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President Joe Biden signed three executive orders Tuesday to launch a task force to locate migrant families separated during the Trump administration, modify U.S. border and asylum policy and analyze restrictions made to the legal immigration system over the last four years. The task force, led by the newly confirmed Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, will identify all 600 migrant children separated from their parents during the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy and earlier pilot programs. The order authorized a review of the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols, which required 70,000 asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their cases. The third order mandates the Departments of State, Homeland Security and Justice investigate Trump-era immigration regulations and policies. CBS News
In other federal immigration news…
Mayorkas Confirmed As DHS Secretary
Alejandro Mayorkas was confirmed Tuesday to become secretary of Homeland Security. Mayorkas is the first Latino and first immigrant to lead the department. He is now responsible for accomplishing the Biden administration’s immigration agenda and addressing national security concerns. The Senate backed Mayorkas in a 56-43 vote, so far the closest confirmation vote for a Biden nominee. Biden also announced Tuesday that Mayorkas will head the task force to reunite migrant families. Democrats and immigrant advocates were quick to welcome his confirmation as a new chapter in U.S. immigration policy. Politico
House Keeps Path To Citizenship Out Of COVID-19 Relief Package
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not plan to incorporate a pathway to citizenship for undocumented essential workers, Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status recipients as part of the approaching coronavirus relief package. “President Biden proposed comprehensive immigration reform, which includes protections for frontline immigrant workers, separate from his COVID relief plan, and we expect that to therefore have separate consideration,” a House Democratic leadership aide told Politico. The plan to keep the pathway to citizenship separate from the coronavirus relief package is a letdown for Democrats and immigrant advocates searching for quick ways to move the reform quickly. On Saturday, 100 lawmakers, led by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, urged House leadership to include the path to citizenship, with over 500 organizations backing them up. Politico