(HorizonPost.com) – Since President Joe Biden first took office, one of the most significant issues his administration needed to address was the crisis at the border. He immediately stopped the border wall construction and tasked Vice President Kamala Harris with looking into the immigration problems facing the country. Unfortunately, the new Veep is taking her time considering the causes of the border issues and doing little to bring about any resolutions. Although she recently stated the administration “can’t just flip a switch” to improve the situation, many are growing frustrated over her inaction.
Following an unclear policy message, migrants flocked in from Mexico and several South American countries during the year with no solid plans from the administration and no end in sight.
The unprecedented surge is overworking border agents and leaving both Democrats and Republicans confused by the lack of immigration clarity.
A November report from The Wall Street Journal offers an in-depth look at some of the issues that have damaged Biden’s attempts at handling immigration.
When voting him in, Democrats counted on Biden to undo the Trump administration’s policies regarding immigration. They listened to the president’s promises to reform the immigration system. However, once in office, he began to send mixed messages, leaving many policies in place from the previous administration. Those included the quick expulsion of migrants under Title 42. The federal reinstatement of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) also occurred at the behest of the Supreme Court — this was a policy Biden initially reversed. The MPP had asylum seekers wait for processing in Mexico instead of the United States. Advocates of a fair immigration system say Biden added a touch of humanity to the approach, but little else.
Democrats were also reportedly disappointed when the president kept the refugee cap at 15,000 instead of raising it when he took office. Although Biden since increased the cap to 125,000 in 2022, experts say that number will be hard to hit.
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) pointed out that “making policy on the fly” for immigration doesn’t work very well.
On the Right, a recent YouGov poll showed 92% of Republicans think Biden isn’t tough enough on handling immigration, and 61% of Independents agree. Many Conservatives believe Biden’s approach gives newcomers a message America is open and encourages more people to migrate from Central America.
Policies Moving Forward
When Biden took office, he attempted to reform immigration with the US Citizenship Act of 2021, giving illegal immigrants an eight-year path to citizenship. However, the bill hasn’t moved in either house of Congress. The president’s inability to bring both parties together to compromise on immigration policies leaves the country in precisely the same spot with overflowing borders, overworked agents, and illegal migrants allegedly entering the US at record rates.
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