President Joe Biden’s administration is reviewing thousands of deportations ordered under former President Donald Trump in an unprecedented plan to return certain illegal immigrants to the U.S., Politico reported Tuesday.
Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is in the process of finalizing the review program, which would focus on determining whether thousands of illegal immigrants deported under Trump have strong enough ties to the U.S. that they should be allowed to return. Many of the review cases are reportedly illegal immigrants who married U.S. citizens and argue their deportations were unjust or overly harsh.
A formalized process for overturning such large numbers of deportations is unprecedented for U.S. law enforcement, in which overturning a deportation is typically an exceedingly rare and complicated process, according to Politico.
Nevertheless, the DHS “is committed to reviewing the cases of individuals whose removals under the prior administration failed to live up to our highest values,” agency spokeswoman Marsha Espinosa told the outlet.
The move is only the most recent action from Biden aimed at dismantling most aspects of Trump’s immigration policies, which DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has described as cruel. (RELATED: Jen Psaki Blows Off Criticism Of New Border Detention Centers For Children: ‘This Is Not Kids Being Kept In Cages’)
DHS Secretary Mayorkas says Trump administration “dismantled our nation’s immigration system in its entirety” and border policy & process must be rebuilt “virtually from scratch”
“It takes time to build out of the depths of cruelty that the administration before us established” pic.twitter.com/65rgeS1SUp
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 1, 2021
Biden signed 94 immigration executive orders in his first 100 days of office alone, and most were tailored toward rolling back Trump-era policies. The administration specifically bolstered efforts to reunify families separated under Trump-era border policies. (RELATED: Biden Signs Three Executive Orders On Immigration Rolling Back Trump Policies)
But while Biden has focused so heavily on making the U.S. immigration system more compassionate, his approach may not be making him more popular. A June poll from the Center for American Political Studies (CAPS) at Harvard found that a majority of Americans not only want Biden to be tougher on immigration, but they in fact prefer Trump-era policies. (RELATED: ‘Not Today!’: Kamala Harris Cracks Up When Asked If She Will Visit The Border)
Poll: More Hispanic Texans approve of Governor Abbott’s handling of the border issue than approve of President Biden’s handling of the issue. Same goes for Texans as a whole. From @HoustonChron: https://t.co/HPr3DyeUBU
— Byron York (@ByronYork) June 28, 2021
“The voters see the border as a growing problem and blame the Biden administration policies,” pollster Mark Penn told The Hill. “The voters vastly underestimate the size of the problem and so once they learn it’s nearly 200,000 a month making illegal crossings their temperatures rise on this issue.”
“This is the administration’s greatest weakness right now,” he added.
Biden’s plan to return some deported illegal immigrants also comes as Republicans lean into messaging that the ongoing immigration surge at the border is thanks to Biden’s more lax policies. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who is in charge of the administration’s response to the surge, both insist their policies are not to blame.
The Border Crisis That Kamala Harris Didn’t See
VP Harris said on Friday it was always her plan to visit the southern border after months of dodging the question.
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 28, 2021
Nevertheless, both the heads of state of Guatemala and Mexico blamed the new administration’s policies for the surge prior to meeting with Harris in early June.
AMLO: “Expectations were created that with the Government of President Biden there would be a better treatment of migrants. And this has caused Central American migrants, and also from our country, wanting to cross the border thinking that it is easier to do so” pic.twitter.com/TNrZQamuWK
— José Díaz-Briseño (@diazbriseno) March 23, 2021
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported more than 180,000 border apprehensions in May, the most recent month with available data. The number is a 21-year record for monthly apprehensions. The record was previously broken in both March and April of this year, which saw 173,000 and 178,000 apprehensions, respectively.