Joe Biden on Immigration
Former Vice President; previously Democratic Senator (DE)
PROMISE PARTLY KEPT: (WhiteHouse.gov, 5/3/21): I am revising the annual refugee admissions cap to 62,500. This erases the historically low number set by the previous administration of 15,000, which did not reflect America's values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees. The new admissions cap will also reinforce efforts that are already underway to expand the United States' capacity to admit refugees, so that we can reach the goal of 125,000 refugee admissions that I intend to set for the coming fiscal year.
PROMISE CONFIRMED: (Proposed Emergency Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions, 2/12/21): This report proposes providing allocations by region, with a new FY 2021 admissions number of 62,500 refugees.
PROMISE BROKEN: (NBC News, 4/16/21): Biden will not increase the number of refugees allowed to enter the U.S. this year. Biden notified Congress in February that he would increase the number of refugees allowed to enter the country from 15,000 to 62,500. But he never signed the presidential determination that would actually raise the cap. Analysis: Biden is on track to accept the fewest refugees this year of any modern president, including Trump.
So today, I'm approving an executive order to begin the hard work of restoring our refugee admissions program to help meet the unprecedented global need. It's going to take time to rebuild what has been so badly damaged, but that's precisely what we're going to do.
This executive order will position us to be able to raise the refugee admissions back up to 125,000 persons for the first full fiscal year of the Biden-Harris administration. And I'm directing the State Department to consult with Congress about making a down payment on that commitment as soon as possible.
PROMISE PARTLY KEPT: (Executive Order Feb. 4, 2021): Sec. 2. Revocation, Rescission, and Reporting. (a) Executive Order 13815 of October 24, 2017 (Resuming the United States Refugee Admissions Program With Enhanced Vetting Capabilities), and Executive Order 13888 of September 26, 2019 (Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement), are revoked.
OnTheIssues ANALYSIS: Biden undid Trump's cancellation of refugee admissions. That DOES "improve" the asylum system, compared to what Trump did, but Biden's bigger promise is to improve the asylum system compared to what Obama did before Trump--that improvement is yet to be seen.
BIDEN: Because we made a mistake. It took too long to get it right. I'll be President, not Vice President. And the fact is I've made it very clear. Within a 100 days, I'm going to send to the United States Congress a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people. And all of those so-called DREAMers, those DACA kids, they're going to be immediately certified again to be able to stay in this country and put on a path to citizenship.
TRUMP: He had 8 years to do what he said he was going to do. And I've changed. Without having a specific, we got rid of catch and release. We got rid of a lot of horrible things that they put in and that they lived with. But he had eight years he was Vice President.
Federal courts said the administration had acted arbitrarily when phasing out the program. The courts pointed to the administration's thin justification--reasoning Roberts and the Supreme Court eventually agreed with.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden also celebrated the ruling, calling it a "victory" and again saying that if elected, he will work "immediately" on legislation that would make the program permanent. "The joy of today's victory does not erase the difficult road ahead," Biden said in a statement. "We know that much work remains to be done."
BIDEN: Anyone who shows up to be tested for Coronavirus, or gets Coronavirus treated, would be held harmless. There are certain things you cannot deport an undocumented person for and that would be one of them. We want that. It's in the interests of everyone. And those folks who are the xenophobic folks out there, it's even in their interest that that [infected person] come forward, because it keeps the spread from moving more rapidly.
Q: What about closing the Mexican border during the pandemic?
BIDEN: Our future rests upon the Latino community being fully integrated. If we do not invest in their future, everything that the xenophobes are concerned about will in fact get worse, not better. We should be embracing, bringing them in, just like what happened with the Irish immigrants after the famine, just what happened with the Italians, et cetera. We've been through this before, xenophobia is a disease.
Joe Biden: I said that it took much too long to get it right and the President did get it right, by DACA, making sure that it tried to protect parents as well. I will send to the [Congress] immediately a bill that requires access to citizenship for 11 million undocumented folks, number one. Number two, the first hundred days of my administration, no one, no one will be deported at all. From that point on, the only deportations that will take place are commissions of felonies in the US.
Q: So to be clear, only felons get deported and everyone else gets-
Joe Biden: Period.
Q: They get to stay?
Yes, it's about uniting families. It's about making sure that we can both be a nation of immigrants, as well as a nation that is decent.
BIDEN: What Latinos should look at is comparing [Obama policy to Trump policy]. We didn't lock people up in cages. We didn't separate families. [Obama] came along with the DACA program. No one had ever done that before. [Obama] wanted to find a pathway for the 11 million undocumented. This is a president who's done a great deal. So I'm proud to have served with him.
What I would do as president is several more things, because things have changed. I would, in fact, make sure that there is-we immediately surge to the border. All those people who are seeking asylum, they deserve to be heard. That's who we are. We're a nation who says, if you want to flee, and you're freeing oppression, you should come.
I would change the order that the president just changed, saying women who were being beaten and abused could no longer claim that as a reason for asylum.
Just look at this stage, made up of very diverse people from diverse backgrounds, went on to be mayors, senators, governors, congresswomen, members of the cabinet, and, yes, even a vice president.
Mr. President, this is America. And we are stronger and great because of this diversity, Mr. President, not in spite of it, Mr. President.
So, Mr. President, let's get something straight: We love it. We are not leaving it. We are here to stay. And we're certainly not going to leave it to you.
In fact, Mexico was the country of birth of 57% of the estimated 11.55 million unauthorized immigrants in 2006. Add in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras--all Spanish-speaking countries--and it jumps to 67%. You'd have to go back many decades to get to a time when the majority of undocumented immigrants were Britons, Germans, Irish and Poles.
A: I have been working with this for a long time, as former chairman of the Judiciary Committee. That's where it comes out of. We have it about right now, except that the employers aren't doing their part. They've got to offer the job. If there's an American there who will take the job, they can't undercut it by hiring an Indian engineer who will work for less; that's illegal. We're not enforcing it.
A: Let's get it straight. Americans will do any job if you pay them properly. That doesn't mean we don't need guest workers; we do. But we should base the number of guest workers upon need--not an absolute number. And we should require employers to offer those jobs to citizens to see if they want those jobs. We need agricultural workers; we need H1B visas; we need what in fact exists as a need, not as an artificial number to allow employers to drive down wages.
Q: Does hiring illegal immigrants to do these jobs drive down wages?
A: [Yes, it] drives down wages. But there are a lot of people who will go out and hang drywall and get a decent wage. There are not a lot of people who are going out and do the agricultural work that's seasonal. So it should be based on need.
A: The reason that cities ignore the federal law is the fact that there is no funding at the federal level to provide for the kind of enforcement at the federal level you need. This administration's been fundamentally derelict in not funding any of the requirements that are needed even to enforce the existing law.
Q: So would you allow those cities to ignore the federal law?
PROMISE BROKEN: (Reuters, 10/6/23): Biden's administration said it will add sections to a border wall to stave off record migrant crossings from Mexico. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the construction project was appropriated during the prior administration and the law requires the government to use the funds. "We have repeatedly asked Congress to rescind this money but it has not done so and we are compelled to follow the law," he said.
In January, Biden announced several new immigration policies, including an increase of the use of expedited removal, the tripling of refugee resettlement from the Western Hemisphere, increasing humanitarian assistance in Mexico and Central America, and a surge in resources to the U.S.-Mexico border.
He has also introduced a policy crackdown last month that could disqualify a vast majority of migrants from being able to seek asylum at the southern border, sparking criticism from some progressives.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has recently knocked Biden's immigration policies: "It's not racist or insensitive to say that we need to close our borders and have an orderly immigration policy," he said.
PROMISE KEPT:(Executive Order on Reunification, Feb. 2, 2021): There is hereby established an Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families. The Task Force shall identify all children who were separated from their families at the US-Mexico border in connection with the operation of the Zero-Tolerance Policy [and] facilitate and enable the reunification of each of the identified children with their families.
OnTheIssues ANALYSIS: Establishing a Task Force is a good start--as well as overturning Trump's controversial policy of family separation at the southern border. But actual reunification will take years (and the promised billions).
PROMISE KEPT:(Executive Order on Causes of Migration, 2/2/21): We will work closely with international organizations and governments in the region to: establish a comprehensive strategy for addressing the causes of migration; build, strengthen, and expand Central American countries' asylum systems and resettlement capacity; and increase opportunities for vulnerable populations to apply for protection closer to home.
OnTheIssues ANALYSIS: Biden's order includes the Northern Triangle and "causes of migration"--contrasting Trump's focus on border enforcement, which included the "Remain-in-Mexico policy" for Northern Triangle asylum seekers.
TRUMP: We're working on it. But a lot of these kids come out without the parents. Children are brought here by coyotes. They are so well taken care of. They're in facilities that were so clean.
Q: But some of them haven't been reunited with their families.
TRUMP: But just ask one question. Who built the cages?
BIDEN: These 500-plus kids came with parents. They separated them at the border to make it a disincentive to come to begin with. Coyotes didn't bring them over. Their parents were with them. They got separated from their parents. And it makes us a laughingstock and violates every notion of who we are as a nation.
TRUMP: We changed the policy. Who built the cages, Joe?
BIDEN: Their kids were ripped from their arms and separated, and now they cannot find over 500 of the sets of those parents, and those kids are alone. It's criminal.
Biden: I have guts enough to say his plan [to decriminalize the border] doesn't make sense. When people cross the border illegally, it is illegal to do it unless they're seeking asylum. People should have to get in line. That's the problem. And the only reason this particular part of the law is being abused is because of Donald Trump. We should defeat Donald Trump and end this practice.
Biden: Absolutely not. Seeking asylum is not crossing the border illegally. What we should do is flood the zone [with extra staff to deal with the large number of border crossers] to make sure we have people to make those decisions quickly.
[8 out of 10 participants raised their hands].
BIDEN: The first thing I would do is unite families. I'd surge immediately billions of dollars' worth of help to the region immediately. Second thing, the law now requires the reuniting of those families. We would reunite those families, period. And lastly, saying children in cages do not need a bed, do not need a blanket, do not need a toothbrush, that is outrageous.
Q: If an individual is living in the US without documents, and that is his only offense, should that person be deported?
BIDEN: If they committed a major crime, they should be deported. But we should not be locking people up. We should be making sure we change the circumstance, why they would leave in the first place. Those who come seeking asylum, we should immediately have the capacity to absorb them, keep them safe until they can be heard.
The moment also calls for a renewed focus on the so-called Northern Triangle of Central America--the countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, which together represent the overwhelming source of migrants crossing our southern border. Unless we address the root causes driving migration from this region, any solutions focused solely on border protection and enforcement will be insufficient.
In 2014, [Pres. Obama and I saw that] migration from Central America could not be resolved merely by stronger enforcement at the US border, let alone by building a wall. Instead, we needed to tackle the drivers of migration: crime, violence, corruption and lack of opportunity.
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 USBC scores as follows:
U.S. Border Control, founded in 1988, is a non-profit, tax-exempt, citizen`s lobby. USBC is dedicated to ending illegal immigration by securing our nation`s borders and reforming our immigration policies. USBC [works with] Congressmen to stop amnesty; seal our borders against terrorism and illegal immigration; and, preserve our nation`s language, culture and American way of life for future generations.
Our organization accepts no financial support from any branch of government. All our support comes from concerned citizens who appreciate the work we are doing to seal our borders against drugs, disease, illegal migration and terrorism and wish to preserve our nation`s language, culture and heritage for the next generations.
|Other candidates on Immigration:
|Joe Biden on other issues:
2024 Republican Presidential Candidates:
Ryan Binkley (R-TX)
Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND)
Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
Larry Elder (R-CA;withdrew)
Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC)
Rep. Will Hurd (R-FL;withdrew)
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)
Perry Johnson (R-IL)
Mayor Steve Laffey (R-RI)
Former V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN;withdrew)
Vivek Ramaswamy (R-OH)
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Secy. Corey Stapleton (R-MT)
Mayor Francis Suarez (R-FL;withdrew)
Former Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
2024 Democratic and 3rd-party primary candidates:
Pres. Joe Biden (D-DE)
V.P.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (I-NY)
Chase Oliver (L-GA)
Rep.Dean Phillips (D-MN)
Jill Stein (Green)
Cornel West (Green Party)
Kanye West (Birthday Party)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
External Links about Joe Biden: