A Sequel Without Equal: Biden Outpaces Obama and Trump On Immigration Orders
The Biden administration has issued a flurry of 403 immigration-related executive actions in its first two years. That’s on pace to far surpass the 472 executive actions Donald Trump advanced on immigration over his four years in office.
The above figures were compiled by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), which favorably concluded: “While some executive actions have been stalled by the courts, Biden’s measures have nonetheless affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, including many seeking protection.”
Or, to put it another way: Biden’s executive actions have affected the lives, security and pocketbooks of hundreds of millions of Americans, and not for the better.
Highlighting a few recent examples of executive overreach, Matt O’Brien, director of investigations for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, cited “over-the-top, DACA-like abuses of power, like creating special admission programs for Ukrainians and Venezuelans and calling them ‘parole.’”
Though the media derided Trump’s actions, his moves were designed to comply with and enforce the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as written by Congress.
Biden’s barrage, by contrast, “perpetuates [Barack] Obama’s immigration disaster on a grander scale. It’s a sequel without equal,” says O’Brien, a former immigration court judge.
“The INA is pretty clear about the requirements imposed on foreign nationals who want to come to the U.S. The anti-borders contingent doesn’t like the INA. They asked Congress to change it and Congress said, ‘no.’ So, the activists went to President Obama who promised to use his magical phone and pen to do what he had absolutely zero authority to do – amend the INA. Lo and behold, the blatantly unconstitutional DACA was visited upon the American people.”
Biden has further stretched the limits of executive authority to trample on immigration laws. The Center for Immigration Studies recently pointed to some of the more egregious orders:
- Restricting immigration enforcement operations, explicitly assuring that an alien’s illegal status will not compel any government enforcement action.
- Withdrawing Department of Labor regulations that bolstered wage protections of workers in the U.S. This was done as workplace enforcement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was dramatically reduced.
- Gutting public-charge rules, making more immigrants eligible for the full suite of taxpayer-funded welfare benefits. (FAIR expounded on that topic this week.)
At the border, Biden has implemented a series of initiatives intended, in the words of CIS, “to hide mass illegal immigration from public view by accelerating the processing and transport of migrants.”
Going forward, O’Brien predicts that Biden’s fiats will face ever more legal challenges, and that the president’s actions “aren’t going to stand up to scrutiny in jurisdictions other than the radical, leftist 9th Circuit Court.
“He has not had a decisive victory and isn’t likely to because he hasn’t got a leg to stand on.”