President has promised to undo the harsh policies left by his predecessor, Donald Trump, with the most ambitious plan since 1986. It is feared that expectations have been too high.
Determined to reverse the harsh immigration policies imposed by Donald Trump during his tenure at the White House, current US President Joe Biden pledged to reform the system in a bold and ambitious way. He made immigration policies the flag of his election campaign and, shortly after taking office, promised to create legal avenues for immigration. He left thousands to crave the “American dream” and, shortly after the new president took office in January, they headed for the United States.
But, after all, the wall was still there and entering the “promised land” would not be that easy. Biden’s message about the new rules of entry into the country was ambiguous and brought the first major crisis to the Democrat’s office, which the head of state was slow to recognize. In February alone, more than 100,000 people tried to enter the United States across the border with Mexico. More than 10,000 were unaccompanied minors.
It was said and done. In the early hours as president, Biden announced changes in legislation and suspended deportations of undocumented immigrants for a period of 100 days. He also presented a bill to pave the way for the granting of citizenship to about 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States before the beginning of this year. It is the most daring plan since 1986, when President Ronald Reagan passed a bill that gave legal status to three million immigrants.
It also suspended new registrations in the Protocols for the Migrant Protocols program – instituted by Trump and which returned almost 69 thousand people to Mexico to await a response to their asylum application process -, resuming the processing of 25 thousand return asylum seekers. Mexico under the protocol.
Rushing gets in the way
The authorities feared that the rush to move to more liberal policies would lead to an unexpected increase in immigrants and that the exodus would overburden asylum inspection and resources.
And the fear became a reality. Thousands of people are now waiting for answers at the borders and more than 15,000 unaccompanied minors are currently in the custody of US authorities.
“Every year, there is a significant increase in arrivals to the border in winter because migrants are less likely to die of heat in the desert,” said Biden at the first press conference. “I will not apologize for abolishing policies that violated international law and human dignity. I will never say,” If a child reaches the border, we will let him starve to death and be on the other side. ” that of Trump. “
Among these minors, almost 5,000 were placed in facilities unable to accommodate children and young people. They are the unaccompanied minors that the Biden Administration refuses to “return” to the Mexican side for humanitarian reasons, as it does with adults or families.
This permanence of children in centers immediately raised a wave of criticism, since the law requires that the stay of these minors does not exceed 72 hours, and must be delivered to health services or placed in foster families.
The difficulty of managing the situation on the border led the Republican opposition to claim that migrants were encouraged by Biden’s liberal policies, which they accused of weakness for ending Trump’s “dissuasive” policies, which, in 2018, even forced the separation of families.
“They will reach the millions”
“The sad part is that it didn’t have to happen. This border crisis was created by the policies of the new Administration. It’s the Biden border crisis,” criticized Kevin McCarthy, leader of the Republican minority in the House of Representatives. The former president, on the other hand, made catastrophic predictions. “The problem is getting more complicated. And it is nothing compared to what is yet to come. They will reach the millions,” insisted Donald Trump.>
The proposal to reform the immigration system is bold and to be welcomed, but the Biden Administration was apparently naive or did not prepare for the foreseeable increase in the migratory flow, motivated by poverty, the increase in violence and political instability in the countries of Central America.
Still not having visited the border with Mexico, but promising that “at the right time” he will, Biden passed the immigration portfolio to Vice President Kamala Harris, who “agreed to lead the diplomatic effort” of the talks with Mexico , but also with the Central American countries, where most of the minors trying to reach the USA come from.
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