Jen Psaki: Executive Orders on Immigration ‘Part of Racial Equity’

Former U.S. Vice president Joe Biden speaks at the International Association of Fire Fighters legislative conference March 12, 2019 in Washington, DC. The conference addresses issues including firefighter mental health, funding the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund and collective bargaining. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended President Joe Biden’s aggressive effort to overturn former President Donald Trump’s immigration agenda on Thursday.

One reporter noted the majority of Biden’s executive actions on his first day were focused on immigration, rather than fighting the coronavirus.

“I wouldn’t read into that, other than immigration we consider as part of racial equity, which is a broad issue but that’s how the president has spoken about that crisis over the past several months,” Psaki said when asked about Biden’s efforts to overturn Trump’s executive orders on immigration.

Biden signed executive actions terminating Trump’s orders declaring a national emergency on the Southern border to fund the construction of a border wall, rescinding the exclusion of non-citizens from the census, ending the “Remain in Mexico” policy for refugees, and suspending most deportations for 100 days.

Biden also released a bill to give amnesty to all illegal immigrants in the United States.

Psaki said the Biden administration believed it was time for “a moment of reset” with Republicans and the business community on immigration reform and was “eager to move forward” on the issue.

“Historically it is an issue that there is bipartisan support,” she said.

Psaki also criticized Trump’s immigration reform efforts.

“The last four years, the immigration policy has been based around funding for a wall, that has not worked even to keep the country safer,” she said.

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