US to reverse Trump’s ‘draconian’ immigration policies

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The US plans to reverse the Trump administration’s “draconian” immigration approach while working on policies addressing the causes of migration, President Joe Biden told his Mexican counterpart.

Paintings on the US-Mexico border at the Friendship Park seen from Baja California state in Mexico on January 16, 2021.

Paintings on the US-Mexico border at the Friendship Park seen from Baja California state in Mexico on January 16, 2021. Photo: AFP

In a call with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on Friday, Biden outlined his plan to create new legal pathways for immigration and improve the process for people requesting asylum, according to an account of the call released by the White House.

Priorities include “reversing the previous administration’s draconian immigration policies,” the White House said.

The two leaders agreed to work together toward reducing “irregular migration,” the White House release said.

Mexico has a major role to play in Biden’s plans for immigration reform. Earlier this month, Mexico helped coordinate efforts in Central America to contain a large caravan of migrants heading for the United States.

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Mexico’s Foreign Ministry also said it had begun talks with Washington about a Covid-19-related order signed by Biden to establish firmer health protocols for people entering US territory.

The call was “pleasant and respectful,” López Obrador said in a brief Twitter post.

“Everything indicates relations will be good and for the benefit of our people and nations,” López Obrador said.

Nevertheless, Biden’s inauguration comes at a time of simmering tension over a now-dropped US investigation into former Mexican defense minister Salvador Cienfuegos.

Cracking down on both legal and illegal immigration was a core focus of Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump.

Biden, meanwhile, has made an early push for a bill that would open a path for citizenship for the roughly 11 million people living in the United States illegally, though even his allies in Congress acknowledge that may be “a Herculean task.”

-Reuters

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