immigrants. I am proud to once again have a President who appreciates the value of immigration to America, and is prioritizing humanity and fairness over bigotry and division.”