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The concerning immigration policy taking place under President Biden

The concerning immigration policy taking place under President Biden
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On the trail and on his first day in office, President Biden made a promise to unite Americans. Yet he has set forth a highly partisan immigration bill that will further hurt our recovery from the coronavirus. That is no way to unite the country. With the health and economic crises of the pandemic, he has to help Americans get back on their feet. Instead, he used his first executive orders to loosen border security and sent a bill to Congress to provide amnesty to at least 11 million illegal immigrants.

These actions will move the country backwards. Biden has instructed the Department of Homeland Security to halt construction of the border wall, increase funding to sanctuary cities which refuse to work with federal law enforcement, restrict arrests and deportations for illegal immigrants, plus bolster the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. He also sent a bill to Congress to grant green cards and citizenship to illegal immigrants who are already in the country over the next eight years.

The bill would fuel the process of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, temporary protected status, and farm workers, who would be eligible for green cards and citizenship in three years. It would set illegal immigrants in the system above those who have done the long legal process. The bill would also send billions of dollars to some countries south of the border. Any specific plans for more border security were absent.

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This sends a narrative that the United States is open to anyone who can make it across the Rio Grande river. Such broad actions are remarkable. President Obama, who had the widest Senate majority in modern times, did not even run this far. Obama had at least promised some measure of border security, and also limited the scope of amnesty and green cards. Biden has the narrowest Senate majority ever, but he is still pushing the most liberal immigration bill that Congress has ever seen.

By giving green cards and citizenship to illegal immigrants, the bill would make them eligible for social welfare programs, which the country cannot afford. Such amnesty is estimated to cost us trillions of dollars. More than half of Americans in a poll by Harvard University said immigrants likely to need public assistance have to be prohibited from obtaining green cards. A survey by Heritage Action saw that the greatest concern for Americans in illegal immigration will be an overuse of social services.

These actions from the new administration incentivize illegal immigration. By clearing the path to citizenship, the bill would encourage more people than ever to make it across the border. This faster green card process for children will encourage parents to take their small kids on the dangerous journey on which hundreds of migrants can die each year.

Biden will divide the country with this new bill. Even Americans who want a pathway to citizenship for some illegal immigrants think that we have to secure the border and address the economy first. Giving millions of illegal immigrants access to our shaky labor market and social welfare programs is the wrong move amid the pandemic. Biden seems to have his priorities backwards, and this should be evident to those on both sides of the aisle. Americans want an open economy but not open borders.

Jessica Anderson is the executive director of Heritage Action for America.