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%. Youíd 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. Thatís where it comes out of. We have it about right now, except that the employers arenít doing their part. Theyíve got to offer the job. If thereís an American there who will take the job, they canít undercut it by hiring an Indian engineer who will work for less; thatís illegal. Weíre not enforcing it.
A: Letís get it straight. Americans will do any job if you pay them properly. That doesnít mean we donít 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 thatís 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 administrationís 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 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.
SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO ON TABLING MOTION:Sen. VITTER: There are so-called sanctuary cities which establish as an official policy of their jurisdiction: We are not going to cooperate with Federal immigration enforcement officials. That is wrong. What is more, it is completely contrary to Federal immigration law. My amendment says: We are going to put some consequence to that defiance of Federal law. We are not going to give them COPS funds. We are going to send those funds, instead, to all of those other jurisdictions which abide by Federal law.OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES ON TABLING MOTION:Sen. DURBIN: There are sanctuary cities in about 23 different States across America. What the Vitter amendment will do is to take away the COPS funding from those cities. Police departments will tell you they need the cooperation of everyone to solve crimes and stop crime. If you create fear in the minds of those who are here in an undocumented status that any cooperation with the police will result in their arrest, they will not cooperate and criminals will go free. Let's not use the COPS Program as some sort of threat. If you want to deal with immigration, deal with it responsibly in a comprehensive way. SUPPORTER'S RESPONSE:Sen. VITTER: If folks feel that way, they should come to Congress and change Federal law, not simply defy Federal law. This is another amnesty vote. Are we going to give folks in sanctuary cities amnesty for defying Federal law and refusing to cooperate with Federal immigration officials? LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Motion to Table Agreed to, 58-40
Proponents recommend voting YES because:
If we do not legislate now, we will not legislate later this year when our calendar is crowded with Iraq and appropriations bills. We are then an election year, and it will be pushed over to 2009. Circumstances will not be better then, they will be worse.
A vote against cloture is a vote to kill the bill. A Senator may vote for cloture and then express himself in opposition to the bill by voting against the bill.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
If this bill becomes law, we will see only a 13% reduction in illegal immigration into America, and in the next 20 years we will have another 8.7 million illegals in our country. How can that be reformed? I submit this would be a disaster.
The Congressional telephone systems have shut down because of the mass phone calls Congress is receiving. A decent respect for the views of the American people says let's stop here now. Let's go back to the drawing board and come up with a bill that will work.
The American people get it, and they do have common sense and wisdom on this issue. They know repeating the fundamental mistakes of the 1986 bill, joining a big amnesty with inadequate enforcement, will cause the problem to grow and not diminish. They know promising enforcement after 30 years of broken promises isn't good enough. They know the so-called trigger is a joke because if the trigger is never pulled, the Z visas, the amnesty happens forever.
Proponents recommend voting YES because:
Right now, the polling shows that 91% of the people in America want English as an official language, and 76% of Hispanics believe English should be an official language.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
I believe the American people understand in order to succeed in our society, immigrants need to learn English. But the amendment would do a number of things that are problematical. The first is that it is contrary to the provisions of law that exist in many States. For example, in New Mexico, you have in their State Constitution, a provision that says that many of the documents within that State have to be provided in both English and Spanish. The same thing is true for the State of Hawaii. I believe this is a States rights issue, and those constitutions of those States ought to be respected. I do not believe it is a matter we ought to be imposing here from Washington DC.
Also, this amendment would undo an executive order conceived by President Bill Clinton and implemented by President George Bush. Both recognized it is important that people who have limited English proficiency receive the kinds of services so they can understand what is going on in terms of the interface between the Government and themselves.
Proponents recommend voting YES because:
This legislation says we wish to add something called guest workers or temporary workers. With guest workers, working Americans would discover there is no opportunity for upward mobility at their job. In fact, every day their employers are trying to find ways to push down wages, eliminate retirement, and eliminate health care. What has happened in this country, with what is called the "new global economy," is dramatic downward pressure on income for American workers. The guest worker program provides that 400,000 people will be able to come in to assume jobs in our country per year--adding to the 12 million illegal immigrants already here.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
I certainly concur about the need to secure our borders, about the need to have a workable immigration system, and the need for reform that ensures the rule of law is restored in the US. Where I differ is in the belief that we can actually achieve these goals if we have no ability for temporary workers to come to the country. This amendment would eliminate the temporary worker program from this bill.
Now, there are several reasons why a temporary worker program, within certain constraints, is a good idea. The first reason is because it will help to relieve the magnet for illegal immigration. The reason most of the people are crossing our border illegally is to get employment. There are jobs available for them. Some people say this is work Americans will not do. That is actually not true. But there are not enough American citizens to do all of the work that needs to be done. So naturally the law of supply and demand sets in here. People come across the border illegally, and they take that work. What we want to do is both close the border, but also eliminate the magnet for illegal employment here, because the reality is desperate people will always try to find some way to get into the country.
Proponents support voting YES because:
It is obvious there is no more defining issue in our Nation today than stopping illegal immigration. The most basic obligation of any government is to secure the Nation's borders. One issue in which there appears to be a consensus between the Senate and the House is on the issue of building a secure fence. So rather than wait until comprehensive legislation is enacted, we should move forward on targeted legislation which is effective and meaningful. The legislation today provides over 700 miles of Within 18 months, achieves operational control over U.S. land and maritime borders, including:
Proponents support voting YES because:
It is obvious there is no more defining issue in our Nation today than stopping illegal immigration. The most basic obligation of any government is to secure the Nation's borders. One issue in which there appears to be a consensus between the Senate and the House is on the issue of building a secure fence. So rather than wait until comprehensive legislation is enacted, we should move forward on targeted legislation which is effective and meaningful. The legislation today provides over 700 miles of
To reduce document fraud, prevent identity theft, and preserve the integrity of the Social Security system, by ensuring that persons who receive an adjustment of status under this bill are not able to receive Social Security benefits as a result of unlawful activity.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, an alien having nonimmigrant status is ineligible for and may not apply for adjustment of status.''
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:
2020 Presidential Candidates:
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
CEO Don Blankenship (Constitution-WV)
CEO Rocky De La Fuente (R-CA)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian-IL)
Gloria La Riva (Socialist-CA)
Kanye West (Birthday-CA)
2020 GOP and Independent primary candidates:
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Gov.Lincoln Chafee (Libertarian-RI)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Zoltan Istvan (Libertarian-CA)
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Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Ian Schlackman (Green-MD)
CEO Howard Schultz (Independent-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (Green-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (Libertarian-NY,R-MA)
2020 Democratic Veepstakes Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D-GA)
Rep.Val Demings (D-FL)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Maggie Hassan (D-NH)
Gov.Michelle Lujan-Grisham (D-NM)
Sen.Catherine Masto (D-NV)
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Amb.Susan Rice (D-ME)
Sen.Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Gov.Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI)
A.G.Sally Yates (D-GA)
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Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)