The Biden immigration plans could wreck his whole administration from the start. They will invite a border surge that will force Biden to choose between mass detentions or ever-accelerating unauthorized migration. https://t.co/LaeLu0JLE8— David Frum (@davidfrum) January 17, 2021
A new migrant caravan headed for the United States advances towards Guatemala from Naco, Honduras. pic.twitter.com/ZJczwy0civ— The Hill (@thehill) January 15, 2021
Guatemala Police and National Civil Police use batons and tear gas on US-bound migrant caravan. pic.twitter.com/4HwzqVTui2— The Hill (@thehill) January 17, 2021
Dramatic video shows people from the Honduran migrant caravan pushing past border control to cross into Guatemala. pic.twitter.com/GFLX4CRwyK— The Hill (@thehill) January 17, 2021
President-Elect Joe Biden is planning to introduce a new comprehensive immigration reform bill without any new enforcement provisions on his first day in office.
“SAN DIEGO (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden’s decision to immediately ask Congress to offer legal status to an estimated 11 million people in the country has surprised advocates given how the issue has long divided Democrats and Republicans, even within their own parties.
Biden will announce legislation his first day in office to provide a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the United States illegally, according to four people briefed on his plans.
The president-elect campaigned on a path to citizenship for the roughly 11 million people in the U.S. illegally, but it was unclear how quickly he would move while wrestling with the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and other priorities. For advocates, memories were fresh of presidential candidate Barack Obama pledging an immigration bill his first year in office, in 2009, but not tackling the issue until his second term. …”
We knew this big fight was coming.
The incoming Biden administration is telling this new caravan that is on the way from Central America that it is not going to get into the United States. At least not yet.
“WASHINGTON — As thousands of Honduran migrants make their way to the U.S. border, the incoming Biden administration, just days from taking office, has a message: Don’t come now.
President-elect Joe Biden has promised an end to the strict immigration policies of the Trump administration, which focused on building a border wall and restricting eligibility for asylum.
But those promises may be put to the test in the new government’s first days. If would-be emigrants from Central America perceive that now is the time to travel to the U.S., the southern border could quickly be overwhelmed before systems are put in place to handle the influx. …”
Unlike previous attempts at comprehensive immigration reform when the Democrats controlled the Senate (the last such bill passed in 2013 with 14 Republican votes), the ask here is for an amnesty for all 11 million illegal aliens without any new stepped up enforcement measures.
“During his first days in office, President-elect Joe Biden plans to send a groundbreaking legislative package to Congress to address the long-elusive goal of immigration reform, including what’s certain to be a controversial centerpiece: a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants who are in the country without legal status, according to immigrant rights activists in communication with the Biden-Harris transition team.
The bill also would provide a shorter pathway to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of people with temporary protected status and beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals who were brought to the U.S. as children, and probably also for certain front-line essential workers, vast numbers of whom are immigrants.
In a significant departure from many previous immigration bills passed under both Democratic and Republican administrations, the proposed legislation would not contain any provisions directly linking an expansion of immigration with stepped-up enforcement and security measures, said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center and its Immigrant Justice Fund, who has been consulted on the proposal by Biden staffers.
Both Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have said their legislative proposal would include a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants in the U.S. illegally, and The Times has confirmed the bold opening salvo that the new administration plans in its first days doesn’t include the “security first” political concessions of past efforts. …
“This notion concerning immigration enforcement and giving Republicans everything they kept asking for … was flawed from the beginning,” she said.”
Sen. Dick Durbin who has been pushing for comprehensive immigration reform for decades knows the reality of the situation: a 50/50 Senate and 50/50 Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Still, soon-to-be Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin acknowledged the dicey road ahead with a tied Senate and slim majority in the House. “I am realistic. I have been in the middle of this battle for two decades,” said Durbin, adding that he has to take Biden’s immigration goals and “ translate them into a 50-50 Senate and a 50-50 Senate Judiciary committee.”
“I’m not ruling out a larger bill, but I want to take it a step at a time,” said Durbin (D-Ill.), who along with Menendez, has started conversations with his GOP colleagues. “I don’t want to overplay my hand. I want to be mindful that bipartisan support is essential to victory in the Senate.”
In 2013, 14 Republicans voted for the bill including Marco Rubio and it was used against him to devastating effect by Donald Trump in the 2016 Republican primary. The only other Republicans who are still around from 2013 are Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Lindsey Graham. Back then, comprehensive immigration reform was a top priority of the Republican Party because of the 2012 GOP autopsy. In contrast, Trump made major inroads with the Hispanic vote in the 2020 election and no one is really saying that comprehensive immigration reform is necessary anymore for the GOP to become a “multiracial, multiethnic working class party.” The Democrats are alienating Hispanics with wokeness.
In 2021, there are only 48 Democrats, 2 Independents and Kamala Harris as a tie breaking vote in the Senate. In 2013, there were 52 Democrats and 2 Independents who voted for the bill and only 6 Republicans were needed for a cloture vote. The hurdle which will make or break this bill in the post-Trump Senate is 10 Republican votes. By offering nothing on border security in exchange for a mass amnesty, the Democrats are giving Republicans the out to shoot it down. It seems likely this bill will pass the House and die in the Senate like the Equality Act. We will still need to mobilize against it though. In particular, we need to target Democrats in the House and Senate who represent purple states and districts and let them know that voting for amnesty is the quickest way to share Doug Jones’s fate.
Note: Dan Stein, the president of FAIR, breaks down what to expect on the immigration front from the Biden administration.