By Felicia J. Persaud
News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Mon. April 18, 2021: It’s easy to campaign and make big promises on immigration reform as a politician, until you get into the hot seat.
President Joe Biden is finding that out the hard way. The Biden administration has now found itself resorting to Donald Trump’s hardline tactics – laughable if it was not so sad.
After slamming Donald Trump’s immigration politics as presidential hopeful Biden – and rightfully so – the Biden administration finds itself now adopting some of those very same policies.
Of course, the latest is the brouhaha that erupted on Friday April 16, 2021, after the White House in the morning said it would keep the cap on refugees admitted into the country at15,000 and not increase it to 62,500.
As Democrats in his own party slammed him and activists and refugee organizations added to the pressure, the administration caved and decided by Friday afternoon it was going to increase the number after all – just not to 62,500. Great going Joe!
The Biden administration has also continued to use Trump’s Title 42 – the COVID-19-era policy that is causing the majority of migrants to be turned away at the border.
Add to that the ramped up deportation of many black immigrants, especially Haitians and you have got a Barack Obama immigration debacle all over again.
Then there is the “border czar” – Caribbean American Vice President Kamala Harris. Biden in late March tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to lead U.S. efforts with Mexico and Central America to address the number of migrants heading north. So far, all she has done is struck an agreement with Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala to temporarily surge security forces to their borders in an effort to reduce the tide of migration to the U.S. border.
According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, Mexico will maintain a deployment of about 10,000 troops, while Guatemala has surged 1,500 police and military personnel to its southern border and Honduras deployed 7,000 police and military to its border “to disperse a large contingent of migrants” there. Guatemala will also set up 12 checkpoints along the migratory route through the country.
Sounds like something Trump would have done? Well, you are correct, because this was also done during the Trump era.
Harris’ military tactic coupled with failing to so far show her face, almost a month into her new post, at the U.S. southern border or to see the problem on the ground with thousands of children in detention facilities, is mind boggling.
Instead, under pressure, Harris has now said she is planning to visit Mexico and Guatemala – the Northern Triangle region. No date has been given but there won’t be any stop over at the border – no, no!
“We have plans in the work to go to Guatemala as soon as possible,” she said instead.
The confusion and terrible handling of immigration since Biden decided to rush to remove a policy that allowed refugees to enter the US and not wait in Mexico anymore, is turning off his base just months into the new administration.
They are unraveling fast and looking like the Obama administration in its first term. Instead of taking control of the situation, the Biden administration, along with its immigration czar Kamala, is all over the map.
They are in Central America promising cash instead of really addressing the spiraling crisis. The White House has requested $861 million from Congress for that effort in Biden’s first annual budget proposal – a sharp increase from the roughly $500 million in aid this year at a time when Americans are struggling to survive in the midst of a pandemic.
A tough approach must be taken on this issue that will not be popular, but it has to be done. Shut the border down for right now and let’s get back to immigration reform for the people within the country who have been without legal working papers for years. Throw in border enforcement and application for asylum in home countries as well as a system to apply for employment visas in home countries and you will get a handle on the border surge. That’s the only way!
The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow