Biden’s Key Policy Changes That Transformed America’s Borders

Authored by Emel Akan and Lawrence Wilson via The Epoch Times

President Joe Biden took office with a commitment to overturn the previous administration’s immigration policies, calling them “cruel and reckless.” He emphasised that his plan would establish a “fair, orderly, and humane” immigration system while implementing smarter measures to secure the border.

But his administration is now grappling with a historic crisis.

Republicans blame President Biden for eliminating and reversing policies put in place by the Trump administration.

Many people, including those in the liberal media, have also pointed fingers at the Biden administration for the crisis that has now spread to large cities around the country.

Polling suggests that American voters trust former President Donald Trump—the Republican frontrunner in November’s election—more than President Biden on immigration and border-security issues. According to the Pew Research Centre, 80 percent of Americans, including 73 percent of Democrats, think the U.S. government has done a bad job of handling the illegal immigrant influx.

The illegal immigrant surge has escalated significantly throughout President Biden’s presidency, shattering record after record. The past six months of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data show it’s getting worse.

As taxpayer expenses pile up, communities nationwide are feeling the strain. And there seems to be no end in sight.

So, how did we get here?

2019: The Campaign Trail
President Biden’s pledges to potential illegal immigrants began early in his campaign.

During a Democratic primary debate on June 27, 2019, candidate Biden raised his hand when the host asked if his government’s health care plan would provide coverage for illegal immigrants.

He raised his hand again when the host said, “Raise your hand if you think it should be a civil offence rather than a crime to cross the border without documentation.”

The host then specifically asked Mr. Biden if someone who is here illegally should be deported if that is his or her only offence.

“That person should not be the focus of deportation,” Mr. Biden responded.

A couple of months later, during another debate on Sept. 12, 2019, Mr. Biden said: “I would, in fact, make sure that there is, that we immediately surge to the border all those people who are seeking asylum. They deserve to be heard. That’s who we are. We’re a nation that says, ‘If you want to flee, and you’re fleeing oppression, you should come.’”

January 2021: Biden Ends National Emergency

To fulfil his campaign promises, President Biden has implemented more than 500 actions on immigration in the first three years of his presidency, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

To better understand the reasons behind the surge at the southern border, critics say, it’s important to review the actions the president took on his first day in office.

On Jan. 20, 2021, President Biden ended President Trump’s national emergency declaration on the border, which called for the construction of a border wall.

President Biden halted the construction, calling it “a waste of money.” He also declared that no more taxpayer dollars would be diverted to wall-construction projects, despite already-allocated congressional funds for the project.

He also reversed a ban on travellers from terror-prone countries. The ban, imposed during the Trump administration, barred people from entering the United States from certain terror hotspots that didn’t provide robust security background checks on prospective travellers. President Biden stated that these bans were inconsistent with American values.

A few months later, sources reported that Border Patrol agents had apprehended two Yemeni men who were on the FBI’s terrorism watch list and the no-fly list.

On his first day in office, President Biden suspended deportations of illegal aliens for 100 days. The policy applied to almost everyone who entered the country illegally before November 2020. A week later, however, a federal judge in Texas blocked the policy.

With another executive order issued on his first day in office, the president strengthened the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme for children who were brought into the country illegally.

On day one, the administration also stopped adding illegal immigrants to the “Remain in Mexico” programme. The Trump administration implemented the programme, which required asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico until their U.S. immigration court date at the end of 2019. The program has been touted by border-security advocates as the most effective for stemming illegal immigration because it ended “catch-and-release,” the practice in which illegal immigrants are released into the interior of the United States with a court date potentially many years down the road.

Biden Introduces Immigration Reform Plan

On his first day in office, President Biden introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, which he referred to as a “comprehensive immigration reform plan.” The bill included an array of changes to existing law that would have made it quicker and easier for those who enter the country legally to gain citizenship and, in a sweeping amnesty, would have provided a pathway to citizenship for millions of people who had entered the country illegally.

The bill offered little to decrease the flow of illegal immigrants into the country apart from requiring the Department of State to “advance reforms in Central America” to address the reasons people are migrating to the United States and to create refugee-processing centres in the region.

President Biden has said Republicans in Congress blocked the bill. But Democrats, who controlled both the House and the Senate in 2021, made no apparent effort to advance the bill, and it died in committee in both chambers, never receiving a hearing.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, slammed President Biden’s U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, calling it “the most radical piece of immigration legislation” and saying that it seeks to reward illegal aliens at the expense of Americans.

In a report, the organisation criticised the bill for prioritising “illegal aliens, smugglers, cartels, and gangs” over border security.

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Zero Hedge

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