The tougher border controls considered by Biden and the Senate represent a seismic political shift on immigration

Washington – Within two weeks of taking office he halted border wall construction, announced a moratorium on deportations and suspended the rule requiring immigrants to wait for their court dates in Mexico, President Biden announced. An executive order Marks a dramatic shift in US immigration policy.

His administration, Mr. In the February 2021 order, Biden pledged to “restore and strengthen” the U.S. asylum system and reject the Trump administration’s border policies, which are “contrary to our values ​​and have caused unnecessary human suffering.”

Almost three years later, Mr. Biden now finds himself Strict and permanent restrictions Former President Donald Trump on asylum — including an extraordinary power to summarily deport migrants when they first cross illegally — to convince congressional Republicans to back more military aid to Ukraine.

In many ways, the president’s willingness to support tougher border policies similar to those pursued by his predecessor — and detested by progressives and human rights advocates — reflects a seismic shift in immigration politics over the past several years.

It is a change induced by a combination of factors. Migrant apprehensions recorded at the southern border have strained federal and local resources. Democratic-led cities like New York and Chicago have struggled to accommodate newcomers, with local officials vocal in their concerns about over-services. Majority of Americans Mr. Polls show public disfavor of Biden’s immigration agenda.

A CBS News poll was released this week Immigration and the border ranked as the second most important issues facing the country, behind concerns about inflation and concerns about the future of American democracy.

The White House has acknowledged that some of its positions on immigration policy may have to be compromised. “We need to find a bipartisan compromise — that’s what the president said; that’s what the president believes — to deal with this problem,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said this week.

Senate immigration talks

The administration’s greater involvement in talks in the Senate and its openness to border changes were welcomed by Republican negotiators, who described significant progress in negotiations over the past two days. Senators are trying to agree on a roughly $100 billion emergency funding package that includes billions of dollars in foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

But the talks have created divisions among Democrats, with progressives expressing concern that they are willing to make big concessions to Republicans without getting any of longtime Democratic legislative priorities on immigration — such as granting legal status to so-called “Dreamers.” “And other undocumented immigrants.

“They have rejected their own party’s solutions on border security and are now accepting Trump’s solutions,” Andrea Flores, a former White House immigration official at the Biden White House, told CBS News. “The administration must stand up to those pushing this bad policy and politics.”

Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat, said it would be “a huge mistake for the Democratic Party to adopt Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies.” And, Castro told CBS News, “coupling immigration policy with foreign aid funding would set a dangerous precedent.”

Senate negotiations have blindsided Latino Democrats on Capitol Hill, who have grown in numbers in recent years but still lack senior lawmakers to oversee negotiations on appropriations, the budget or homeland security. Democratic Senate of New Jersey. Robert Menendez is a long-serving member of Congress, but a non-person in the White House Federal bribery charges He faces.

He didn’t hold back this week. “Not a single member of the House or Senate Congressional Hispanic Caucus is at the table for these talks,” he said Wednesday, adding: “This is a severe slap in the face to all the Latino communities we represent.”

California Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla called a return to Trump-era immigration policy “not right. It will make the problem worse. Mass detention. Take away the asylum system. Title 42 on steroids. It’s unconscionable. It’s not. The way to fix immigration. We know it won’t work.”

Responding to criticism from Latino lawmakers on Thursday, Jean-Pierre assured reporters that the White House had finally briefed them. “We have heard their concerns. We have had conversations. We have been in constant contact,” he said.

But California Democrat and chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Rep. Nanette Barragan pushed back on that notion, telling CBS News on Thursday that she received a call earlier in the week from a “senior White House official.” to name.

“No explanation was given. They mostly listened. They didn’t consult the offers on the table,” Paragon said. “They are leaving the CHC and our senators out of any negotiations.”

Cecilia Munoz, a top immigration aide to former President Barack Obama, argued that the Biden administration is “looking for tools that can best be used to balance the need to protect people fleeing danger and the need for an orderly process at the border.”

Mr. Munoz pushed back on the idea that the border agents sought by Biden would be used in the same way Trump hired them.

“There’s no doubt that the incoming Trump administration will use the tools they have — and perhaps some they don’t even have legally — in destructive and inhumane ways,” Munoz said. But Mr. He added that “there should be no confusion” about how Biden would use these officials differently.

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