Melting Pot: How The Biden Immigration Reform May Backfire
By Ekaterina Blinova 
_Sputnik International _
President-elect Joe Biden is planning to immediately roll out his
immigration agenda, which comes in sharp contrast with that of Donald
Trump, who promoted secure borders and legal migration. US political
commentators have weighed up the possible consequences of Biden's
liberalization of migration to the US.
Joe Biden is due to unveil a bill which will provide citizenship to about
11 million illegal immigrants living in the US on day one of his
presidency. He is also expected to impose a deportation moratorium and
extend protections for those called "Dreamers" and rescind Donald Trump's
travel ban on predominantly Muslim countries using his executive authority.
Meanwhile, thousands of Honduran migrants are heading towards Mexico and
the US southern border. Since Friday, 7,000 to 8,000 Hondurans have crossed
into Guatemala, NPR reported on 18 January, citing Guatemala's immigration
Biden's Vow Apparently Invigorated Migrant Caravans
"Joe Biden has promised to be the opposite of Donald Trump in almost every
way on the migration issue", notes Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy
studies for the Washington DC-based Centre for Immigration Studies. "He is
pledging to be more lenient at the border, to stop the construction of the
border wall system, to suspend deportations, to end use of detention for
the most part for immigration violators and deportees."
The incoming administration is also going to lift the travel restrictions
and immigration restrictions for people coming from "risky countries",
Vaughan notes, referring to what a lot of people inaccurately call the
However, most importantly is a proposed massive amnesty for everyone who is
now living in the country illegally, which the opposite of Donald Trump's
"Under the Democratic leadership, and that has started under Obama, now we
have Biden again, opening the red carpet for illegal criminals to come to
the United States", says Brigitte Gabriel, National security analyst, NYT
Bestselling author and Chairman, ACT For America . Her latest bestseller
Foreigners wishing to enter the US are seeing Biden's upcoming tenure as an
opportunity, knowing that the new administration is "going to make it
possible for them and grant them citizenship", she highlights. Hence,
Americans are now seeing caravans forming already at the border even though
President Trump is not yet out of office, according to Gabriel.
"If these illegal caravans and mass entries across the border are
successful, it's going to cause huge problems in American communities",
Vaughan underscores. "It's going to be a big strain on state budgets that
are already struggling because of the pandemic shutdown. It's going to
stress the health care system. Because obviously, the migrants are not
going to be coming with a vaccination certificate for COVID.
They're bringing children so it's going to stress the schools. It's going
to strain the affordable housing stock. And not to mention, people are
going to expect to work, so it's likely to increase unemployment in the
The Biden administration "is going to have to grapple with that" since
"this is already out of their control", she warns.
Although Biden has pledged to end Trump's strict immigration policies, his
aides told NBC News that the perception that the incoming administration
will accommodate everyone entering the US from day one is false.
"The situation at the border isn't going to be transformed overnight," a
senior transition official told the news agency, not specifying when
exactly asylum seekers might be able to come to the US.
Biden's migrant policy may have a complex of ramifications for the US
economy, as it coincides with growing unemployment and a recession caused
by the coronavirus-related measures, notes Brigitte Gabriel.
"Those who are coming here - every job they will take, it will be taken
away from an American", she says. "And we know that the economy under Biden
is not going to be as good as the economy under President Trump because
President Trump was a businessman. President Trump created jobs. He knew
how to create jobs. Biden has been in Congress for over 30 years. He has
not created one job."
Total non-farm payroll employment declined by 140,000 in December due to
the spike in COVID cases and quarantine measures, according to data from
the US Bureau of Labour Statistics. The unemployment rate stand at 6.7%,
with millions of Americans who have lost their jobs remaining out of work.
A September Yelp's Economic Average Report revealed that the number of
business closures has soared, with 60% of closed businesses unable to
Janet Yellen, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice for Treasury secretary,
warns about "a longer, more painful recession now" and "long-term scarring
of the economy later", unless US lawmakers pass Biden's bold $1.9 trillion
coronavirus relief package.
This situation could be exacerbated by the Biden administration's loose
migrant policies, which have always come at a cost for the Americans,
according to Gabriel. She notes that in 2016, $11 billion to $22 billion
was spent on welfare for illegal aliens each year by state governments,
while "$12 billion a year is spent on primary and secondary school
education for children here illegally". In addition to this, $3 million a
day is spent to incarcerate illegal criminal aliens and $2.5 billion a year
is spent on Medicaid for illegals, according to the author.
Gabriel argues that this money is diverted from American schools for
American children and on American jobs and the American economy. "We are
losing billions of dollars on building infrastructure every year", she
President Donald Trump walks along the completed 200th mile of new border
wall on June 23, 2020, along the U.S.-Mexico border near Yuma, Arizona.
Biden's amnesty plan does not look feasible, especially in the midst of a
new border crisis, according to Vaughan, who does not believe that it will
be passed by the US Congress anytime soon. According to the legislation,
illegal aliens residing in the US as of 1 January 2021 would have a
five-year path to temporary legal status, or a green card, in case they
pass background checks and fulfil other basic requirements. Should they
decide to pursue citizenship, they would have a three-year path to
"Congress is very divided right now, such a plan would have to be enacted
by Congress", she notes. "They are extremely divided and are not going to
be able to reach consensus on such a controversial plan while they are also
trying to deal with the border crisis and the weak economy that resulted
from the pandemic shutdown."
Vaughan highlights that there are many other problems that Congress is
going to have to deal with. It will also be very difficult to push ahead
with the legislation because of the border crisis, according to her. US
congressmen know that voters "do not want to think about a massive amnesty
when there are thousands of people now trying to reach the southern border
to cross illegally and live here", she remarks.
At the same time, while Biden's migrant policies do seem reassuring to
certain minority groups within the United States, it does not mean that the
incoming president is necessarily gaining anything politically by making
these promises, according to the scholar. Quite the contrary, Biden "is
potentially risking support among groups of American citizens that are not
in favor of a mass amnesty".
"Especially working class Americans who have to compete directly with
illegal migrants for job opportunities", Vaughan notes. "And especially
those who are concerned about their tax burden, and the effect on their
Biden wants people to come regardless of how they end up here, despite that
endangers to the identity of America, and the wealth of America, according
to Brigitte Gabriel, who argues that America is a nation of legal migrants
in the first place.
"People, who are citizens, work so hard to pay their taxes to ensure that
we have schooling, that we are able to have access to medical care", she
says. "Then we have a flood of immigrants who are coming here who are not
paying into these taxes, who are not participating in the system, yet they
are reaping the benefits of what's in the bank account to benefit
Americans, which depletes the money that's there to take care of Americans.
And that's not right."