GOP Congressman Breaks From Party To Applaud Biden Policy

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On Friday of last week, the Biden administration “announced it is formalizing a new process to allow immigrants who served in the U.S. military and were later deported to return to the country legally,” as reported by CBS News — and Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) expressed support for that move on Twitter this Tuesday. Young’s comments marked a break with the ordinarily anti-immigrant rhetoric of the GOP. More broadly, his support for the Biden administration’s actions on this issue reveals yet again how the Biden administration seems poised to remain significantly more popular than the Trump team was among Americans.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said that authorities at his department “are committed to bringing back military service members, veterans, and their immediate family members who were unjustly removed and ensuring they receive the benefits to which they may be entitled,” and he ordered immigration officials to put together a “rigorous, systematic approach” for examining the deportations of immigrants whose case outcomes “failed to live up to our highest values.” The Biden administration has also been examining ways to provide opportunities to return for the United States for other deportees.

Meanwhile, Young commented as follows, discussing the administration’s support for deported service members:

‘If you put your life on the line to defend America and our values, you should be able to become [a] citizen. Period. This is positive, but executive actions are NOT law. I will keep working on a legislative fix so our deported heroes can return to the country they fought for.’

The Biden administration has already taken substantial steps to undo the destructive immigration policy legacy of Donald Trump. Attorney General Merrick Garland, for instance, has reversed two decisions made by Trump era officials that made obtaining asylum in the United States more difficult. Those now reversed provisions blocked both people whose families had been targeted by gangs and many domestic violence victims from winning asylum protections. Meanwhile, Biden’s team has also moved to dismantle the Trump administration’s so-called Remain in Mexico program, which compelled asylum-seekers to wait in potentially precarious conditions outside of the country while their cases were processed. The Trump administration often sought to depict immigrants as some kind of security or economic threat to the U.S., with nothing of substance backing them up but ignorance and racism.