Nearly 14 months after taking office, President Biden and his team have yet to begin delivering on the main election promises they made to the Latino community when they were seeking their vote in November: immigration reform that includes the legalization and naturalization of millions of those that today are undocumented.
But no less serious than this unjustifiable delay is the attitude of the government in urgent migratory matters. Before the courts, White House lawyers insist on defending policies inherited from former President Trump, in particular, the one that prevents refugees from requesting political asylum at the border, which also constitutes a violation of international law. He does this by using so-called “Title 42,” pretending it is a public health issue and under the discredited excuse that letting applicants in will lead to a wave of COVID-19 in detention centers.
This happens when there is an abundance of vaccines and when, according to the government itself, the coronavirus is in clear retreat.
It is an ambivalent attitude, because on the other hand the Biden administration correctly canceled hundreds of immigration executive orders imposed by the previous administration, such as those that allowed the separation of families. In addition, he government has been negotiating compensation for some of these families and accelerating the search for children still estranged from their parents.
But maintaining the so-called “Title 42,” has generated concentrations of asylum seekers south of the border, vulnerable to inclement weather, misery and constant attacks by criminal gangs.
To the protests of allies in Congress, the government responds with small concessions such as exempting families with children, but without daring to cancel its draconian policy.
Once again, the Democrats in power fear that the Republicans will brand them as unpatriotic, the same excuse used during the presidency of Barack Obama, with which he failed to fulfill his promise of immigration reform.
But it is difficult not to think that in reality, this government justifies the rejection and deportation of those who request asylum.
In any case, a policy of appeasement of the Republicans has only served to make them adopt increasingly extremist, racist and restrictive positions.
And the fear that distancing himself from Trump’s cruel policy will spark an unstoppable wave of migration ignores that the border can and should be secured. The administration can retain full control of immigration.
The use of “Title 42” to prevent refugee migrants from legally requesting asylum in the United States should be cancelled. And this should open the way to advance the long-awaited immigration reform.