Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Biden immigration policy eases mixed-status families, key political move

By 37ci3 Jun18,2024



After nearly a decade of living in fear that he might be separated from his U.S. citizen wife forever, Alex Paz Medrano was thanked Tuesday when President Joe Biden announced their plan to stay together.

Biden announced executive action to protect About half a million undocumented spouses of American citizens from deportation.

The months-anticipated plan drew cheers and excitement from immigration advocates and many Democrats who pushed Biden to take action.

“We all want to better ourselves, we all want progress for our families, and I’m very grateful … on behalf of the people who will benefit by having greater opportunities,” Paz Medrano said.

A native of Hanover, Pennsylvania, Medrano immigrated from Mexico in 2005 and has been married to a U.S. citizen since 2016.

Immigration advocates and Democrats said Biden’s actions could help mobilize a significant portion of Latin American and other voters who protect long-term immigrants from deportation and family separation, despite growing support for stronger border measures among voters.

“I have a lot of employees who are in this situation – this is going to be a big help for a lot of people,” said Pedro Zamora of New York, who owns several restaurants and nightclubs and employs about 400 people, including undocumented spouses. . Zamora advocated a policy change in Washington.

Biden announced that when the plan takes effect, spouses of undocumented U.S. citizens who have been in the U.S. for at least 10 years by June 17, 2024, will be able to apply for lawful permanent residency. In a fundamental departure from current practice, spouses without legal status will be able to apply from the US and not be required to return to their home countries resulting in long-term separations.

Biden also announced plans to make it easier for some college-educated immigrants to get work visas, including in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

“I know how today’s announcement has changed our lives, for many people like me who are worried about our safety and our future,” said Bruna Sollod, senior political director of the youth immigrant advocacy organization United We Dream.

Immigration action – and political plus?

The executive action is a counterweight to Biden’s immigration crackdown, which took effect earlier this month. Strongly criticized by some, it was seen by the administration and its supporters as a way to bring order to the border.

Together, the two policies resemble the framework of previous broad immigration reform bills that Congress has repeatedly failed to finalize.

Carlos Odio, co-founder of Equis Research, a Democratic polling firm, said in a call with reporters Tuesday that Biden’s two executive actions constitute a “both/and” approach to immigration, which polls show Americans prefer — both border regulation and a long-term U.S. something made for people who are also

A recent Equis Research poll of 3,569 registered voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, California, Illinois, Maryland and New York found that voters no longer view Democrats favorably on immigration, Odio said.

The poll found that 49% of non-Hispanics and 41% of registered Hispanic voters trust Trump more on immigration, compared to 38% and 34% for Biden, respectively. The poll also found that nearly three-quarters of respondents said Democrats have lost confidence on immigration because “Biden and Democrats make promises on immigration reform during the campaign but fail to follow through after winning.”

And Latino voters who don’t support Biden — those who can swing their vote from one party to another — have long said they would be more likely to support him if he enacts policies that allow immigrants to work, stay in, or stay in the United States. families. Gains were higher among voters who listened to Spanish-language media, Odio said.

“It’s not just non-Hispanic Trump voters who dislike them (policies), but these policy solutions resonate with gullible black and white voters (as well),” he said.

Gustavo Torres of the Maryland-based immigrant advocacy organization CASA in Action told reporters about the call, “If the Biden administration continues to move in this direction, we’re going to see an explosion of energy from our community,” adding the president’s actions. It helps mobilize voters in states like Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Vanessa Cardenas of the immigrant advocacy group Voice of America, who called the president’s actions “a big deal,” said what Biden needs to do now is draw a “sharp distinction” between his approach and that of former President Donald Trump, adding that Trump adviser Stephen Miller’s plan, ” is to deport the same people this plan protects,” including immigrants who have been in the country for years.

“We have to take them seriously,” Cardenas said of Trump mass deportation plans.

The ‘most significant protections’ since DACA

California Democrat Nanette Barragán, who chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said the spousal action is “the most important protection for immigrant families,” along with the expected announcement of work visas for some college-educated immigrants and DACA recipients. The DACA program was first announced in 2012 by the Obama-Biden administration. DACA refers to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a 12-year-old program that protects about 500,000 immigrants without permanent legal status from deportation and allows them to work and attend school in the United States.

In his bid for re-election, Obama also faced lagging Latino support as he failed to pass an immigration reform bill through Congress and his administration deported record numbers of immigrants. With no immigration action in Congress, Obama created DACA and won with Latino support. created a similar program known as DAPAIt would have given legal status to US citizen parents of children, but the court killed it.

DACA has been challenged hard Since it was created by Republicans and former President Donald Trump has tried to end the program by court. But he was able to shrink his beneficiaries by banning new applications. The number of immigrants who don’t qualify for DACA outnumbers those who do, according to the program’s rules.

America First Legal, a group founded by Miller, said it would also challenge the policies announced by Biden.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador praised Biden’s immigration plan along with other immigration policies.

Lopez Obrador, whose country is the number 1 trading partner of the United States, said, “It is very good news that Mexican families, especially students, young people, are settled in the United States.”

According to him, Biden’s actions show that he is “a man of conviction.”

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