President Joe Biden was sworn in just before noon on Wednesday and in the coming hours, is expected to sign a number of executive orders that will essentially erase most of the progress President Donald Trump made on the immigration crisis issue during his first and only term in the White House.
According to Politico, Biden’s plans are not subtle, either. The changes he is expected to make today will reverberate for years and completely revert the immigration landscape to where it was under the Barack Obama administration, or worse.
The president and his team ran down the list of changes he’ll make in a Monday evening phone call, indicating that he would send any required changes to Congress as necessary. With Democrats having full control of both chambers of Congress, Biden is also predicted to have a virtually resistance-free run to write his own ticket.
“The American public knows that our immigration system is not working the way it should be and we need a complete overhaul that both protects the American people that’s also consistent with our values,” said one incoming White House official.
What many Democrats — and millions of illegal immigrants — are first looking forward to is the fact that Biden has promised to pave a viable pathway for some 11 million illegals currently residing within the borders of the United States.
That bill already has an official name, the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, which will essentially provide illegal immigrants a temporary legal status before allowing them to obtain a coveted green card after a period of five years, assuming they meet all of the qualifications. Another three years after that, they would become eligible for U.S. citizenship.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigrants will be granted a green card right off the bat, assuming they meet the eligibility requirements, one of which being that they would have had to have been on American soil as of January 1 of this year.
Border security is also something that Biden is leaning heavily toward, but not the border wall approach of his predecessor, which was never completed due to repeated blocking by Congress and other forces. Biden will instead focus on the technology aspect of border security, though it remains to be seen exactly what that will entail or how much it will cost American taxpayers.
Some of those decisions will be heavily influenced by Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden’s pick for heading up the Department of Homeland Security.
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Adding to Biden’s list of actions will be a large, $4 billion fund set aside for Central American countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to help their governments tamp down on the corruption and violence that often causes residents of those countries to flee to Mexico and eventually the United States.
Undoubtedly, Biden’s America will look a lot different in the future than Trump’s America did and if the immigration crisis devolves back to levels seen under the Obama administration, it’s safe to say we’re in for a very rough and uncertain four years… or more.