Biden Faces Early Test with Immigration and Homeland Security after Trump

Washington – President-Elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has stated that one of his first priorities will be to bring back his earlier restrictive immigration policies. To do so, they may have to overhaul the Department of Homeland Security, which has bent on President Trump’s will over the past four years.

The department, created after the attacks on September 11, 2001, has helped Mr. Trump implement some of the most divisive policies, such as separating families at the border, banning travel from Muslim-majority countries, and its own border wall. to make. When the president tried to restart his campaign around law and order this year, security leaders of the homeland turned to the cause, deploying tactical officers to protect the statues and confront the protesters did.

Portland, Ore. Agents in the streets were locked in uncontrolled vans. Critics of the department called for the agency to undergo a systemic change or resolve it. But the incoming administration is intent on keeping the department intact.

Nevertheless, change is coming.

Interviews with 16 current and former Homeland Security officials and advisors, along with Mr. Biden’s transition, and a review of his forum, suggest an agenda aimed at incorporating climate change into department policy, filling vacant positions, and Mr. Trump is responsible, including disaster response and cyber security.

But undoing Mr. Trump’s immigration policies will dominate.

Many of the Trump administration’s policies cannot be immediately undone, and if there is a migration to the southwestern border with Mr. Trump’s pending departure, Mr. Biden may face a preliminary examination.

It could be politically fatal, balancing Democratic’s demands for more liberal immigration policies, with those fearing such issues fearing the cost of the party in House and Senate elections this month. Mr. Trump campaigned on a tough-immigration agenda when he won the election in 2016 and policies remain a central appeal to many who have supported Mr. Trump.

“If it looks like they’re driving down the street, people will be very angry,” said Marissa Franco, executive director of Mijenta, executive director of the Latino civil rights organization. The Biden Campaign.

Mr. Trump mainly measured the success of his homeland security secretaries by the progress of his border wall and the monthly totals of arrests made by his border agents.

The 23-man transition team announced last week by Mr. Biden indicates that he will fulfill other responsibilities of the vast department. The team consists of at least four former officers of the Citizenship and Immigration Services, a legal immigration agency that has been placed in financial conflicts. The leader of the team, Ur Jaddo, was a chief advocate for the agency under President Barack Obama and consistently criticized Mr. Trump’s policies.

The group also has several former Obama administration officials who focus on cyber security, emergency response and transportation security. Mr. Trump had a team of only four transition advisers for homeland security.

In addition to border security and TSA airline issues, if you look at what’s going on in the world now, you have an epidemic and an unprecedented hurricane season, “a Homeland Security under President George W. Bush Said Michael Churtoff, secretary. For the Transportation Security Administration. Mr. Biden, he said, would take “a broader-based, more strategic approach”.

A team of mostly volunteers, aside from Mr. Biden’s official transition team, has worked on that approach for weeks. Those volunteers, including Mr. Obama’s former Director of Domestic Policy Council, Cecilia Muñoz, and her former deputy Homeland Security Advisor, Amy Pope, have focused on making climate change research a decision in the leadership of the next department.

However, the agency will not remain a “Department of Climate”, an advisor said, adding that the new administration will use the research to shape natural disaster response and give flexibility to assist the Coast Guard as it patrols the Arctic. The next Homeland Security leader can rely on climatology to predict migration from places like Guatemala, where coffee rust has hindered dependence on crops.

“This is something that should be a long-term priority for DHS,” Thomas S., a former top official of the department and co-author of a report this year. Warrick said the future roles of this department have been emphasized, defending against cyber attack. Epidemics and white supremacy.

Mr. Warrick’s co-author, Caitlin Durkovich, is on Mr. Biden’s official transition team.

The volunteer team has emphasized that the change will not come from a drastic reorganization but from personnel. Of the 74 leadership positions in the Department of Homeland Security, 18 are either vacant or held by an acting officer. Even his appointments to people serving in acting capacity have been questioned by government watchdogs and courts. As recently as on Saturday, a federal judge held that Chad F., the caretaker of Homeland Security. Wolf did not serve legally when he issued a memorandum in July, which was brought to the United States as children.

Two consultants involved in the planning meetings said the team is advising the incoming administration to clarify all officials who led the agencies overseeing immigration, even those who publicly address White House efforts Protested against or publicly opposed Mr. Trump.

“They have been poisoned,” said a consultant.

Some transition officials reported Alejandro Ann. Has resided around Mayorkas, the former Home Security Deputy Secretary and Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, the next secretary.

Proponents of Mr. Mayorkas believe his background as a US Attorney for California and as a Cuban immigrant will appeal to both law enforcement officers at the agency and immigrant communities in the United States. He emphasized that a decision on the situation had not yet been made.

But officials working under Mr Obama were reinstated, who were criticized as “mainly supportive” and who expanded detractions on the border to respond to the surge of migrants, creating barriers on the left Could

“My hope is that people can see some errors of their way,” Ms. Franco said, “We’ll be vigilant.”

The Trump administration made more than 400 changes to toughen or push immigration and Mr. Biden could bring back those issued through executive orders or policy memoranda, which put time into policies that have gone through the entire regulatory process , According to Sarah Pierce will take time. A policy analyst for the Migration Policy Institute.

“On immigration, I expect them to stick to things that are high-profile, very easy to process and come with the least logical burden,” Ms. Pearce said.

It includes ending travel restrictions prohibiting travel from 13 more Muslim and African countries and halting the Trump administration’s efforts to protect the nearly 700,000 young immigrants brought into the country as children.

Mr. Biden plans to raise the cap on refugee admissions to 125,000, a 100-day moratorium on deportation and direct immigration and customs enforcement to focus on violent offenders. But it is unclear how he would rebuild a deteriorating rehabilitation system to welcome specific details of his temporary halt upon the removal of many immigrants or unspecified immigrants.

The new administration would end a national emergency declaration that allowed Mr. Trump to bend over a billion-dollar Pentagon border wall, but an adviser involved in the transition said there were no plans to eliminate the 400-mile wall already .

Other rules would prove to be more challenging, such as the cycle administration of asylum sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, and public accusation rules that allow immigrants to be denied green cards who are likely to use public assistance.

Ms. Pearce said the new administration could begin a lengthy process of replacing the Trump rules, or modify that regulation in a settlement given that the public charges rule is still litigation in court.

Mr. Biden has also revived the long-term Democratic goal of creating a pathway to citizenship for about 11 million unspecified immigrants, but without the Democratic Senate, it is impossible. (Senate control rests on two Senate runoff races in Georgia in January.)

An expected upsurge of migration to the southwestern border in the coming months will test Mr. Biden’s ability to balance the demands of his party’s liberal and liberal wing while preventing border facilities.

“We will treat our migrants with respect and give them due process, which they are not doing under this administration,” said Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Home Security, who negotiated the forum Biden was represented in the campaign with Senator Bernie Sanders. “Will it be enough? Probably not. “

The epidemic is another immediate challenge.

A threat assessment released by the Homeland Security Department in October has concluded that coronoviruses have exacerbated the “underlying economic and political conditions” in the region that typically promote migration.

Mr. Biden has said that he will look to revive a version of a program that allowed children and young adults to apply for asylum in their home country instead of taking long, dangerous journeys for asylum. He has also said that he will assist Central America by deploying attachments from the Justice and Treasury Departments to combat corruption.

But on the physical frontier, Mr. Biden’s plans develop more at the center, which he will close rather than develop.

It has said it will stop “metering”, which limits the number of migrants who can demand protection at border ports. It is unclear if he would be out of agreements with Central American countries that allow the United States to remove migrants seeking protection in the region. He would end Mr. Trump’s “Made in Mexico” policy, which has sent more than 60,000 migrants back to Mexico to await asylum hearings that have been suspended during the epidemic.

Mr. Biden’s advisors have discussed asylum-taking officers and immigration judges on the border to take action to protect those families and others.

“The real question is the scale. If there is a surge on the border, can they be lowered so soon? An official involved in the transition said.

Mr. Biden has not committed to lifting a public health emergency rule that essentially sealed the threshold for asylum seekers. The Trump administration has cited an epidemic risk to empower border patrol agents to swiftly return to Mexico or their home countries, without having the opportunity to voice their asylum claims. An advisor to the campaign said the administration planned to consult with public health officials to discuss the policy.

Biden consultants also acknowledged the need to increase capacity in the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for sheltering migrant children traveling alone. It will seek the approval of Congress.

Mr. Biden has said that he will cut the amount of money used to detain migrants and instead rely more on programs that track migrants once they are released to the United States to present migrants in court will do.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, Border Patrol Union, said the return of “catch-and-release” to free migrants from detention would only mean their disappearance. Mr. Trump has argued that the policy encourages migration.

“Obviously my members were hoping that President Trump was going to win, and they were hoping that he was going to win because of what is happening with border security.” “” Let’s hope Biden proves us wrong. But we have already seen this film and we want to play again. “

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