President Joe Biden ran on promises of immigration reform and the stop of inhumane treatment of illegal immigrants. Now close to a year into his presidency, Biden has made some controversial decisions regarding the current immigration system.
During an interview with National Public Radio, an expert on policy with previous experience working under former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama Administrations, Theresa Cardinal Brown, stated she believes deterrence at the border is the issue and that there are other solutions to immigration.
“We are still trying to manage migration that is basically of people who are so desperate, fleeing for their lives, seeking protection,” said Cardinal Brown. “And no level of deterrence that the United States is frankly willing to do is going to really affect that.”
There has been a chain of issues when looking back at the last three presidencies, which Cardinal Brown pointed to as reason for needed change.
“President Obama had his kids-in-cages moment. President Trump had his moment when he was separating families and kids,” said Cardinal Brown. “And now President Biden has Border Patrol on horseback. We need to change the process at the border. We need to recognize this is different.”
On his personal website, Biden promised the following actions towards immigration reform: “Take urgent action to undo Trump’s damage and reclaim America’s values, modernize America’s immigration system, welcome immigrants in our communities, reassert America’s commitment to asylum-seekers and refugees, tackle the root causes of irregular migration and implement effective border screening.”
Biden’s first promise has most recently come into question after the incident on the Tex. border between Haitian migrants and Border Patrol agents on horseback. The Biden administration’s response to the growing camp of migrants at the border was to use a Trump-era rule regarding public health, which is why many Biden supporters are questioning his first promise.
The amount of encounters at the Tex. border is at a 21-year high, according to the Pew Research Center.
“Migrant encounters refer to two distinct kinds of events: apprehensions, in which migrants are taken into custody in the United States to await adjudication, and expulsions, in which migrants are immediately expelled to their home country or last country of transit without being held in U.S. custody,” according to Pew Research.
Pew Research says the amount of expulsions under Trump’s Title 42, have lead to an increase in repeat attempts to cross the border.
According to U.S Customs and Border Protection, 27% of encounters have had at least one previous encounter. This has caused criticism around the validity of actions by Biden to maintain the use of Title 42.
The Biden administration has taken action in court to maintain the policy that was enacted to create grounds for expulsion due to Covid-19 spread.
Another theory for why Biden has been unable to please some of his constituents is that he has been unable to gain traction within legislation.
The recent Democrat push for immigration was initially supposed to be contained in their Infrastructure bill, but after resistance from Republicans and the halting of the project by Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough they have been unsuccessful.
Many fear the lack of success on his promises around immigration will continue unless Biden is able to create an immigration plan that will be able to lead to a bipartisan decision.