Biden's Immigration Policies Are Racist
Over 300,000 immigrants were deported in Biden’s first 100 days — a rate of deportations higher than any period under the openly anti-immigrant Donald Trump or under the “Deporter-in-Chief,” Barack Obama.
The deportation machine of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) continues unabated. ICE and CBP defied Biden’s 100-day moratorium on deportations. Predictably, these agencies targeted Black and Latino immigrants for deportation.
Biden partially rescinded Trump’s “Return to Mexico" policy for asylum seekers, but only for Latin Americans. Reflecting the longstanding anti-Black racism of US immigration policies, Haitians and Africans were excluded.
Black people have been flown by ICE without due process of their asylum requests to countries like Haiti, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo where the political violence means they may face death.
More Haitians were deported to Haiti in Biden’s first 100 days than in the last year of the Trump administration.
Biden has the legal authority to bring ICE and CBP into compliance with the law and his administration’s policies. These rogue agencies’ unions and members campaigned in uniform for Trump in open defiance the Hatch Act. ICE and CBP must be dismantled and replaced with a new agency that will uphold the law.
But Biden shows no appetite for that fight.
Instead, Biden submitted a moderate immigration bill to Congress on his first day in office, the U.S. Citizenship Act, which would leave ICE and CBP in place. It would provide immigrants in the U.S. before 2021 with a path to legal status and, after eight years, to citizenship. But it reinforces the racial biases in the criminal justice and national security systems toward Black, Latino, Muslim, Arab, Middle Eastern, and South Asian people, who remain targeted for criminal and national security surveillance, discrimination, and arrest that would render them ineligible for legal status and citizenship.
In any case, if the Democrats in the U.S. Senate don’t eliminate the filibuster, no immigration reform will happen. 800,000 Dreamers and more than 20 million undocumented immigrants will continue to live their lives in constant fear of deportation.
Meanwhile, Biden has continued Trump's "Title 42" public health authority to immediately expel people seeking asylum without due process.
The only exception is allowing the entry of unaccompanied minors, tens of thousands of whom are now stuck in some 200 facilities across two dozen states. Most of these detentions centers are unlicensed and riddled with neglect, abuse, covid, lice, and failure to help connect children with their families or vetted care providers.
While Biden has said he will not build more border wall, his administration is in the courts pursuing eminent domain proceedings that were initiated by the Trump administration against landowners at the border where more wall could be built.
Nor has Biden stopped the policy of co-opting local police into federal immigration enforcement, which has made racial profiling worse and undermined the trust and cooperation of immigrant communities with local police in solving crimes.
The rule-or-ruin intransigence of the Republicans make them irrelevant to immigration reform—or any other reform. The Democrats in control of both houses of Congress and presidency are negotiating with themselves. They may try to blame the Republicans, but it is the Democrats who could but will not eliminate the filibuster by a simple majority vote in the Senate.
That is why we need the Green Party now more than ever.
We are working to help Greens build that alternative and advance the agenda we advocated during the presidential campaign, from immigration reform and student debt relief to Medicare for All and the Ecosocialist Green New Deal.