Biden moves to undo Trump's immigration barriers

U.S. President Joe Biden signed half a dozen executive orders on Wednesday, reversing several of former President Donald Trump's hardline immigration policies.

Just hours after his inauguration, Biden also sent an immigration bill to Congres that proposes opening a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants without legal status.

The executive actions include immediate lifting of a travel ban on 13 mostly Muslim and African countries, and halting construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

They come as thousands of Central Americans have been on the move in recent weeks, some aiming to arrive at the U.S. border after Biden's inauguration.

Biden has also directed the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. attorney general to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects migrants who came to the country as children from deportation.

Biden also issued a memo calling for a 100-day pause on some deportations.

He also ended new enrollments in a controversial Trump program known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, which forced more than 65,000 asylum seekers back to Mexico to wait for U.S. court hearings.

But it did not specify what will happen to those currently enrolled, many of whom have been stuck for months in squalid tent camps near the border.

The actions show that Biden is beginning his presidency with a sharp focus on immigration, just as Trump kept the issue at the center of his policy agenda, albeit from a radically different perspective.

But Biden's ambitious immigration bill may face backlash from congressional Republicans.

A lack of bipartisan support has torpedoed past efforts to overhaul the immigration system.