This is going to take time

It took the Trump administration several years to fuck up our immigration system and it’s likely to take the Biden administration a few years to unfuck it. Meanwhile, the Republican mantra that we need to deal with border security before taking up other immigration matters is dejà vu all over again. When Obama came into office, he wanted to do comprehensive immigration reform but the Republicans in Congress said “secure the border first and then we can talk about comprehensive immigration reform.” Obama was naïve enough to take them at their word and he cracked down hard on the border, earning the title of ‘Deporter-in-Chief,” only to discover their insincerity. At that point, he changed course and did things like DACA. The Republicans are repeating the same line with the same insincerity. One hopes that Biden has learned from this experience.

I doubt very much that any kind of comprehensive immigration reform can be passed as long as the filibuster is intact. At some point, if I have the time, I will post on what I think such reform should look like.

WASHINGTON (AP) ? Democrats who long blistered the Trump administration's hard-line immigration policies are suddenly in a tough political bind.

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One thought on “This is going to take time

  1. IIUC, the term “comprehensive immigration reform” has always been used by both Democrats and Republicans who favor it (notably Regan and Bush Jr.) to mean immigration reform that legalizes a large fraction of the currently unauthorized immigrant population. As far as I can tell, on net it’s not a popular concept. At least, not when you weight people’s opinions by how vigorously they hold them. And that’s where Obama ran into trouble. He never understood that the top item on Republicans’ immigration agenda was “Wogs out!”, which means that there is nothing else on their list you can give them as part of a compromise that they’ll trade for that — it’s more important to them than anything else.

    Similarly, Biden is running into trouble because the progressives want the US to be the universal place of refuge for anyone in trouble, whereas the average American is a lot closer to “Wogs out!” So Biden is stuck trying to figure out how to stem the influx of Central American teenagers for fear that if he doesn’t the Democrats will get blown out of the water in 2022.

    And it appears that he’s taking the path that the EU took, paying off North African governments to keep sub-Saharan Africans from reaching the EU’s shores and being able to claim asylum. It looks like the price AMLO is going to extract from Biden to stop the Central Americans (away from US news cameras) is 100 million vaccine doses.

    I don’t know how this interacts with the official rules of US immigration law, other than that the politicians are concerned with the results more than the rules, but they’re stuck more or less staying within the rules because of the courts. Even the Republicans, when they had Congress and the President, couldn’t make any significant changes to immigration law, and I don’t expect the Democrats to either. So politically the game will be changing executive policy while never quite stepping outside the legal bounds.

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