Biden Set to Reverse ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policies, Reunite Families

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Joe Biden

Joe Biden. Photo by Marc Nozell via Flickr

President Joe Biden was expected to announce executive actions Tuesday ordering the review and potential reversal of the Trump administration’s deterrent policies along the Mexico border and the barriers it created in the legal immigration system. He also reportedly plans to create a homeland security task force to reunite families separated by President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” border crackdown, reports The Washington Post. Biden’s orders will “review,” though not cancel, the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program, that sent more than 60,000 asylum seekers to wait outside U.S. territory while their claims are processed in immigration courts. The Biden administration has stopped placing asylum seekers in the program, but applicants with pending cases will not be allowed to immediately enter the United States while officials figure out how to dismantle the program.

The president’s latest orders will also leave intact the emergency pandemic measure known as Title 42 that allows border authorities to rapidly “expel” back to Mexico those who cross the border illegally. Biden officials said they intend to replace Trump’s border measures with more humane programs, but they need more time. The administration also plans to restore an Obama-era program allowing minors to apply to legally reunite with parents already living in the United States, instead of risking a dangerous journey with a smuggler. Detentions and arrests along the border have exceeded 70,000 for each of the past four months, one of the busiest stretches in more than a decade, according to the latest statistics and projections from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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