Democratic presidential candidate Joe Bidenhas promised that he will undertake immigration reform for 11 million irregular immigrants to gain U.S. citizenship. During this Thursday’s presidential debate, Biden launched the ambitious proposal that, he assured, would be presented to Congress in the first 100 days of his government. “I’m going to send Congress a roadmap for citizenship for 11 million people,” he said when questioned about the immigration reform that former President Barack Obama left pending.
Biden has admitted that when he held the vice presidency, the issue was not addressed as a priority by the Obama Administration. “We were wrong, ” he said. He detailed that his proposal also seeks to regularize the immigration status of so-called dreamers,young people who came with their parents to the U.S. as children and who have signed up for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. “Dreamers will be able to stay in this country and begin a path to citizenship. We owe them to him,” he added.
During the Obama Administration, nearly three million people were deported. Although Donald Trump’s immigration policies have been tougher in recent years, mainly because of the use of immigration police (ICE), immigrants still remember that former President Obama’s promise to begin immigration reform remained unfulefied.
Biden’s new promise comes two days after it is known that 545 immigrant children who were separated from their parents in 2017 and 2018 have not yet been reunited with their families. The separation of minors was one of the consequences of President Donald Trump’s immigration policy, called “zero tolerance,” which required immigration police to detain undocumented immigrants and send them to prison facilities, while minors were taken to foster homes or detention centers. Under pressure and allegations that they were locked in cages, Trump suspended his policy.
“It’s a criminal thing. It makes us the laughing stock of the world and violates all the concepts of who we are as a nation,” Biden said during the debate, about the conditions in which these minors find themselves.
Of the total number of minors who have not yet been reunited with their parents, some 283 do not have sufficient information to help locate their families, as reported by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “We’re treating them so well, they’re in facilities that are so clean,” defended Trump, who has also pointed out to the Obama administration to build detention facilities near the border.