By Felicia J. Persaud
News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Fri. Oct. 8, 2021: Like Barack Obama, Joe Biden was elected at a time when voters, mainly immigrant and Black swing voters, handed back control of both the House and the Senate to the Democratic party.
And like Obama, Biden is about to waste that power trying to play – not to his base – but to repeat his boss’ vanilla politics. That is especially true when it comes to immigrants and immigration reform.
Let’s face it – Obama spent a lot of his time playing it safe to appease the right. So much so that he ended up costing Democrats control of the Congress in his first two years. This was largely because he failed to address the main issue he had promised – immigration reform.
Just like Obama spent his first two years earning the nickname “Deporter-In-Chief,” because of his large sale deportation of immigrants, Biden seems to be taking a page clear out of his boss’ playbook, and could soon be slapped with that title too.
Over 5,000 Haitians have already been deported back to Haiti after the horrifying scenes of many being chased and lassoed by White US border patrol agents on horse backs that the administration had sent there. All in the name of trying to apply for asylum.
Thousands more are being sent back daily to a country that is unstable, and where many live below the extreme poverty line of US$ 1.23 per day. Many of those being deported have not lived in Haiti for over a decade and are being let loose with USD 120 or 12,000 gourdes.
Between September 19 and 29th, the United States, operating 7 to 8 flights per day, expelled 5,405 Haitian. There were also 1,238 children among those migrants returned to Haiti. The International Office of Migration says over 1,000 deportees a day could be returned to Haiti in the coming weeks.
So much for Biden’s promises to “undo the moral and national shame of the previous administration.” His administration’s approach to immigration has been equally aggressive as it continues the Donald Trump policies. While Trump reportedly called Haiti a ‘s-hole’ nation, the Biden administration is treating Haitians like they are “s..holes.”
To make matters worse, Biden’s Department of Justice last week appealed and won an order to continue expelling migrant families caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border under a COVID-19 pandemic order – Title 42. The controversial title was issued in March 2020 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under Donald Trump and this adminsitration is happily going along enforcing it.
Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, like its immigration czar and immigrant roots vice president, Kamala Harris, and its immigrant-born DHS Secretary, was also happy to reiterate what has become the administration’s message: ‘The border is closed. This is not the time to come.’
Sounds familiar? Like a Trump line?
Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Cuban-born Alejandro Mayorkas, was even more aggressive: “If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned. Your journey will not succeed, and you will be endangering your life and your family’s lives.”
How about if the US had said that to Mayorkas’ parents when they fled Cuba and applied for refugee status here? Where would he be today?
Biden is also failing to strongly push the Democratic-controlled Congress, to prioritize the lives of migrants and immigration reform for many who have been living here. So far, they have been unable to get their Caucus in the Senate to stick together as the Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, rejected their plan to tie legalization to their infrastructure bill.
One thing is certain – it is that the administration and the Democratically controlled Congress will have no excuses when it comes to Congressional elections next year. Many will pay the price for Biden’s ‘Obama 2.0’ strategy if they don’t change course now and deliver substantive changes – by legislation or by executive order for immigrants! Time is running out for Biden and Democrats. What they do before the end of 2021 will determine if they will be able to hold on to power or become a lame duck, much like Obama’s presidency.
The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow