With a new year finally afoot, Biden and his administration work on one of the long-withheld promises of his Presidency by visiting El Paso to address the concerns of border control and immigration policies for this next year.
This will have been his first visit to the border since his presidency, two years ago.
On Sunday, Biden arrived in El Paso, with plans to “assess border enforcement operations and meet with local elected officials and community leaders who have been important partners in managing the historic number of migrants fleeing political oppression and gang violence.”
He is also supposed to visit the Bridge of America's port of entry, the El Paso County Migrant Services Center, and Mexico City to have a meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
However, with various demands and concerns from the GOP and the Democratic party, it seems as if this will still be an issue with both sides wanting changes.
Upon arrival Gov. Greg Abbott greeted him and then gave Biden a letter expressing his concern for better immigration policies, and the disaster he says Biden himself created. Abbott has often criticized Biden for his lack of migrant policing and even Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel will be having a press conference while Biden is in El Paso to discuss his actions.
Some people are skeptical of how well Biden’s Administration will execute the policies he recently announced to give relief for immigrants, allowing 30,000 migrants per month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to work in the U.S. for up to two years as long as they apply from their home country and have someone in the U.S. to support them economically.
Even though many Democrats agree with the new policies, they think there is still work to be done with Title 42, a policy enacted in March 2020 that allowed officials to deport illegal immigrants without any reason other than COVID-19 prevention. There have been almost 2.5 million deportations since then, mostly under the Biden administration.
Title 42 and Biden’s new policies are fighting against each other, with any immigrants that were allowed to come from the previously listed countries also being expelled under Title 42. According to the Department of Homeland Security, Mexico agreed to accept up to 30,000 migrants a month.
This may sound good in theory, but any surplus of immigrants will be facing normal immigration laws, which is usually a 5-year ban from the U.S., and the immigration problem still needs to be addressed from both sides. Biden’s new policies also include the U.S. turning away any migrant who did not seek asylum in the first country they traveled to and requiring them to complete a form through a mobile phone application.
Biden’s opinions on Title 42 have also shifted occasionally, bringing backlash to this highly controversial and withstanding political issue. Last year in November, the Biden administration tried to lift Title 42 and was given until December 21, 2022, to decide. However, On Tuesday, December 27, 2022, the Supreme Court voted in favor of allowing Title 42 to continue to remain in effect.
Some members of the GOP are saying Biden is being too lenient and it will cause harm to America’s communities close to the border, while others are saying they are too harsh on migrants who are experiencing violence.
Criticisms from both political parties are everywhere and both sides are wondering how Biden will respond, which we will hopefully see in the upcoming week after his visits and meetings.
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