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Can Biden find the right balance on immigration?

23 4 0
29.11.2021

Democrats wielded demands to fix the nation’s broken immigration system as a cudgel against Republicans in the 2020 campaign. Elect us, went the argument, and we’ll stop the cruel treatment of migrants at the border, and put in place lasting and humane policies that work.

A year into Joe Biden’s presidency, though, action on the issue has been hard to find and there is growing consternation privately among some in the party that the Biden administration can’t find the right balance on immigration.

Publicly, it’s another story. Most Washington lawmakers are largely holding their tongues, unwilling to criticize their leader on a polarizing topic that has created divisions within the party — especially as concerns mount over whether Democrats can hold on to power come next year.

It's a hard balancing act to pull off, said Douglas Rivlin, spokesman for America’s Voice, an immigration reform group. Especially when Republicans are unrelenting in their negativity toward the president, even a little friendly fire can be a challenge.

“It’s hard but they've got to do it,” he said. “They’re going to face voters next year, all the people on the Hill. Biden isn’t, they are. And they have to be clear they’re pushing Biden to be the Democratic president we elected, rather than being scared of the issues because the politics are difficult.”

Democrats have pointed to the recent House approval of a huge spending bill backed by the White House that would allow for expanded work permits and some other, less ambitious immigration provisions. When Biden took office, he promised a pathway to U.S. citizenship for millions of people in the country illegally. Democrats say the measures in the spending bill are enough to show the party won’t shy away from the immigration issue during next year’s midterms.

“I don’t see it as as the fault of the president per se or ... these challenges that........

© Japan Today


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