During the 2020 election, Latinos were a massive electoral voting bloc. In fact, for the first time ever, the Latino vote outnumbered the Black vote. According to the Pew Research Center, there are now 32 million eligible Latino voters and that accounts for 13 percent of all eligible voters.
And, Latinos helped deliver the presidency to Joe Biden. So it can be expected that the community has high expectations for Joe Biden to deliver on his campaign promises of immigration reform.
During a recent speech about his first 100 days in office, Joe Biden outlined his priorities once he’s sworn in on January 20th, and said he would “immediately” send an immigration bill to congress.
Joe Biden promises swift action on immigration reform as soon as he takes office.
Over the weekend, President-Elect Joe Biden promised he would take swift action when it comes to immigration reform and rolling back many of the cruel and dangerous policies put into place by the Trump administration.
“I will introduce an immigration bill immediately,” he said in a news conference on Friday.
Although he didn’t go into detail regarding the proposed legislation, he’s previously committed to ending Trump’s ban on immigration from predominantly Muslim nations, and that he wants a path to citizenship for Dreamers, and an increase in guest worker permits to help bring undocumented agricultural workers – many of whom are now considered “essential workers” – out of the shadows.
Biden had already promised an immigration overhaul within the first 100 days of his presidency but this commitment definitely increases the pressure on him and congress to get things done.
Biden also said his justice department will investigate the policy of child separation.
During the same press conference, Biden said that his Justice Department will determine responsibility for the family separation program, which led to more than 2,600 children being taken from caregivers after crossing the U.S. southern border, and whether it was criminal.
“There will be a thorough, thorough investigation of who is responsible, and whether or not the responsibility is criminal,” Biden said. That determination will be made by his attorney general-designate, Merrick Garland, he added.
During the campaign, Biden finally took responsibility for many of his administration’s immigration failures.
Nicknamed the “Deporter in Chief,” Obama deported more immigrants than any other president in U.S. history with over 3 million deportations during his time in office.
But as part of that administration, Joe Biden is also complicit. That’s why during the campaign he seemed to acknowledge at least some of the pain the duo caused.
“Joe Biden understands the pain felt by every family across the U.S. that has had a loved one removed from the country, including under the Obama-Biden Administration, and he believes we must do better to uphold our laws humanely and preserve the dignity of immigrant families, refugees, and asylum-seekers,” Biden’s immigration plan reads.
While Obama’s methods pale in comparison to the cruel tactics like family separation, inhumane conditions, and targeted raids, the impact the deportations have had on families is cannot be quantified.
Biden, like any Vice President, is put in the position of having to defend his president, but also himself as the future president. This isn’t a bad thing, Biden must distinguish himself from his predecessor but if the shadow of Obama’s legacy is buying him goodwill, it might be difficult to undermine that administration’s stances.
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