The White House needs time to put in place a “moral” immigration process that will treat people humanely, press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday, adding that now is “not the time to come to the US.”
Psaki said the US wants to create a moral immigration system that accepts applications from refugees.
Later on Tuesday, President Joe Biden will order a review of asylum processing at the US-Mexico border and the immigration system as he seeks to undo some of former President Donald Trump’s hardline policies.
Biden will also create a task force to reunite migrant families who were separated at the US-Mexico border by Trump’s 2018 “zero tolerance” border strategy.
Psaki said there are estimates of between 600 to 700 children that are still separated from their parents and the task force will assess what the accurate number is and determine the best approach to reunite them with their family members.
Immigration advocates have urged the new Democratic administration to move quickly but officials say they need time to unravel the many layers of immigration restrictions introduced during the Trump era and to put in place new, more migrant-friendly systems.