Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he will propose a bill to grant a “pathway to citizenship” for the at least 11 million illegal aliens currently residing in America within the first 100 days of him taking office. Previously, Biden had announced a dramatic increase in the number of refugees the United States would accept as well as his plans to end the “Remain in Mexico” policy and the reinstatement of DACA.
To give a pathway to legality for illegals would mean trying to get a bill through Congress. Such a bill wouldn’t have a problem in the Democratic-controlled House but would be dead on arrival in the Senate — as long as the GOP still controls the upper chamber following the Georgia runoff elections in January.
Biden also plans to implement a 100-day freeze on deportations before reinstating Obama-era guidance that limits deportations to criminal offenders.
Once Biden takes office, his administration will likely be preoccupied with vaccine distribution and economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. While the Biden administration will eventually attempt to overhaul Trump’s immigration agenda, the process will still take time.
Indeed, if Biden were truly serious about immigration overhaul he would draw in Senate Republicans to help negotiate a deal. Even if the GOP holds on to the Senate — by no means certain given Republican in-fighting in Georgia and Donald Trump’s machinations — Democrats could probably pick off a half-dozen Republican moderates on the issue.
But not all Democrats are convinced that illegals should be given a path to citizenship. Biden is in danger of promising far more than he can deliver, which is common for new presidents. On immigration, especially, there are a lot of landmines and trap doors that could blow up the Biden presidency almost before it starts.
If he announces a pathway to citizenship for illegals, our borders are going to be assaulted. The migrant caravans will start up again — larger and more numerous than before. And with no “Remain in Mexico” policy and a halt on deportations, Biden’s first crisis threatens to derail his administration before it’s 100 days old. We will have a humanitarian catastrophe on our southern border that will be entirely of Biden’s making.
“I made a commitment, in the first 100 days, I will send an immigration bill to the United States Senate with a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people in America,” Biden said, though such a bill would likely face steep hurdles if Republicans retain control of the Senate, which will hinge on the results of two runoff elections in Georgia in early January.
Donald Trump was like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dyke. He worked very hard to try and keep the lid on historical and economic forces that are driving the poor to seek food and shelter — and jobs and benefits — from rich countries. Biden wants the finger out of the dyke, confident he can hold back the flood.
He’s deluding himself, of course. There will be nothing orderly in the coming flood of illegals looking for refugee status or to enter the U.S. illegally. People will die — and kill — to get here. Beneath all the sentimentality and moralistic chest-thumping, there is the reality of desperately poor people scratching and clawing to get in.
Not a pretty picture to use in his re-election campaign.