Biden Ends Migrant Parent Deportations: Here Are All The Trump-Era Immigration Policies Rolled Back So Far

The Biden administration said Friday it would rescind a 2018 policy that discouraged caregivers from picking up migrant children in custody at the border, its latest move to overhaul the hardline immigration system Trump implemented over the past four years. Here are all of the moves taken by President Joe Biden to dismantle Trump administration policies that sought to curb legal and illegal immigration.

Blanca Cedillos, left, a nanny from El Salvador, watches from the Workers Justice Center, an … [+]

The policy reversal Friday means the Health and Human Services Department will no longer be required to check the immigration status of parents or sponsors who come forward to take custody of children being held at the border.

On Feb. 24, Biden reopened the country to legal immigration, ending a April 2020 green card ban that Trump said would protect American jobs during the pandemic recession.

The Biden administration on Feb. 4 raised a federal limit on the number of refugees allowed in the U.S. each year to 125,000, after Trump had ordered it to its lowest level since the passage of the American Refugee Act in 1980.


On Feb. 2, Biden established a task force to reunite the hundreds of migrant parents and children who remain separated from a Trump administration crackdown at the border in 2018.

Biden also canceled a Trump administration memorandum that required family sponsors to repay the government any public benefits and ordered a wide-ranging review of immigration policies that restricted asylum, reduced legal immigration and paused foreign aid.

Within hours of his inauguration on Jan. 20, Biden signed several executive orders that marked a dramatic break from the “America First” approach Trump took toward immigration.

The flurry of executive orders lifted travel restrictions on passport holders from seven predominantly Muslim countries, a Trump-era immigration policy that Biden called “a stain on our national conscience.”

The orders revoked a drastic expansion of immigration enforcement that had prioritized the deportation of illegal immigrants over criminals, one of the earliest executive orders under Trump, and pledged protection for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Biden terminated the national emergency declaration Trump used to fund a security wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, halting construction of the 450-mile project that had been a central campaign pledge by the former administration.

A program that forced migrants to wait out their U.S. immigration cases in Mexico was also suspended under the executive orders.

Biden has sent Congress a proposal to reform the U.S. immigration system, including through a measure that would offer legal status and a path to citizenship to up to 11 million people in the country without permission before Jan. 1, 2021. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on two smaller immigration initiatives next week, one to create a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients and another to give green cards to farm workers without legal status. The targeted nature of the legislation suggests the rest of the White House proposal may also be broken into piecemeal immigration bills.

I am a New York City-based journalist, covering breaking news at Forbes. I have reported on the intersection of politics and the economy for NBC News, CNBC and other