Immigration: Bidens White House disillusionment and disappointment

The administration’s best case scenario is a “completely mixed case,” said Jorge Loweree, political director at the American Immigration Council. “And worst case scenario is an effective continuation of what Trump wanted.”

Immigration has been a politically dangerous issue for Biden, whose approval rating has fallen. During an influx of unaccompanied minor migrants in the spring, Biden intercepted Vice President Kamala Harris to address the root causes of migration – a difficult problem that has plagued previous administrations. While Harris has announced investments in the private sector in Central America, she has largely kept the situation at the US-Mexico border at bay.

Republicans have continued to seize the record number of border arrests and have filed lawsuits challenging political change, hampering the administration in its attempts to carry out some of its promises.

Most notably, a federal judge in Texas blocked the termination of a Trump-era border policy that forced non-Mexican migrants to stay in Mexico until their U.S. immigration court dates, and demanded that the administration bring back the controversial program, the is against and still seeking to quit. .

Another Trump-era border policy that immigrant advocates and the UN have urged the Biden administration to drop also remains in force. A public health authority invoked at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic allows authorities to reject migrants encountered at the southern border of the United States, effectively preventing them from seeking asylum.

On the question of authority, known as Title 42, the Biden administration has referred to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, which, according to a White House spokesman, considers it necessary given the Delta and Omicron variants.

There has also been frustration internally over immigration policy. “There has been disillusionment with immigration policy and a lack of follow-up on principles outlined in executive orders issued earlier this year,” an administration official said.
A dramatic increase in the number of migrants seeking asylum in Arizona is overwhelming the border patrol

Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. in several discussions.

“The Biden campaign promised to welcome people with dignity, and instead we have returned to Trump’s policies,” said Karen Tumlin, lawyer, founder and director of the Justice Action Center, in a call with reporters. “This is not the change millions sought when Biden was elected.”

The White House defended the actions of the administration and the reversal of the Trump-era immigration policy.

“The President has made it clear that restoration of order, justice and humanity in our immigration system are priorities for this administration. Our immigration system is outdated and in dire need of reform; but this administration is committed to working day in and day out to provide emergency aid for immigrants and bring our immigration system into the 21st century, “a White House spokesman said in a statement.

Treatment of migrants

Tumlin, among others, is suing the administration for the treatment of Haitian migrants gathered at the U.S.-Mexico border this fall.
In a December letter to Biden and Harris, dozens of immigrant groups urged the administration to drop Trump-era border policies, calling them “harmful” and “illegal.”

“Nearly eleven months since accession, this administration continues to violate U.S. asylum law and evade U.S. treaty obligations by blocking and returning asylum seekers to places where their lives and safety are at risk,” the letter said.

Exclusive: Unaccompanied children are detained by the border patrol for an average of 77 hours, internal documents show
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has also repeatedly chimed in and rejected the use of the public health order.

The continued use of the public health order is an example of the unique position the Biden administration finds itself in: tackling a pandemic and wrestling with a growing number of migrants at the southern border of the United States, many of whom are fleeing conditions at home that were deteriorating. of the pandemic.

Early in Biden’s presidency, officials struggled with a record number of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, stretching thin resources and flooding border facilities. While there have been slightly fewer migrant children in recent months, other streams, such as those originating in South America, have presented new challenges.

“The crowd and emergencies have put us in a defensive stance rather than reforms and a proactive agenda,” an administration official told CNN.

Reunites children who were separated during the Trump years

Despite various setbacks, the Biden administration has made some inroads into its immigration agenda, including changing enforcement guidelines to prioritize certain undocumented immigrants for arrest and deportation, halting mass enforcement in the workplace, halting border wall construction and no longer applying controversial rules like Trump era of public tax regulation that made it harder for immigrants to obtain legal status if they used some public services.

US Vice President Kamala Harris will attend a bilateral meeting with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei at the Palacio Nacional de la Cultura in Guatemala City on June 7, 2021.
Biden also established a task force to reunite families that had been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border during the Trump administration. Last week, the task force – led by the Department of Homeland Security – reunited the family 100 separated under the Trump-era “zero tolerance” policy.
Yet, for parents who experienced their children being taken from them – no matter where they went – it has been difficult to trust the federal government, no matter who the president is. And the recent fallout in conciliation negotiations strained the already fragile relationship.

Lawsuits stem from the policy of zero tolerance and the separation of families. For example, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a class action lawsuit in 2019 to seek compensation for the toll the separations took on families, and lawyers for families have filed separate claims.

After a constant drumming of criticism from Republicans about the ongoing conciliation negotiations, the Department of Justice this month suspended talks with attorneys for separate families.

Next year is expected to bring more court hearings, including in the class action for damages, and further changes in immigration policy, such as building asylum capacity.

Democratic lawmakers, meanwhile, have vowed to continue fighting for immigration revisions – an effort that has haunted Congress for decades. Senate lawmakers this year rejected several attempts to include immigration provisions in the massive spending bill, a setback to get amendments passed without Republican support.

These efforts are likely to continue to face the same uphill battles in the coming year.

“They have to win at this because they’re such a bad place with advocates and immigration broadly,” a source close to the White House told CNN, citing immigration restructuring. “Not delivering on this issue will be terrible for them politically.”


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