Immigration Crisis: Biden Doesn’t Have a Solution

Biden’s rush to dismantle Trump’s immigration policies without a coherent plan to manage the predicted surge in immigrants has led to chaos at the Mexican border.

In addition to an unusual influx of adults, every day, hundreds of unaccompanied children are asking for asylum. Thousands of children have already been detained in the United States waiting for their requests for asylum to be considered.

Joe Biden’s immigration policy has backfired on him. During his campaign, he advocated for less strict immigration control and a moratorium on deportations. He also pledged to end Donald Trump’s “Wait in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers and ordered the end to construction of Trump’s border “Western Wall.” This gave asylum seekers, immigrants coming in illegally, and the criminal organizations they pay for crossing the border all the more reason to believe that, with Biden, it would be easier to enter the United States. And to stay there.

Moreover, his plan for immigration offers legal status and a pathway to citizenship to some 11 million undocumented immigrants who already live there.

The GOP: Open Schools, Not the Border!

Trump and the Republicans, massively and methodically, will play the immigration card against Biden and the Democrats. It is all they have left. The public campaign they have just launched accuses Biden of opening borders instead of schools and businesses, thus exploiting the exasperation of Americans in the face of the pandemic.

Biden, like Trump, cannot count on Mexico’s support to help him. The country never really accepted that the United States seized a third of its territory by force. The “Reconquista”* is a poorly conceived dream and national ambition. Thanks to immigration and fertility, however, it began a long time ago. The United States currently has 42 million Spanish speakers, almost 15% of the population. And that’s not counting the tens of millions of undocumented residents. Hispanics represent more than half of the population increase the country has seen since 2000 and the growth of the Latino demographic will only continue. Central America is particularly affected by climate change and other natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. Poverty and an increased crime rate caused by diminishing returns in agriculture have prompted a growing number of Latin Americans to flee to the United States, a land of plenty.

Containing Migrants: The Theme of the 2022 Elections

What are Americans going to do in the midterm elections? Are they going to reward Democrats for their efficient handling of the pandemic and for reviving the economy, or will they reject them for having been unable to contain the massive wave of immigration?

A dramatic tightening of their immigration policies could be the only way for the Democrats to maintain control of both chambers of Congress. They are 50/50 in the Senate where only the vice president’s vote secures the majority and they only have a subtle advantage in the House of Representatives.

*Editor’s Note: The Reconquista refers to the idea that Mexico should retain the American territories claimed in the Mexican-American war during the mid-19th century.

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