Justice Department Lawyer Set to Dismantle Trump’s Immigration Reforms

According to early reports, Customs and Border Protection apprehended over 210,000 illegal aliens in the month of July. The Biden administration’s policies are entirely to blame for this humanitarian, public health, and national security crisis. By ending the Migrant Protection Protocols, pulling out of safe-third-country agreements with the Northern Triangle countries, reintroducing “catch and release,” and crippling Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) through changes to its enforcement priorities, the Biden administration signaled to the world that the southern border is open to anyone who can get here.

A new hire by the Justice Department confirms that the Biden administration plans to double down on eviscerating immigration enforcement.

The Biden administration tapped Lucas Guttentag, a former Obama administration senior adviser on immigration policy, as the new senior counselor on immigration policy within the Justice Department. According to Politico, Guttentag will “help take apart the restrictive immigration policies developed under former President Donald Trump.” Politico further quotes Biden officials who indicated that his role will also involve coordinating immigration policy and strategy across multiple agencies and departments.

Guttentag is the former national director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Immigrants’ Rights Project and served in that role from 1985 until 2011. During the Trump administration, Guttentag was a professor at both Stanford and Yale law schools. He also developed the “Immigration Policy Tracker,” an interactive online tool that highlighted the immigration policy changes made during the four years of Trump’s presidency. Guttentag catalogued 1,063 changes to the United States’ immigration policy under the Trump administration, which Guttentag sorted into seven categories: enforcement, humanitarian, non-immigrant visas, immigrant visas, citizenship, labor, and hearings and adjudications.

The Biden administration is now tasking Guttentag with reversing and dismantling many – if not all – of the 1,063 changes that he identified. Like Ur Jaddou, the recently-confirmed director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Guttentag possesses a deep knowledge of immigration law and an ideological desire to fundamentally change many aspects of it. Because of the arcane way in which federal rulemaking occurs, Guttentag will be able to drive most aspects of agency-level immigration policy without the same public scrutiny faced by elected lawmakers in Congress.

FAIR will monitor the activities of Guttentag and report the changes that he makes in his new role as the senior counselor on immigration policy.

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