Thomas Gallatin / Jan. 4, 2021

Biden to Delay ‘Day One’ Immigration Policy Changes

Ending Trump’s effective immigration and asylum polices would create another border crisis, so Biden moves the goal posts.

During the campaign, Joe Biden promised to end President Donald Trump’s effective immigration and asylum polices on Day One of his coming into office. We noted that such a dramatic ending of the Trump administration’s immigration polices would serve only to invite another border crisis, as migrants assured by Biden’s promises would surge toward and across the border with the expectation of no longer being forced to wait out their asylum requests in Mexico.

It therefore comes as little surprise to learn that Biden is now backtracking on his Day One immigration promise. As The Washington Post reports, “Top advisers to president-elect Joe Biden [say] they will not immediately roll back asylum restrictions at the Mexico border and other restrictive Trump administration policies, walking back some of Biden’s campaign promises for ‘Day One’ changes.”

Susan Rice, the infamous Benghazi fabricator and Biden’s newly chosen domestic policy advisor, sought to provide cover for Biden’s failure to follow through on his ill-advised immigration campaign promise by foisting the blame for the delay onto the coronavirus pandemic. “Our priority is to reopen asylum processing at the border consistent with the capacity to do so safely and to protect public health, especially in the context of COVID-19,” Rice declared. “This effort will begin immediately, but it will take months to develop the capacity that we will need to reopen fully. Processing capacity at the border is not like a light that you can just switch on and off.” Rice added that asylum seekers “absolutely should not believe those in the region peddling the idea that the border will suddenly be fully open to process everyone on Day 1.” Of course, the one “peddling the idea” was none other than Joe Biden himself.

Despite the delay, the Biden transition team sought to downplay any suggestion that Biden won’t follow through on implementing his promised hard-left immigration policy. “This starts with restoring order, dignity and fairness to our system and day-one actions to restore due process to give families the opportunity to seek asylum, reinstate DACA, and introduce immigration legislation that includes a pathway to citizenship,” his team asserted. “[Biden is] committed to having an open dialogue with groups across a wide spectrum to ensure his administration is meeting the needs of the community.”

So, is Biden moving the goal posts on his immigration policy plans? It looks to be the case, at least when it comes to his promised time frame, that the answer is an unequivocal “yes.” However, there is little to suggest that Biden doesn’t plan to eventually undo all of Trump’s immigration policies, especially his “Remain in Mexico” asylum rule. Yet the conundrum for Biden remains, as rolling back Trump’s immigration policies will have the effect of creating another border crisis no matter the timing of his policy change.

Immigration policy analyst Mark Krikorian wonders about Biden’s delay, observing, “Ironically, by delaying the full effect of his immigration promises, Biden sets up a situation where news of the renewed border crisis caused by his rollback of Trump’s policies may only break through the inevitable media blackout just when the midterm-election campaign is underway. Republican candidates would do well to start preparing now.”

The fact of the matter is that Biden has set himself up with this no-win scenario. By demonizing Trump’s rational and lawful border-enforcement approach, Biden is left with on the one hand trying to placate the open-border insanity of his party’s increasingly hard-left base while at the same attempting to deny and avoid the obvious and disastrous ramifications of implementing such foolish anti-American policy changes.

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