Immigration and Politics

Immigration is the most important issue for Americans today and, as such, undoubtedly the center of political debate in this election year

For the first time since the immigration issue began to be included in public opinion polls half a century ago, it is the main point of concern for 28% of Americans, according to a report by the Gallup polling organization.

As an issue it ranks above the economy, the traditional yardstick in U.S. politics.

And, perhaps not coincidentally, the last time the immigration issue was at the top of the list of concerns was back in 2019 in the wake of the alarm raised by the “caravans” organized in Central America and crossing Mexico to reach the U.S. border.

It is no accident that the president in office then was Donald Trump, who, during his election campaign in 2016, denounced what he described as an “invasion” of migrants and a threat to the country. The same man is now, as the virtual candidate of the Republican Party, accusing migrants of “poisoning” the blood of Americans.

And in this context, according to political analysts, the immigration issue is the “Achilles heel” of President Joe Biden, whom his adversaries present as being too old and too weak to face the multiple crises facing his country.

That some of these problems have been exacerbated by Republican political obstruction in Congress is a fact, as is the fact that it was the Democrats who put multiple obstacles in the way of the Trump regime. That is the traditional game of politics in the United States and other democratic countries around the world.

The importance of the issue was underlined by the visits that the two virtual candidates made simultaneously to border cities on Thursday: Biden to Brownsville and Trump to Eagle Pass.

In electoral terms, Trump has an advantage: He can make promises that no one knows if he can legally keep unless he becomes a dictator. Biden carries on his shoulders what many see as failed policies that allowed millions of asylum seekers to enter the United States.

Last week in Brownsville, Biden was expected to announce new measures to restrict the entry and acceptance of immigrants, but the reality is that there are no resources to implement them, especially when the Republican-controlled lower house of Congress is in charge of approving funds.

Hence, the pressure on Mexico to limit the entry of undocumented immigrants.

This is not the first time. During his first election campaign, Trump offered to build a border wall that Mexico would pay for. The fence did not prosper much; in exchange, Trump now boasts that he obtained Mexican cooperation and 28,000 troops after threatening to increase tariffs on the entry of their exports.

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About Stephen Routledge 168 Articles
Stephen is the Head of a Portfolio Management Office (PMO) in a public sector organisation. He has over twenty years experience in project, programme and portfolio management, leading various major organisational change initiatives. He has been invited to share his knowledge, skills and experience at various national events. Stephen has a BA Honours Degree in History & English and a Masters in Human Resource Management (HRM). He has studied a BSc Language Studies Degree (French & Spanish) and is currently completing a Masters in Translation (Spanish to English). He has been translating for more than ten years for various organisations and individuals, with a particular interest in science and technology, poetry and literature, and current affairs.

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