President Joe Biden says he will fulfill a campaign promise to send a comprehensive immigration reform bill to Congress to restore “humanity and American values to our immigration system.”
But given the huge potential health of a nation struggling to overcome COVID, the Biden immigration promises could destroy this administration unless there is quick and effective action. It is an action that threatens to make voters in battleground states like Arizona or Nevada or maybe even traditionally Democrat New Mexico have buyer’s remorse over electing Biden.
A Biden executive order put a 100-day pause on the deportation of certain illegal immigrants, but a judge has temporarily halted it.
Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies told an InsideSources roundtable Biden is “trying to accomplish as consequential an increase in immigration as possible, and in any way possible to enact it.” While Biden’s often described as a moderate, Vaughan says his immigration proposal is “anything but moderate when you examine the details.”
“It will be quite consequential if he is able to accomplish even half of what he is talking about,” Vaughan added.
A bill the president supports in Congress calls for “amnesty for all [undocumented immigrants] and their families; everyone with temporary status; and everyone who was deported by Trump would have the opportunity to come back,” she says. And it lowers the standards in terms of the crimes that are excused and still qualify for a green card.
Vaughn says this is only part of what is offered in the bill because it hasn’t been released, just a summary. She said she had not seen the entire bill, but was drawing on a summary of the proposed legislation. Just the summary, Vaughn added, is 60 pages.
“The costs of this immigration extravaganza would be enormous,” she added, citing census numbers showing two-thirds of immigrants are accessing at least one welfare program.
So President Biden faces the classic problem of the elected official who has promised everything but now actually has to govern. If he continues to repeat the promises of the hustings–everyone can come into the country, none of the some 11 million illegal immigrants here can be sent back, and many of those deported under the Trump administration can come back—he possibly could bankrupt the country paying for tens of millions of people coming here.
To enact all his immigration promises will be very difficult because there are also a lot of other things demanding his attention.
Enacting his immigration agenda, says Sen. Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey), one of his allies in Congress, will be very difficult.
And Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) says he doesn’t approve of Biden’s immigration push. “Before we deal with immigration, we need to deal with COVID, make sure everyone has the chance to find a good job, and confront the threat from China,” Rubio said in a statement.
“There are many issues I think we can work cooperatively with President Biden, but a blanket amnesty for people who are here unlawfully isn’t going to be one of them,” according to Rubio. He, along with others on the right and left, could be teaching President Biden a hard lesson: Governing is rarely ever as easy as campaigning.