President Joe Biden showed he learned well at the feet of his former boss, President Barack Obama. On Wednesday, his first day, he cranked up the “phone and pen” approach to running the government by issuing 17 executive orders.
Later last week, conservative columnist Byron York dissected them and noticed a trend.
“Of Biden’s 17 actions,” he wrote, “three dealt with coronavirus, two dealt with the economy, two dealt with climate, two dealt with racial equity, one dealt with the census, one dealt with ethics, one dealt with regulation, and five dealt with immigration.”
“Plus, Biden introduced just one piece of legislation on his first day in office, and it was a comprehensive immigration reform plan called the U.S. Citizenship Act, which, among many other things, would provide a pathway to citizenship for the millions of immigrants in the United States illegally.”
“So whatever Biden and his team said about his Day One priorities, especially about the terrible toll that COVID has taken, it’s fair to say the top priority was immigration,” York noted.
York and others also pointed out Biden had ordered a 100-day pause on all deportations of illegal immigrants.
Late Friday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson picked up that theme.
Carlson said he had obtained an internal email from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which sent it to ICE agents in Texas, that showed how this pause would be carried out.
“As of midnight tonight, stop all removals,” the email said. “This includes Mexican bus runs, charter flights and commercial removals (until further notice) … all cases are to be considered [no significant likelihood of removal in foreseeable future].”
“Release them all, immediately,” it added. “No sponsor available is not acceptable any longer.”
Carlson said that the official who sent the email referred to himself as “the messenger.”
“In other words, it wasn’t his idea. It was Joe Biden’s,” Carlson said.
“Friday’s memorandum from the Biden administration to halt deportations did not call for people here illegally to be released from detention. We made some calls, and we learned that Homeland Security is currently hammering out how to enact the memorandum. It does not specifically call for the instant release of all migrants in detention,” Carlson noted.
“So what was this memo about?” he continued. “Just the result of the complete chaos that resulted when the incoming administration on its first day changed a policy this big on its first day without explaining what it means.”
“Chaos,” he added. “We thought the last administration had a monopoly on that. Apparently not.”
But the chaos internally at ICE is only a harbinger of what is to come for America at large, as Biden tells the world, with his pen and phone if not with public speeches, that the pathway to American citizenship is not just for those already here, but for those who can still get here.