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On Friday, December 18 Axios's Stef Kight hosted a conversation on immigration policy in the new administration, unpacking bipartisan initiatives and their wide-reaching impacts on immigrants and refugees, featuring former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and League of United Latin American Citizens CEO Sindy Benavides.

Sindy Benavides discussed the pandemic's unique impact on the Latino community and her view of immigration policy priorities going into the next presidential administration.

  • On the action she hopes President-elect Biden takes around immigration policy: "Reinstate DACA and make sure to rescind the [Department of Homeland Security] memo that stripped that protections away from immigrant eligible recipients, and make sure that we redesignate and expand temporary protected status."
  • On the lack of trust between the U.S. and the immigrant community: "The truth is that there is an erosion of trust that has occurred within the immigrant community under this administration. So many immigrants — many who are mixed-status families with U.S. citizen children and U.S. citizen spouses who have served in our military — are not accessing services because they're so fearful of repercussions from this government."

Michael Chertoff unpacked U.S. immigration policy in the past four years, drawing from his own experiences as Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush.

  • On the legacy of the Trump administration on the American immigration system: "The inhumanity with respect to the separated children will probably leave a lasting scar...I think it's also created a sense of ill will and lack of trust between a lot of the general public and [the U.S. Customs and Border Protection] and ICE."
  • On his advice to the Biden administration: "It's very important for the incoming administration to reach out and have good relations with our neighbors...Maybe the most important medium to long-term objective is to reduce the pressure that is bringing people to run and put their lives at risk to flee up North."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with USAFacts Steve Ballmer and discussed the importance of H-1B visas to the technology industry.

  • "When I was running Microsoft, we depended fundamentally not just on native-born engineers, but on foreign-born engineers...[H-1B visas] are a really big deal for keeping our tech economy vibrant, unless people want to see more of those tech and engineering jobs in other countries."

Thank you USAFacts for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Jan 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden speaks to Mexican president about reversing Trump's "draconian immigration policies"

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Biden told his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on a phone call Friday that he plans to reverse former President Trump’s “draconian immigration policies.”

The big picture: The Biden administration has already started repealing several of Trump’s immigration policies, including ordering a 100-day freeze on deporting many unauthorized immigrants, halting work on the southern border wall, and reversing plans to exclude undocumented people from being included in the 2020 census.

Trump political team disavows "Patriot Party" groups

Marine One carries President Trump away from the White House on Inauguration Day. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Donald Trump's still-active presidential campaign committee officially disavowed political groups affiliated with the nascent "Patriot Party" on Monday.

Why it matters: Trump briefly floated the possibility of creating a new political party to compete with the GOP — with him at the helm. But others have formed their own "Patriot Party" entities during the past week, and Trump's team wants to make clear it has nothing to do with them.