Patrick Hayes & The Associated Press
Updated: January 21, 2021 11:01 AM
Created: January 20, 2021 06:22 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After arriving at the White House, President Joe Biden signed several executive actions to address issues like the coronavirus pandemic, immigration and climate change.
Some of the moves will undo action taken by former President Donald Trump.
“We are entering what may well be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus,” Biden told the crowd during his inaugural address.
“We must set aside the politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation,” he added.
Some of the measures signed include rejoining the Paris Agreement on climate change and reversing Trump’s travel ban on Muslim-majority countries.
Biden also terminated the emergency declaration used to fund construction on the U.S.-Mexico border wall while proposing legislation to reform immigration.
On Wednesday, Biden ordered his Cabinet to work to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has shielded hundreds of thousands of people who came to the country as young children from deportation since it was introduced in 2012.
Trump ordered an end to DACA in 2017, triggering a legal challenge that ended in June when the Supreme Court ruled that it should be kept in place because the Trump administration failed to follow federal rule-making guidelines in undoing it.
But DACA is still facing legal challenges.
Additionally, Biden proposed legislation that could give millions of undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship.
Adriel Orozco, an attorney and executive director of the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center told KOB that advocates are “encouraged” by Biden’s proposal.
“It looks like his proposed bill, at least what we’ve been able to see, has a lot of really good things for our community,” he said.
“There’s a push to include as many as 11 million undocumented folks…so I think it’s pretty encouraging that he’s trying to go big,” Orozco added.
Meantime, the state’s Republican Party released a statement criticizing the new administration’s plans to rejoin the Paris accord and stop construction on the border wall.
GOP chairman Steve Pearce sent the following statement:
“While we wish success for any new administration and commend President Biden in his call for unity, the executive orders he signed today present serious problems for New Mexico and our country. Cutting off border wall funding will have a harmful impact on immigration policy and will make our American border less secure. Biden’s executive order to re-enter the Paris climate accord will also have a devastating impact on New Mexico, which relies heavily on its vital oil and gas industry. The accord mandate, transitioning away from fossil fuels, will hurt our state even more than COVID-19. This move would mean crippling job losses and billions in lost revenues for New Mexico."
Biden’s plan to improve border security includes increasing technology along the U.S.-Mexico border and giving agents more training.
Copyright 2021 - KOB-TV LLC, A Hubbard Broadcasting Company