Biden’s record on immigration policy is a mixed bag

Two years later, discussions of President Joe Biden’s immigration policy have largely focused on record-high levels of migrant arrivals at the US-Mexico border, fueled by an immigration system that hasn’t been overhauled in decades. In this year’s State of the Union address, Biden touted some of the steps his administration has taken to address these problems but neglected to mention the many ways it contributes to ineffectiveness.

Last month, Biden announcement A new carrot-and-stick immigration framework that would welcome thousands of immigrants into the U.S. each month and increase the deportation process for unauthorized border crossers. David J. Beer, Associate Director of Immigration Studies at the Cato Institute, to say because At the time he hoped for “a meaningful reduction in illegal crossings by encouraging people to wait for legal options to become available.”

That’s what happened, Biden said tonight: “Since we launched our new border plan last month, illegal immigration from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela has dropped 97 percent.” According to CBSIllegal border crossings fell 40 percent in January—”the lowest level of illegal immigration along the US-Mexico border since President Biden’s first full month in office in February 2021.”

Biden deserves credit for recognizing that more opportunities for legal immigration means fewer people are driven to immigrate illegally. He could have mentioned, but didn’t, another thing he got right: private sponsorship of the plan perspective Allows ordinary citizens to sponsor Nicaraguans, Cubans, Haitians, and Venezuelans.

He neglected to mention one big thing that he got wrong. as As immigration surges, Biden leans toward Trump-era policies that have made the problem worse.

his administration upheld President Donald Trump’s Title 42 order, which allowed federal immigration officials to immediately deport immigrants, apparently in the name of stopping COVID-19. Since Title 42 carries no re-entry penalties, repeat crossings have ballooned, artificially increasing the number of repeat crossings. American Immigration Council there is Note that That from FY 2021 through April 2022, one in three border encounters “involved an individual attempting their second or higher border crossing.”

Biden’s speech called on lawmakers to “come together on immigration and make it a bipartisan issue like it’s never been.” His administration has fallen there too. Today, 90 percent of Democrats and 76 percent of Republicans have bipartisan support on the immigration issue of evacuating Afghans working with U.S. troops. support These efforts, according to an August 2021 CBS/YouGov poll. But the Biden administration waited until the eleventh hour to carry out the bulk of those evacuations. anxious About triggering a “crisis of confidence” in the weak Afghan government. dragging his feet cursed Thousands of Afghans joined the US the life Under Taliban rule.

Biden called on Congress to pass his plan to “provide equipment and officers to secure the border” as well as “a path to citizenship for Dreamers, temporary residents, farm workers and essential workers.” He is right about the path: legal immigration is not done has been updated For more than 30 years, in a meaningful way, that has prevented the United States from accepting immigrants who work in critical sectors. excessive application backlog Temporary residents are kept from adjusting to permanent status (Here, again, Biden fails to take responsibility.)

Although the president has said he supports “comprehensive immigration reform,” his record paints a murky picture. “Biden has enacted rules that cut countless farmers and small businesses out of the visa programs they depend on,” notes Sam Peek, immigration policy analyst at Americans for Prosperity. “It costs about $10,000 in fees and bureaucracy alone to hire just one farm worker….Biden insists on adding more red tape to these programs and fueling a black market for illegal immigration.”

“America’s border problem will not be fixed until Congress acts,” Biden said tonight. And Congress must pass reforms that address the root causes of illegal immigration—namely, lack of access to legal immigration. But the president should acknowledge his own role in the chaos at the border and the way his administration has put a more effective immigration system out of reach.