Saturday, January 22

Immigration: the straw that broke the camel’s back

Presidente Joe Biden.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Google Maps

Immigrant advocacy organizations are correct in their criticism of the administration of President Joe Biden for not doing enough to help the undocumented. The White House’s explanation of being hand-tied by the courts in their attempt to eliminate the policy also makes sense.

This is the political conflict between what is promised, what is possible, what is desirable and what is convenient. In the middle of it all are millions of immigrants who have spent decades living in the shadows, working and paying taxes in secret, building a family and a future on this earth.

The frustration today with Biden is very great in many ways. Expectations to quickly defeat the coronavirus and turn around everything bad that former President Donald Trump did have proven very high. The coronavirus continued to circulate despite a previous appearance of being outgrown and the New Yorker’s heritage is not easy to eliminate both legally and in public debate.

We share the anger expressed by the broad Welcome With Dignity coalition of American immigrant advocates and civil and human rights organizations. The group that is in contact with the White House in order to push for a more humane policy on the border withdrew from a meeting in protest at the announcement that the Democratic administration was going to resume the “Remain in Mexico” program.

Biden wanted it overturned, but the courts demanded that it continue. The program as implemented by Trump was a sham to reject asylum applications, after forcing immigrants to remain for a long time at the mercy of the prevailing violence in Mexico.

This was the straw that broke the camel’s back after Biden will continue to use Title 42 created by Trump to reject immigrants under the coronavirus health emergency. Continuing this policy allows the administration to defend itself against Republican criticism of opening the borders. For this reason, the coalition accuses the Democratic government of taking advantage of the situation politically.

The immigration issue is politically thorny, but that does not justify keeping quiet when the Democrats do not deliver what they promised. For this reason, we understand and support the outrage of immigrant advocates at the continuation of Trump’s immigration policy at the border even though the words are different and the wall is no longer being talked about.

We fear that the return of “Remaining in Mexico” and the asylum hearings in tents is more than is sadly known. We hope at least that the different considerations are taken into account when determining asylum.

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