There’s no getting around the fact that Joe Biden’s inauguration signals a radical shift in immigration policies. But beyond that, the Biden era will see the virtual end of border security; a halt to immigration arrests, deportations, and detentions; a massive increase in the number of refugees allowed into the U.S.; and the legalization of millions of illegal aliens — among other radical proposals.
The victory of the open borders crowd is total and complete. “It simply wouldn’t have happened without us,” Lorella Praeli, co-president of the liberal group Community Change, said of Biden’s victory. “So we are now in a powerful position.”
Ms. Praeli will have to get in line. There are a dozen of special interest groups who are saying exactly the same thing. The “economic justice” crowd, the environmental radicals, Black Lives Matter, Hispanic pressure groups, Asian lobbyists…the list is nearly endless. All say they’re owed by the president for being responsible for his election victory.
Obviously, someone is going to be disappointed. But the immigration advocates who have worked tirelessly to bring hundreds of thousands of Central Americans to our borders via organized “caravans” are anticipating support and cooperation from the White House. And they’re likely to get it.
The Biden immigration push will have two tracks: an executive order spree and a legislative track. The former will happen in the next day or two while the bill Biden is sending to the Hill is a long-term project.
Under the legislation, those living in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021, without legal status would have a five-year path to temporary legal status, or a green card, if they pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfill other basic requirements. From there, it’s a three-year path to naturalization, if they decide to pursue citizenship.
For some immigrants, the process would be quicker. So-called Dreamers, the young people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children, as well as agricultural workers and people under temporary protective status could qualify more immediately for green cards if they are working, are in school or meet other requirements.
There will be no border security enhancements. In fact, there will be no enforcement reforms at all. This bill’s purpose is to get as many people into the United States as can be managed.
Since there will be no “remain in Mexico” policy, all of the refugees, illegal aliens, and other “guests” who arrive at the border will have to wait inside the U.S. for their immigration court hearing. It’s anyone’s guess how many will end up staying illegally.
The immigration advocates, who are getting their way at last, have no idea what they’re in for. The stopper in the bottle has been removed and the rush of humanity to get into the United States will be overwhelming. Where will they go? Where will they sleep? What will they eat?
The executive actions planned by Biden will make America less safe.
An interior enforcement executive order will reverse an order Trump signed five days after he took office that dramatically expanded interior immigration law enforcement by no longer prioritizing the deportation of criminals. The Trump order effectively made any of the 10.5 million undocumented people in the US a deportation priority – including families, longtime residents and Dreamers – those protected by Daca.
Biden will also end the travel ban, which Trump announced in his first week in office, by executive order. The order will also instruct the state department to restart visa processing for the affected countries and to develop a proposal to remedy harms caused by the bans, including those who had visas denied. It also allows for increased screening and vetting of travelers through information sharing with foreign governments.
Republicans aren’t giving the immigration legislation being proposed by Biden much of a chance.
“There are many issues I think we can work cooperatively with President-elect Biden, but a blanket amnesty for people who are here unlawfully isn’t going to be one of them,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., often a central player in Senate immigration battles.
“Total amnesty, no regard for the health or security of Americans, and zero enforcement,” Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who like Rubio is a potential 2024 GOP presidential contender, said in a Monday tweet.
Whatever Biden can do to increase the flow of refugees and others into the country, he will do. It’s doubtful the U.S. will be able to handle the crush at the border, leading to a possible humanitarian disaster.
Biden knows this and will try to slow the rush of people so that the process can be orderly. He’s telling refugees forming caravans in Central America to wait, that the Biden administration “isn’t ready” for them yet.
Once you let loose the wind, the whirlwind is inevitable no matter what you do or say.