On Tuesday, July 27,  the Biden-Harris Administration laid a specific blueprint for a “Fair, orderly, and humane immigration system.” 

So far, Biden’s administration has successfully processed over 12,500 people who had been returned to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols. They have expanded lawful pathways for protection and opportunity, including the Central American Minors (CAM) program which reunites children with their parents in the U.S.

The Biden administration has also strengthened collaborative migration management with regional partners, including through a new Human Smuggling and Trafficking Task Force to disrupt and prevent migrant smuggling and human trafficking operations. These efforts, the Biden team sees a way to “Deter irregular migration at our Southern border.” 

“The Biden-Harris Administration has accomplished this and more while reckoning with the prior Administration’s cruel and reckless immigration policies, which exacerbated long-standing challenges and failed to securely manage our border.”

The White House added that, “Case in point, the total number of unique encounters at the Southern border to date this fiscal year remains below the total number of unique encounters to date during the fiscal year 2019 under the Trump Administration.” 

The next step

The Biden-Harris administration is planning the next steps Federal agencies will be taking to continue to implement the President’s vision for a 21st-century immigration system. 

“Success in building this fair, orderly, and humane immigration system won’t be achieved overnight, especially after the prior Administration’s irrational and inhumane policies, but this Administration has a blueprint to get there and is making real progress,” said the White House Official. 

So let’s take a look at what the Administration’s plans are for the future:  

Ensure a secure, humane, and well-managed border 

  • Making better use of existing enforcement resources.
  • Improving the expedited removal process for those who arrive at the border.
  • Facilitating secure management of borders in the region.
  • Strengthening anti-smuggling and anti-trafficking operations.
  • Bolstering public messaging on migration.

Implement orderly and fair processing of asylum applications 

  • Establishing a dedicated docket to consider asylum claims.
  • Further improving the efficiency and fairness of the U.S. asylum system.
  • Maximizing legal representation.
  • Reducing immigration court backlogs.

Strengthen collaborative migration management with regional partners 

  • Providing humanitarian support to address the acute needs that pressure individuals to abandon their homes.
  • Expanding access to international protection. 
  • Establishing Migration Resource Centers in the Northern Triangle countries.
  • Restarting and expanding the Central American Minors (CAM) program.
  • Expanding refugee processing in the region.
  • Expanding access to temporary work visas in the region.
  • Reducing immigrant visa backlogs.

Investing in Central America to address the root causes of immigration

  • Addressing economic insecurity and inequality.
  • Combatting corruption and strengthening democratic governance.
  • Promoting respect for human rights, labor rights, and a free press.
  • Countering and preventing violence, extortion, and other crimes.
  • Combatting sexual, gender-based, and domestic violence.

Biden can implement many parts of this plan through his executive authority, but he is clear that  “Congress must also act”

The White House believes that millions of noncitizens call America home, and make significant contributions to the nation’s economy.

Millions of immigrants who have risked their health to work with other Americans are “Americans in every way but on paper,” according to the White House.

“The American public supports a path to citizenship and a fair and efficient legal immigration system that welcomes talent from around the globe and allows families to reunite and make a life in our country,” the White House official said. 

In order for this to happen, the Biden Administration wants to see Congress pass through reconciliation or other means:

  • The U.S. Citizenship Act, which would reunite families, give businesses access to a workforce with full labor rights, and create a path to citizenship for those already living and working in the United States.
  • The Dream and Promise Act and Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which would help create a path to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS recipients, and farm workers. So far both of these bills have passed the House with bipartisan support. 

The Biden-Harris administration makes clear that, “We will always be a nation of borders, and we will enforce our immigration laws in a way that is fair and just. We will continue to work to fortify an orderly immigration system.” 

Jaala Brown

Jaala Brown is Gen Z Voice at The Pavlovic Today.