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Report: Biden's immigration-order count so far has eclipsed predecessor's total

Presidents use executive orders to change the country’s immigration system as Congress has not passed meaningful reform in decades.

The Migration Policy Institute says in a new report that President Biden’s tally of 535 immigration mandates has surpassed his predecessor’s count.

The report says Joe Biden has issued so many executive orders on immigration that it took him just three years to pass former President Donald Trump’s four-year total.

Co-author Kathleen Bush-Joseph said Biden’s interior-enforcement priorities mean deportations are lower than under both Trump and former President Barack  Obama.  

“But those changes are less visible and not getting the same attention that the southwest border is,” she said.

The report says roughly 2.4 million migrants have been allowed to enter the U.S. through the southwest border since Biden took office.

Many now face deportation in an immigration court system with a 3 million case backlog.

The asylum system is overwhelmed, too.

Bush-Joseph, a policy analyst for MPI, said that people not eligible to stay aren’t quickly told to leave.

“And so that can create a pull factor where people are seeing that if they’re able to get in, they’re able to stay for years while their cases are being decided,” she said.

This adds to external factors driving migrants toward the U.S., such as war and climate change.  

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.