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Immigration

 

DONALD TRUMP

 

JOE BIDEN

Immigration Policy

Trump's travel ban (1) was just one of many policies he implemented to keep immigrants out of the U.S. It denied visas to citizens of seven countries with majority-Muslim populations, while his “Migration Protection Protocols” (2) (also known as his "remain in Mexico" policy), force all asylum-seeking Central American migrants to return to Mexico for indefinite amounts of time while their asylum claims are processed. This policy violates (3) U.S. and international law, and has sent more than 60,000 (4) migrants back to Mexico to await the results of their applications. There, they live in makeshift encampments or shelters, rely on volunteers for basic necessities, and have very little means to handle major public health crises, such as the Covid-19 pandemic. 
 
Biden’s immigration plan promises (5) to halt many of Trump's anti-immigrant policies. He intends to roll back Trump's “remain in Mexico” policy (6); his travel ban (7) which targets immigrants from several majority-Muslim countries, and his public charge rule (8), which discriminates (9) against low-income immigrants. But this is nothing new-- Biden has a long history of supporting pro-immigrant bills during his time in Congress. He voted YES on the Immigration Act of 1990 (10). which increased (11) the annual limits on immigration to the U.S.; he voted against (12) giving preference to English-speaking immigrants, and voted (13) to. allow the Census to keep counting undocumented residents. 

Young Immigrants

In 2017, Trump moved to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, which protects nearly 700,000 (14) young adults who were brought to the U.S. as children (avg. age 7) (15). Many DACA recipients are now threatened with the prospect of deportation back to countries they hardly know-- many of whom aren't even aware that they are unauthorized. The Supreme Court reversed Trump's decision, ruling that it was "arbitrary and capricious, violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and infringed upon the equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment” (16).   
 
Vice President Biden has long stated his support (17) for the creation and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and has vowed to "immediately work to make it permanent by sending a bill to Congress on day one of [his] Administration" (18). He also championed (19) the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program and the Central American Minors (20) program -- which allowed parents with legal status in the U.S. to apply to bring their children up from Central America to live with them.

Supporting Immigrants in America

The Trump administration’s 2018 “zero-tolerance” immigration policy has led to the criminal prosecution of unauthorized immigrant parents traveling with their children, and the separation of more than 2,800 (21) migrant families that crossed the southern border. 
 
Biden has a long history of supporting immigrants in America. In 2007, he voted: YES (22) on continuing federal funds for sanctuary cities; YES (23) on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007; YES (24) on allowing illegal aliens to participate in social security; and NO (25) on limiting welfare for immigrants in June 1997.

Central America

Trump cut off $450 million (26) in aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras --  countries from which the most (27) migrants are fleeing -- rather than helping address the violence and lack of economic opportunity that has led to such a sharp rise in the number of Central American families seeking asylum in the U.S. 
 
Biden's plan for Central America promises $4 billion over four years (28) to address the issues of violence and poverty that are leading to mass migrations to the U.S. These funds are intended to fight corruption, attract private sector investment, develop civil society and incentivize Central American countries to conduct their own reforms.