Biden Pledged To Sign Executive Order About Separated Migrant kids On Day One.

President Joe Biden took several actions related to immigration on his first day in office, but he has yet to deliver on his campaign pledge to immediately sign an executive order to help reunite migrant families separated by the Trump administration.

Biden pledged in late October that his day one agenda would include signing an executive order to create a task force to help reunite families still separated under the Trump-era policy.

This message—relayed in an advertisement broadcast to several swing states—came amid renewed outrage over the revelation that the parents of 545 children separated from them by the Trump administration at the U.S.-Mexico border still had not been located.

“On his first day as president, Joe Biden will issue an Executive Order creating a federal task force to reunite these children with their parents,” read the advertisement, entitled “Separated,” which played in Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Nevada.

It was not among the 17 orders, memorandums and proclamations signed by Biden in the hours after his Jan. 20 inauguration, and has not been signed or addressed in the days since.

Assistant White House Press Secretary Vedant Patel would not comment specifically on why the order hasn’t been signed, but said there will be “additional immigration actions to share in the days ahead.”

CRUCIAL QUOTE

“Their kids were ripped from their arms and separated, and now they cannot find over 500 sets of those parents and those kids are alone … It’s criminal,” Biden is heard saying in the advertisement, an audio clip from the second presidential debate when the two candidates sparred over which administration was responsible for the U.S.’ widely abhorred immigration actions. While the Obama administration did in 2014 build “cages” that the Trump administration used to hold children, they were then used to accommodate an exodus of unaccompanied immigrant children arriving from Central America. It wasn’t until the Trump administration that they were employed for child separation.

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KEY BACKGROUND

An undoing of some of the Trump administration’s most notable immigration policies was a primary feature of Biden’s first day in office. The president signed orders strengthening Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA), a program protecting immigrants brought to the U.S. as children that Trump sought to destroy throughout his presidency, revoking a Trump administration plan to exclude non-citizens from the Census count, and ending a travel ban on several predominantly Muslim and African countries. Biden has also halted construction of Trump’s signature border wall with Mexico and announced a 100-day “pause” on most deportations.

FURTHER READING

“Biden Promises Executive Order To Help Reunite Migrant Families Separated By Trump Administration” (Forbes)

“Here’s What Biden Did About Covid-19 On His First Full Day As President” (Forbes)

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