As of this writing Joe Biden a Democrat is President of the United States. His predecessor was Donald Trump a Republican. Each one has a divergent plan on how we handle immigration.
Trump was tough on immigration, with a focus on immigration coming from Mexico and Central America. His reasoning was simple. We have a border with Mexico that neighbors four states. California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. We can’t blame these people for wanting a better life. But this border is 1954 miles long and if we don’t protect it, we might as well make Mexico the 51st state, Honduras the 52nd state, Guatemala the 53rd state and El Salvador the 54th state.
To make matters worse “some” of these people were criminals with long prison records in their own countries and we had almost no way of vetting them if they were already in our country. Even if they’re not criminals they take advantage of our economy by using our health care system and may qualify for food stamps or other programs all of which are paid for by the American Taxpayer.
The harsh remedy was to build a wall and anybody caught breaching it would be held in detention camps. “Detention was prolonged, overcrowded, with poor hygiene and food standards.” 1. Trump initiated, a “zero tolerance” approach intended to deter illegal immigration and to encourage tougher legislation. 2. Under this policy children were separated from their parents, and the adults were prosecuted and held in federal jails or deported and the children were placed under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Health, and Human Services. 3.
Imagine, traveling hundreds of miles with your children only to be separated from them when you finally arrive. A separation that might be forever sends a powerful message of hate and desperation.
Add this policy with the threat of imposing a 25% tariff on goods coming from Mexico convinced the Mexican government to stop the caravans. Mission accomplished!
On March 6th 2017 Trump introduced Executive Order 13780 (sometimes called the Muslim or Travel Ban) restricting travel to the United States from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, and Venezuela.
This was a reaction to the Boston Marathon bombing which happened in April 2013. Two brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were responsible. Tamerlan died while trying to avoid capture but Dzhokhar was arrested. During questioning Dzhokhar said he was motivated by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and would have traveled to New York to bomb Times Square had he not have been apprehended.
The bombing caused the deaths of 3 people and injured 264. There were bombings in Europe and a lot of Americans were rightfully scared. In addressing their fears, Trump ordered these travel bans, and another campaign promise was fulfilled.
President Biden believes that America was built on a “foundation of religious freedom and tolerance, a principle enshrined in the United States Constitution.” 4. President Biden’s strategy is “centered on the basic premise that our country is safer, stronger, and more prosperous, with a fair, safe and orderly immigration system that welcomes immigrants, keeps families together, and allows people-both newly arrived immigrants and people who have lived here for generations-to more fully contribute to our country. President Biden knows that new Americans fuel our economy, as innovators and job creators, working in every American industry, and contributing to our arts, culture, and government.” 5.
On January 20, 2021 “Biden ended the construction of Trump’s Mexican border wall. Biden ended the Trump travel ban which excluded Muslim and African countries. Biden also reaffirmed protections to DACA recipients and urged Congress to enact permanent protections for the 700,000 undocumented immigrants benefited by this policy. 6.
On January 23, Biden introduced an immigration bill to Congress that would give a path to citizenship to 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. The bill makes it easier for foreign workers to stay in the U.S. 7.
- White House Briefing Room 01/20/2021
- White House Briefing Room 02/02/2021