Biden initiatives on Central American immigration

In a December 21 interview, Susan Rice, the incoming Domestic Policy Advisor, and Jake Sullivan, the incoming National Security Advisor, laid out the new administration’s ideas for migration from Central America.

ONE. Submit legislation to create a path to citizenship for all undocumented persons.

Me: About 70% of undocumented (I prefer the word unauthorized) persons are from Mexico and Central America. This goal is stated without a balancing provision for better enforcement of immigration laws, such as e-Verify.

TWO. The two say that that migration happens when people are in fear of their lives.

Me: This is simply not true for the large majority of international migration, and was not a significant aspect of Mexican migration to the United States. While is it part of migration from Central America, the economic incentives are I believe much more. See this posting based on a interviews: Economic factors are the most salient in influencing migration and are cited far more often as the primary motivator for migration than victimization factors.

THREE. Encourage legal immigration, permanent or temporary, for work or for family unification.

Me: this is much too vague to draw any inferences as to actual policy.

FOUR. Streamline the asylum process.

Me: this probably will reassert a policy that crime (beyond state breakdown) and domestic violence are valid rationales for granting asylum

FIVE. Introduce a $4 billion, four-year program for Central America to “confront corruption, enhance security, and foster prosperity.”

SIX. Undo Trump’s “third party” arrangement for migrants, by which countries held Central American residents who seek to migrate to the U.S. Also, rescind the “Remain in Mexico” program for those at the border.

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