Historians Respond to Biden Immigration Policies

January 24, 2021
An initiative of the Migration Scholar Collaborative (MiSC), a hub for scholars in the humanities and humanistic social sciences to present their work in timely and accessible ways to journalists, lawmakers and thought leaders. We strive to decriminalize migration and open wider pathways to legal immigration in the United States.
January 22, 2021
Four years ago, a group of immigration historians affiliated with the Immigration and Ethnic History Society and the Immigration History Research Center (University of Minnesota) were asked to comment on the first "Muslim Ban," one of the executive orders signed by President Trump during his first week in office. The goal was to provide some sorely needed historical context explaining the significance of the new policy. The end result was published by Public Radio International. Throughout the Trump presidency, historians continued to provide perspective and commentary on the administration's continued assault on immigration. 
 
On January 20, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden repealed the Muslim Ban and the many other related policies that followed in response to legal challenges. He also signed several other immigration-related orders, including a proclamation that halts construction of the wall on the Southern border and others that protect and fortify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and roll back the previous administration's aggressive immigration enforcement policies in the interior of the country. There are many more executive actions planned in the coming weeks as well. 
 
As we mark this new era of immigration, historians are working together again to provide context, reflect on the significance of the policy changes, and advocate for social justice. We're starting by providing annotated comments on Biden immigration policies: