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What Does November’s Election Mean for Immigration? A lot.
I started writing this blog in 2013. I’ve actually enjoyed writing (just about) every piece. It gives me time to step away from my daily practice, put “pen to paper”, and educate some of you on the complexities of my world (i.e., my law practice).
Since 2016, this article has also given me the opportunity to vent, perhaps a lot, and maybe even too much. Many of you have noticed. As if the practice of immigration law is not complex enough, it became unbelievably more so, unnecessarily in my opinion, when Donald Trump was elected as our 45th U.S. President.
Right now, the field for 2020 is narrowed down to two. The race has been fully joined. Donald Trump versus Joe Biden. What does that mean for “immigration”? A lot!
Let’s reflect back to the President’s inaugural speech. “We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people.” These were just about the first words uttered by President Trump in his inaugural address. Almost four years later, given the President’s rhetoric on the campaign trail (both then and now), I continue to find it ironic that he in the same sentence speaks how “the citizens of America” would restore our country’s promise “for all of our people.”
Hindsight is 20/20. “All of our people” does not mean everyone that’s here. Nope, citizens only for our President. “Every decision on … immigration … will be made to benefit American workers and American families.” Well he’s held true to that statement. Fewer (and in some case almost no) rights for almost everyone else, whether they are lawfully living in the United States or not.
You might recall that President Trump quoted the Bible in his inaugural speech; specifically, “how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.” I agree. “All of our people” should be able to remain here and live here in unity.
Joe Biden strikes me as a person of profound compassion. Among other things, his platform advocates for immediately reversing the Trump Administration’s cruel and senseless policies that separate parents from their children at our border. His platform also advocates for ending President Trump’s detrimental asylum policies, reversing Trump’s public charge rule, ending the so-called “national emergency” that bleeds federal dollars from real national security concerns to build a wall (that Mexico was supposed to pay for), and protecting Dreamers and their families. Mr. Biden also advocates for rescinding the President’s travel and refugee bans, commonly referred to as “Muslim bans.” He also advocates for restoring sensible enforcement priorities (at our border and within the U.S.).
Equally as important, Mr Biden’s platform calls for modernizing America’s immigration system, including creating a roadmap to citizenship for the nearly 11 to 13 million people who are present in the United States, have been living in the country for years, but are without status and often are here through no fault of their own. I’m all for that.
Of course, he cannot do it alone. He’ll need lots of congressional support in order to accomplish any of this. For starters, though, we must do our part. We need to vote. We need to vote like our country depends on it. Because it does.