biden-pause-deportations File photo, 2019: Guatemalan youth arrive on an ICE deportation flight from Brownsville, Texas on Aug. 29, 2019 to Guatemala City.
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

The pause, which begins Friday, comes as the president attempts to undo fast-tracked deportations without a trial.

President Joe Biden isn’t wasting any time when it comes to immigration reform and undoing the unjust deportations from his predecessor Donald Trump. Among the 17 executive orders that Biden signed on his first day in office was to pause some deportations for 100 days. The pause begins on Jan. 22. 

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The move from the Biden-Harris administration comes as the president attempts to undo the fast-tracked deportations without a trial, which were done under Trump. According to the White House, the pause will allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to ensure that its “resources are dedicated to responding to the most pressing challenges that the United States faces, including immediate operational challenges at the southwest border in the midst of the most serious global public health crisis in a century.”

On Jan. 20, Acting DHS Secretary David Pekoske signed a memorandum directing DHS components, including Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, to review and reset enforcement policies and set interim policies for civil enforcement while the Department develops its final priorities. 

Immigration advocates praised the move by the Biden administration and said many people in the US living without documentation, some of whom are essential workers, will finally have some peace. They called this move a starting point. 

“Today immigrants across the country can breathe a sigh of relief,” Marisa Franco, national director for Mijente said in a statement to The Americano. “The millions who have lost their jobs during the pandemic, or been forced to work in the fields and on the frontlines without basic protections have one less thing to worry about. Our families and communities are safer as a result. We applaud this first step by President Joe Biden as a sign of good faith and a recognition that past harms must be made right.”

Aside from pausing deportations and stoping construction on the border wall, President Biden also signed an executive order to secure and preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This will ensure that undocumented people that have DACA or qualify to enroll in DACA will not live in fear of deportation. 

In a statement to The Americano, FWD.us, a bipartisan political organization, said, “The impact of today’s bill announcement is acutely felt by DACA recipients, our loved ones and our communities, who have long awaited legal protections and to be recognized fully as the Americans we are.”

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They added, “We are important members of our communities. We deserve not only to be recognized as human beings with dignity but to be afforded legal stability that begins with a well-deserved pathway to citizenship so that we can continue living the lives we have worked hard to build.”