Joe Biden, perhaps our next president of the United States, perhaps not, has not talked much about immigration reform. What he has put out there for the world to see, though, is available on his campaign website: joebiden.com. For eight years, the American public can agree that the Obama administration performed poorly when it came down to immigration policy. For people wanting reform, the administration only gave in to a small trickle of demands starting with the DREAM Act. For people outright opposing any kind of immigration reform, the administration did little to stop the inflow of immigrants. One fact does stand, the Obama administration, between 2009 and 2015, removed from the country more than 2.5 million people. Joe Biden, of course, presided over all of this.
The former vice-president, besides all that he did under the administration, is a “renewed” man. One of his hallmark campaign policies is to overhaul the entire asylum program. Under Biden’s plan, the Trump administrations long detention policies would be thrown out the window. Also, his plan would not cap the number of asylum seekers, it would increase overtime. Surprisingly, this Biden is a whole lot more open than the Biden of the Obama administration. Yet, we must remember that President Obama promised many policies favoring immigrants…and nothing much happened. For those seeking actual, guaranteed immigration reform, they must investigate the seriousness of Biden’s propositions and not just fall for a string of elegant words.
Biden consistently makes a big deal out caring for the coronavirus problem. Recently, he even went as far as saying he will “shut down the virus, not the country.” If we start to break down this quote, we will probably find it does not make any sense at all coming from the man who wanted to shut down the country to begin with. Continuing with the subject, Mr. Biden proposes an end to prolonged detention. In other words, releasing undocumented immigrants into the country to receive services provided for by a Biden administration. Our immigration system is so broken that screening every undocumented immigrant is a difficult process. Releasing people into the country without getting them tested for Covid-19 as soon as they are caught seems quite detrimental to Mr. Biden’s plan to “shut down the virus.”
One policy that stands out in the entire Biden campaign website is protecting those that have served in the military but are still undocumented. Most people will agree that those undocumented persons that served in our country’s military deserve to stay. They fought and defended the United States bravely. What credible argument can be summoned to oppose a policy protecting them? The Trump administration, if it wins the election should at the least extend protections for those undocumented persons that are ex-military or are currently serving in the military. It is a fair policy.
How far will Mr. Biden go to remake himself into the most ardent friend of immigrants? The question remains to be seen. His proposals on his campaign website will not all come to be true. No president ever makes all his promises come true. Yet, whoever we vote for this coming November elections, we must hold our leaders far more accountable than in any other time in our nation’s history.