Henry Gass Staff writer, Christian Science Monitor
The choice for president in 2020, both candidates said, hinged not just on policy or ideological differences, but on morals. And on one issue their differences were especially distinct: immigration.
Donald Trump’s administration had waged “an unrelenting assault on our values and our history as a nation of immigrants,” Joe Biden’s campaign wrote in 2019. It was an assault he promised not only to stop, but actively to reverse. Harsh Trump-era policies would end, he said. In general, immigrants would be treated with dignity and humanity.
One year later, President Biden has, to a degree, delivered on those promises. But in some important ways, little has changed.
Why We Wrote This
While campaigning for president, Joe Biden promised to tackle immigration issues with more compassion than his opponent. But that has proved easier said than done. What makes it difficult to put compassion into action on the border?
Some of the practices decried by critics as inhumane during the Trump years, such as the separation of migrant children from their families, are effectively still in place, experts and advocates say. Systemic issues with the U.S. immigration system as a whole – including long backlogs, a lack of resources, and an infrastructure designed for outdated migration patterns – have hampered some of the actions President Biden has taken, they add.
“We are building safe, orderly, and humane alternative pathways” into the U.S., said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas during a visit to El Paso, Texas, last week, the El Paso Times reported.