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Biden Struggles With Immigration Balancing Act

Plus: 'Remain in Mexico' policy returns soon, and advocates say Biden’s immigration spending isn't good enough

Deanna Garcia

Nov 30, 2021

President Joe Biden speaks.

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President Joe Biden has been in office almost a year and still hasn’t found the right balance on immigration enforcement, the Associated Press reports. When he took office, Biden promised to enact a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, but that measure won’t be included in Democrats’ spending bill. Biden’s party has been hesitant to criticize him for not going far enough on immigration. “I don’t see it as the fault of the president per se or … these challenges that we’re facing today, solely falling on the shoulders of the president,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar, (D-Texas). “It is a collective obligation that we have and I think Democrats have solutions and we need to lean in on them.” The Associated Press 

In other federal immigration news…

“Remain in Mexico” Coming Back Soon

Axios reported that the Trump-era Remain in Mexico policy may resume as soon as this week, but will offer migrants the option of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. A court order is forcing Biden to undo one of his main immigration promises to end the policy that forced asylum seekers to wait months in Mexico for their U.S. immigration court hearings. This time around, migrant adults enrolled in the program will be offered the COVID-19 vaccine, but the U.S. can’t require it, according to two government immigration officials. It’s uncertain when migrants would receive the vaccine. A DHS official said the policy will be first reinstated in Texas’ El Paso and Brownsville crossing points and and California’s San Diego. AXIOS 

Advocates Say Biden’s Immigration Spending “Not Good Enough”

Even though the U.S. House approved Biden’s $1.75 trillion spending plan that includes immigration reform, some advocates say more could be done for immigrant communities. Democrats at first attempted to provide 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. with a pathway to citizenship. But due to Republicans’ opposition and Senate rules, congressional leaders included an arrangement that would provide undocumented immigrants with “parole” through the Build Back Better Act. Advocates said this demonstrates how difficult it is to pass an all-inclusive immigration reform in Congress. “It’s not good enough,” said Hadi Sedigh, policy expert at National Partnership for New Americans. “Good enough is ultimately what immigrants need to thrive and participate in society and be full members of the communities that they contribute to every day.” Al Jazeera



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