The delay fed the impression that Biden’s campaign pledges on immigration had been lost to other priorities, overtaken by the need to fight Covid-19 and a desire to advance massive spending plans to help the country recover from the economic recession .
“The anxiety levels are higher than I have ever seen in my 25 years here in Washington in trying to undo what was done because the Trump administration was so absolutely determined to get people into government immediately who really focused on it, “about nonsense,” said Ben Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Guttentags Post commemorates Gene Hamilton’s role in the Trump administration. Hamilton held prominent positions in both the Homeland Security and Justice Departments focused on immigration and helped build much of the immigration infrastructure that defined Trump’s presidency.
According to two of the people, Guttentag will not only help dismantle Trump-era politics, but will also coordinate Biden politics between different agencies and departments.
“It’s not a good thing that it took so long, but I don’t think there could be a better person,” said one of the people. “There are very few people who understand immigration law and immigration policy like Lucas.”
In an email, Guttentag confirmed that he had joined the administration, but did not comment further. The White House referred questions to the Justice Department, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Before joining the administration, Guttentag was a law professor at Stanford Law School and a lecturer at Yale Law School. He started the Immigration Policy Tracking Project in 2017 to create and maintain a complete record of the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
In total, Trump made more than 400 changes to immigration policy during his tenure, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a think tank with staff from across the political spectrum that provides data and analysis on immigration policy. The Immigration Policy Tracking Project has put that number closer to 1,000.
Regardless of the number, the steps have transformed virtually every part of the U.S. immigration system through executive action, policy guidance, and regulatory changes. Trump implemented measures large and small aimed at reducing legal and illegal immigration to the United States – from extending the citizenship test and denying visas to citizens of several Muslim-majority nations to building a 400-mile steel wall along the Southern border and severe restrictions on the granting of asylum.
Millions of immigrants – from those wanting to flee their countries to international students – are now waiting for Trump-era politics to be lifted.
Biden pledged to immediately reverse the Trump administration’s restrictive immigration policy. The President was quick to overturn some policies through executive action, but other changes have required lengthy, cumbersome regulatory processes, or face legal challenges or an unruly Congress reluctant to change laws quickly.
His appointment comes as the White House continues to keep the southern border largely closed during the pandemic, preventing migrants from seeking asylum, despite rising legal challenges and renewed criticism from allies of the 16-month closure. On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that they would extend the restrictions indefinitely, despite a lawsuit from the ACLU.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, border officials have expelled migrants more than 900,000 times since March 2020.