New United States President, Joe Biden, will announce an immigration bill that will open a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the United States unlawfully.
This is coming barely a few hours after his inauguration as the 46th president of the US.
White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, also said Biden will sign 15 executive actions; at least six of those will deal with immigration, according to a memo, making it a major focus of Biden’s first day in office, Reuters reported.
The actions include immediately lifting a travel ban on some, mostly Muslim-majority countries, immediately halting construction of the US–Mexico border wall, and reversing a Donald Trump order preventing migrants who are in the United States illegally from being counted when US congressional voting districts are next redrawn.
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Biden will also sign a memorandum directing the Department of Homeland Security and the US attorney general to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, which protects migrants who came to the country as children from deportation and reverse a Trump executive order calling for stricter interior immigration enforcement.
Taken together, the actions show Biden is beginning his presidency with a sharp focus on immigration, just as Trump kept the issue at the centre of his policy agenda until the last days of his administration. In one of his few post-election public appearances, Trump visited a section of the US–Mexico border wall earlier this month.
Biden’s decision to immediately roll back Trump’s so-called Muslim ban – which targeted travellers and immigrants from several Muslim-majority nations – underscores his desire to restore the US standing in the world. While Trump insisted the ban was instituted for security reasons, it was widely panned as discriminatory.