The Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force provides recommendations in six areas of domestic policy which are a roadmap for what Biden and his team want to accomplish if he is elected president.
Despite little discussion about public policy at their convention, this is a detailed plan for domestic policy. Today we will look at their plans for immigration called Creating A 21st
Century Immigration System.
There are two parts of the plan, a 4-page narrative of what they want to do and then a 9-page description of their policy recommendations.
A note of interest: Much like the criminal justice system the problems are not at all from the immigrants or potential immigrants. Our system is the problem. The last two Republican presidents have wanted to reform the system and there was very little effort from the Democrats and it certainly was not a priority of the Obama-Biden Administration.
Here are some points of what they describe:
1. Trump put children in cages. Cages that were built and paid for and used by the Obama -Biden Administration. They never complained then. They never snapped photos then.
2. End the raids that are militarized that our Immigration officers do to capture illegal immigrants. They would rather risk the lives of our officers than protect them from potentially dangerous situations.
3. The single biggest consideration we should have in considering our immigration laws is –diversity.
4. They will stop funding the wall along the southern border. They call it unnecessary, wasteful and ineffective. One and two they might try to assert, but ineffective? Maybe they need to speak to the border patrol.
5. They want to greatly expand the refugee program raising the annual number of approved refugees to 125,000. That is a 50% increase over the Obama era level. We all recognize that America must be a refuge from dangerous regimes, but we must balance that against our immigration limits and the concerns of our citizens. Understand, these are people that have to be supported by the American people.
6. Democrats support establishing a roadmap to citizenship for the millions of people who are here illegally. Republicans wanted to do this over the last two Republican administrations with no help from the Democrats.
7. They want to place the totality of fault on the employers who hire illegal immigrants. The person who came here illegally has no fault. They want to make sure those workers are treated with the same rights as American citizens and provided legal services.
8. They want the program of holding immigrants in Mexico terminated despite the fact these people should have applied for asylum in Mexico in compliance with International law. They want to end the agreements with Central American countries to work with them on keeping their citizens in their country.
9. They want a fast-track to citizenship for agricultural workers who are seasonal workers and come here on that program. That would effectively end the temporary worker program.
10. They want to reaffirm that our immigration system is based on family migration. This reinforces that immigrants will decide who comes into the country – – their list of relatives versus us deciding who qualifies for coming to our country.
11. They want to end systemic racism in our country which extends to our immigration system. You knew they had to put that there because everything is about racism.
12. Assure that all immigrants, legal or illegal, and refugees have free legal counsel paid for by Americans.
13. They want to prioritize investment in alternatives to detention. That means let them go and tell them where and when to show up and hope that works.
14. The want to modernize the immigration court system especially regarding filings. Go for it. Republicans have wanted to do that for years.
15. We should provide free health care to the immigrants and refugees whether here legally or illegally. And they tell us immigrants are not a governmental burden.
Note: There is no analysis of costs for the litany of programs here and others proposed.
Then there are some major points that need to be reviewed:
You may already be aware that the single biggest separation between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans believe there are two types of immigrants — legal and illegal. Republicans love legal immigrants and think illegal immigrants are exactly that — illegal. Democrats only believe there are immigrants. In 13 pages, nine of which are chock full of policy ideas, the word illegal is not mentioned once. And the term “undocumented worker” is likewise only used once.
Like the criminal justice system portion of the policy report, the entire problem here is with America and not any of the people coming to our country. Trump just made it worse. They make it seem like we treat these people coming here terribly. It causes one to wonder whether they are aware our immigration courts have people available to speak in 275 different languages.
Just about the only thing they say about the (severely underfunded) court system is the issue of protecting immigration judges’ right to unionize. Again, their focus is on unions, but unions are not going to solve the mess of the immigration courts. Only more judges and more money can do that, and they have never made that a priority nor is there any discussion of it in this document.
This is the last of the six parts of the Unity Task Force report from the Biden team. You now have the information in hand to make an educated decision for whom to vote on November 3rd.