President Biden and his top advisers had a 90-minute meeting with seven leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) on Monday afternoon, during which the president said his administration would move forward with ending Title 42, the measure related to COVID that is used to expel migrants from the border quickly. According to some of the members at the meeting, he said he would need his help to explain and defend the administration’s immigration policy in public and in upcoming budget and legislative debates.
But the meeting was underway when a federal judge temporarily blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fromas currently scheduled, on May 23. It was not clear to caucus members what that injunction will mean for the administration’s plans.
Attendees at the Biden administration meeting included top advisers and officials Cedric Richmond, Susan Rice, Louisa Terrell, Julie Rodriguez and Cristóbal Alex, as well as Office of Management and Budget Director Shalonda Young. Among the CHC members who attended were representatives Raúl Ruiz, Nanette Barragán, Adriano Espaillat and Darren Soto.
CHC members said they were glad to see that the president asked to at least double the budget for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services family reunification work. USCIS currently has a staggering 4 million people waiting. the process.
Notably, members left the meeting believing the president will sign an executive order extending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for an additional five years, a top priority of the caucus. DACA provides undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children protection from deportation and work permits, both on a renewable basis.
And the president and his team signaled their openness to new executive action to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to people from Honduras, Nicaragua, among other places, who have not been redesignated in several years.
Mr. Biden also told Hispanic lawmakers that he is looking at different options to forgive most, if not all, of the student debt of those with federally-backed loans. The White House did not respond to requests for comment Monday night.
CHC members said infrastructure, environmental justice and other immigration issues were also discussed.
The Biden administration will hold more meetings with Congress in the coming days. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas plans to brief some lawmakers on Tuesday, while Terrell, the White House legislative affairs director, will meet with Senate Democratic chiefs of staff and other top policy advisers to discuss the policy. of immigration.