Democrats’ Border Bickering Kills Immigration Reform

One year ago, the Democrat Party intended to leverage its limited power in Washington to pass legislation providing a road to legal status for some illegal immigrants.

Biden even made immigration reform the first thing his new White House sent to Congress.

However, the present deportation saga has sidetracked the Capitol; some immigration supporters fear it may hurt Democrats in the November elections.

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) worries about the Democrats’ destiny in November if they don’t deliver on the issue after two years in power.

Missteps and Hurdles

While Biden strove to prevent similar Obama-era immigration missteps, his White House has encountered several legal and political hurdles.

In recent weeks, progressives lauded his administration’s decision to repeal Title 42, a Trump-era directive that expelled roughly 1.8 million people at the southern border, especially asylum seekers, only to see a fast-party backlash and a federal court temporarily stop it.

An earlier court judgment suggested the government might keep deporting migrants who would represent a health concern during a pandemic, but not those who might fear persecution or torture.

The Biden presidency can’t lift Title 42 until the middle of May when a longer-term stay is expected.

It is expected to reach the Supreme Court, as did Biden’s previous attempt to reverse his predecessor’s immigration policy.

Last week, the Supreme Court heard arguments on whether Biden’s administration behaved lawfully in opposing Trump’s policy of keeping asylum claimants in Mexico, pending hearings.

According to Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, the Biden administration first stated they would terminate it, but has left it in place for almost a year now.

Some Democrats think the party’s ugly internal fight over Title 42, as well as the lack of legislative progress, will make the blow even worse.

To avoid a filibuster in the Senate, senior Democrats suggested that improvements could be crammed into a party-line budget plan.

According to the Senate’s rule keeper, immigration was removed from the sweeping party-line plan that subsequently fell on its own.

Senate Defeat

Earlier, Biden’s immigration victories used a similar tactic. He overturned Trump’s Muslim ban and canceled a law that made it harder for immigrants receiving assistance like government handouts to earn green cards, among other things.

In addition, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which affects undocumented children known as “Dreamers,” is also being keenly watched by lawmakers in both parties.

They have spent months pressuring Biden and his top staff to issue further executive orders to bolster immigrant legal safeguards, such as maintaining and extending Temporary Protected Status for select groups.

Biden refused to give more executive orders.

The two parties met late last week to discuss an immigration plan. These are early conversations, so no specifics were given.

Unused visas for healthcare workers and changes for immigrant farmworkers are among the potential bipartisan initiatives that might be passed.

To avoid a stalemate, Republicans will almost certainly insist on border policy adjustments. However, many Democrats believe Biden and the party still want clarity on fixing the flawed system.

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