Joe Biden’s Big Immigration Mistake
FELICIA J. PERSAUD | 3/18/2021, midnight
Democratic lawmakers, unlike Republicans, don’t have loyalty to Party line. They clearly do not follow the ‘Birds Of A Feather Stick Together,’ mantra, unlike the GOPers. Most often do what they feel is best for them politically––like Joe Manchin.
Now as the focus turns to the next agenda item for President Joe Biden––now that the 1.9 trillion stimulus is out of the way––some Democrats are suddenly unsure if the president’s bold immigration reform plan, as introduced last month, should be taken up right now.
Never mind many immigrant voters helped them win all three houses of government; time to waffle and screw immigrants again. But this time there is no one to blame but Biden himself.
Despite the pandemic, the Biden administration, without waiting for the measure to be even introduced, made a bad policy decision that is now threatening the future of the bolder immigration reform and leaving them in a quandary.
First, Biden, on his first day in office, ordered the Department of Homeland Security to suspend the Migrant Protection Protocols regarding the application of asylum.
This led to by late February, asylum-seekers who determined to stick it out by waiting in Mexico, being screened for COVID-19 and allowed into the United States. Some 25,000 in total is what the administration determined as rational, allowing them to be put ahead of immigrants who have lived in this country without status for decades while paying taxes and contributing to the communities of which they are a part.
The Biden administration also decided to stop expelling immigrant children who cross the border alone. This has now led to a new crisis at the Southern border that the administration did not consider when pushing ahead with these changes.
With many Central and Latin American migrants believing they have a better chance now to get into the U.S., many parents are reportedly sending their children across the border alone, while they remain in Mexico or Central America.
There are now more than 3,000 unaccompanied immigrant children in U.S. immigration detention according to The Associated Press, and the figure is rising almost daily.
The new surge has now created fear in the hearts of many ‘Blue Dog’ Democrats, whose districts are purple and who cannot be seen as supporters of an open border policy.
Even moderate Republicans are not going to support immigration reform with this new surge. This now has the Democratic leaders in both the House and the Senate in dread over what the next steps forward should be for The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 as the Biden administration looks like its scratching its head.
Democratic leaders in Congress know they don’t have the support as yet for the measure, neither in the House or the Senate, so many are now trying for smaller bites of the apple by pushing smaller measures instead, like the Dream and Promise Act and The Farm Workforce Modernization Act.
What a difference a few weeks make. Immigrants have gone from excitement to now concern and disillusionment, all because of Joe Biden’s haste.
Immigration reform to me is about immigrants within the country. This includes stopping the endless deportations of mostly Haitian immigrants and putting undocumented immigrants, DREAMERS and those with TPS status on the path to legalization. It does not mean letting more people in, especially in this pandemic and it certainly does not mean open season at the southern border.
It's time to pull back on the laissez-faire approach to the crisis at the southern border in order to send a tougher message that stems the undocumented migrant flow. This is absolutely necessary for the immigration reform bill to succeed in the Congress that gives those in the country, some for decades, the help they desperately need, while stemming the flow from the outside.
The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow