President Donald Trump is preparing to roll out new executives orders to help the government better manage the record influx of illegal immigration at the southern border.
The White House is looking to make it more difficult for low-skilled migrants to gain entry into the U.S. while making it easier for high-skilled migrants who are more likely to be self-sufficient, according to sources who spoke with Axios. The administration also wants to make it harder for asylum seekers to claim fear of returning to their home country, and it wants the ability to detain migrant children longer than the current 20-day limit.
The proposed changes come after Trump ousted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and pulled Ron Vitiello’s nomination to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The president was frustrated with Nielsen’s handling of the immigration crisis at the southern border, and he told reporters he nixed Vitiello’s nomination because he wants to go in a “tougher direction.”
“[Vitiello is] a good man,” the president told reporters on Friday. “But we’re going in a tougher direction. We want to go in a tougher direction.”
Other immigration overhauls are also under consideration.
The president’s aides have reportedly expressed interest in ending birthright citizenship, deploying more troops at the U.S.-Mexico border, expediting wall construction, and closing ports of entry along the border. Senior administration officials claimed to the New York Times that Trump has also expressed interest repeatedly in restarting family separation.
Trump, under intense scrutiny from progressive groups, ended family separation in June 2018. A revamped version of this policy reportedly being discussed in the White House is known as “binary choice.” The proposal would give illegal migrant parents a choice: voluntarily allow their kids to be separated from them, or waive their protections so they can be detained together.
All of these policy proposals are expected to face intense challenges in the courtroom — a place where the administration’s immigration agenda recently faced a setback.
A federal judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked the Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” directive, a policy that mandates asylum seekers to wait in Mexico as their claims run through the immigration court system. However, the ruling is on hold for only several days and is subject to change.
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