Biden Made 210 More Executive Actions Than Trump on Immigration in His First Year: Report

President Joe Biden took 296 executive actions on immigration issues over the first year of his presidency, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) found, 210 more than the 86 actions taken by his predecessor former President Donald Trump during his first year in office.

Yet, as of an October poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, just 35 percent of Americans approved of the president's handling of the border.

Republicans have criticized him for not doing enough on border security, with the U.S. seeing a historic 1.78 million encounters at the southwest border, and Democrats have condemned him for not doing enough to undo the restrictive policies of Trump. Notably, Biden had left in place the Trump-era Title 42 public health order that bars a large number of individuals from seeking asylum at the border.

Despite the perceptions facing the administration's handling of Trump policies, the MPI found that 89 of Biden's executive actions (30 percent) were aimed to undo the measures enacted by Trump.

President Biden And Vice President Harris Meet
The Migration Policy Institute found that President Joe Biden took 296 executive actions on immigration issues over the first year of his presidency. Here, Biden delivers brief remarks to the press during a meeting with members of his cabinet and immigration advisors in the State Dining Room on March 24, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On the front of border enforcement, the report found that Biden has carried out 990,000 expulsions, double the Trump administration's 460,000 expulsions. It has also aimed to stem the root causes of why people migrate from Central America to the U.S. by leading an effort to secure $1.2 billion in private sector investments aimed to spur economic activity in the region.

"Given this pace of activity, why does the perception exist that the Biden administration has done little on immigration?" the MPI report stated. "This is largely because the media, political pundits, and activists have focused on the lack of progress on two of the president's key campaign promises: legalization for the country's unauthorized immigrant population and rebuilding an asylum system at the U.S.-Mexico border that was largely dismantled during the prior administration."

While the administration has taken a significant number of actions, the Title 42 policy continues to loom over the Biden White House, and the MPI wrote that it is "often unclear why one person is expelled, and another is released." The MPI also wrote that a policy through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services aimed to expedite the asylum process has not yet gone into place, giving the administration little to show in terms of addressing the ongoing claims backlog.

The MPI also found that while the administration has been proactive in its repealing of 89 of the former president's orders, many of the "technical ones" remain in place.

On the front of criticism tied to the ongoing migration surge, the Biden Administration's plan to address root causes focuses on addressing migration flows in the long term, and monthly border crossings continue to consistently total over 150,000.

The sheer number of the influx of people continues to offer Republicans evidence to point toward the administration's perceived lack of action, ranging from consistent reports of migrants damaging the property of border farmers to local mayors publicly stating their town's resources are overwhelmed by crossers.

"The administration has struggled to tackle the record-breaking arrivals at the U.S. southern border, drawing disquiet across the political spectrum," the MPI wrote.

"Yet while most attention has focused on these unmet expectations, there can be no doubt that through large and small-bore executive actions alike the administration has advanced or changed policies in ways that have a significant impact on humanitarian protection, immigration enforcement, and legal immigration, touching the lives of large numbers of immigrants."