Washington, D.C.—Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) released the following statement regarding President Joseph R. Biden’s Day 1 Executive Orders on immigration policies.
“President Biden has taken historic steps to repair the damage that border communities and immigrant families have faced these past four years. However, this is only the beginning,” said Congressman Cuellar. With a Democratic majority in the House and Senate, we can pass the Dream and Promise Act, a bill I co-sponsored, to provide a permanent pathway to citizenship for our Dreamers and TPS holders. We can return unconstitutionally reprogrammed military funds that were used for an ineffective border wall and restore both public and private land that was harmed by the wall.
“I am ready for the hard work. As the Vice Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Appropriations, I am committed to working with the Biden Administration to fight for a fair and just immigration system and fund programs that effectively secure the U.S.-Mexico border.”
Halt Border Wall Construction
By proclamation, President Biden declared an immediate termination of the national emergency declaration that was used as a pretext to justify diversions of billions of federal funds for the construction of a border wall. The proclamation directs an immediate pause in wall construction projects to allow a close review of the legality of the funding and contracting methods used, and to determine the best way to redirect funds that were diverted by the prior Administration to fund wall construction.
The new president is following Congressman Cuellar’s letter he sent to the Biden-Harris administration, which called to rescind the national emergency declaration and reprogrammed funding; direct the Department of Justice to dismiss all condemnation suits; terminate for convenience all current and pending Army Corps of Engineer contracts; and rescind Homeland Security waiver authority relating to the construction of new border barriers.
Read Congressman Cuellar’s letter to President-Elect Biden here.
Protections for Dreamers
President Biden signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, to take all appropriate actions under the law to preserve and fortify DACA. The Presidential Memorandum also called on Congress to enact legislation providing permanent status and a path to citizenship for people who came to this country as children and have lived, worked, and contributed to our country for many years.
Including Undocumented Immigrants in Census Count
President Biden signed an Executive Order to revoke the prior Administration’s orders setting out an unlawful plan to exclude noncitizens from the census and apportionment of Congressional representatives. President Biden will present to Congress an apportionment that is fair and accurate so federal resources are efficiently and fairly distributed for the next decade.
Read the Fact Sheet about President Biden’s Day One Executive Actions here.