The Trump administration’s strategy to reduce immigration
Immigration is normally quite a relevant issue for the US administrations, mainly because the country attracts thousands of foreigners, from people in need of international protection while trying to flee from danger and persecution, to highly skilled workers in fields such as technology, engineering and science.
However, there are administrations that do not always support immigration. For instance, the Donald Trump administration set a record by implementing more than 400 changes on immigration policies to substantially restrict the entry of foreigners into the US, including the most vulnerable immigrant communities such as refugees or asylum seekers.
Former President Trump always tried to reduce immigration under the premise of protecting American workers, safeguarding essential resources, respecting the integrity of the nation, and protecting the local economic system. In fact, in his view, mass immigration can be quite detrimental to the US if not properly measured and controlled.
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The “Zero Tolerance Policy” and the separation of immigrant families
The Trump administration not only focused on reducing legal alternatives, but also on curbing illegal immigration at all costs. To achieve this goal, the former president implemented multiple rules and policies that made it difficult for undocumented immigrants to follow legal processes, regardless of whether they need international assistance or not.
One of Trump’s most controversial policies is the so-called “Zero Tolerance Policy,” which states that immigrants who cross borders without prior authorization and are detained by federal entities should face criminal prosecution for violating local law.
However, there are entire families who try to cross the US borders to request political asylum or apply to other humanitarian programs and, since minors cannot be detained by border entities for more than a specific period of time or be prosecuted, this policy led to the separation of thousands of immigrant families at the borders.
In fact, currently, there are still hundreds of minors who have not been able to find their parents since 2017, after being separated under this policy.
Trump’s “Zero Tolerance Policy” was not in place for long due to the social controversy it sparked and the timely reaction of hundreds of immigrant rights advocates and activists.
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The Biden administration removes the “Zero Tolerance Policy”
Former President Trump was seeking re-election in November 2020. However, the local population elected Joe Biden as the 46th President of the US, who has a rather welcoming stance on immigration and promised to reverse Trump’s restrictive policies.
On Tuesday, January 26, 2021, the Biden administration’s Acting Attorney General permanently rescinded the “Zero Tolerance Policy.” Although former President Trump had issued an order to end the separation of immigrant families at the borders, his administration had never removed the policy.
Hence, this is an official move by the Biden administration to make sure undocumented immigrants do not face legal charges for crossing borders without prior authorization, but are still subject to deportation under local immigration law.
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