Column: Biden’s immigration plan to undo Trump’s exclusions

Lindsey Ulrey

There is a huge demand for asylum protection in the United States. Biden has promised more welcoming immigration policies that will allow more immigrants to seek asylum within U.S. borders.

According to NPR, “In one of his first acts in office, Biden revoked the Trump administration’s travel ban on people from majority-Muslim countries and has promised to lift the cap on refugees. Under Trump, the cap was lowered each year, hitting a record low of 15,000 for fiscal year 2021. For comparison, the Obama and Bush administrations usually allowed for a cap of at least 70,000 to 80,000 refugees each year.”

Biden has pledged to raise the cap to at least 125,000 and to “seek to raise it over time.” Senior Biden advisors say that it will take months to increase processing capacity and create fairer asylum policies. Soon after Biden’s inauguration he signed an order suspending the “Remain in Mexico Program” that Trump started.

This has caused concern for some U.S citizens. “It’s not difficult to predict that we’re going to see some more individuals coming across our borders,” said Trey Mendez, mayor of Brownsville, Texas. “So, any sort of policy that may allow more individuals to cross is something we want to coordinate with the federal government.”

Many are concerned about creating a humanitarian crisis like what happened in 2008. “You know, we can’t have everybody in Central America come here,” said Jim Darling, mayor of McAllen, Texas. “The educational, health, and all the concerns they have they’ll bring with them to this country. That makes no sense. We can’t afford it. And we have to take care of our own.”

That mindset leaves out the fact that we have the resources to take these people in as long as the United States creates a solid plan.

“It’s my belief that the United States has the power and the capacity to respond correctly to do the job,” said Sister Normal Pimentel, director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

“We do. We just haven’t put our efforts in the right place. Don’t just put them altogether as all criminals, because they’re not.”

In an interview with NPR, Corine Dehabey, the director of programs for the Toledo office of US Together, said, “My view is humanity existed way before religion was formed. And God put us on Earth to lean on each other and to help each other. And that’s what [the] United States is all about. One hand holding other hands.”


Lindsey Ulrey is a freshman political science major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]