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Erasing the Line: Episodes from the Biden Immigration Saga

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President Joe Biden made clear throughout the 2020 election that his administration would abandon the aggressive Trump-era immigration policy on Day One.

A series of Jan. 20 executives actions ensured that mission got off to a steady start and, unphased by the stunning migrant surge that followed, Biden has proceeded full steam ahead, laying out the long-awaited “pathway to citizenship” in an immigration plan that experts argue would “erase the line” between legal and illegal immigration.

Here’s our running look at the Democratic campaign to do just that:

Episode 1: The Promised Plan

Migrants climb a metal wall on the border
A group of Central American migrants — mostly Hondurans — climbs the border fence between Mexico and the United States, near El Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Baja California State, Mexico, on Nov. 25, 2018. (Pedro Pardo / AFP – Getty Images)
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Biden fulfills his end of the bargain, making good on immigration “reform” promises to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

Rolled out on Feb. 18, the White House plan for comprehensive immigration reform includes the proliferation of work visas, the expansion of chain migration, the introduction of more “inclusive” legal language and an eight-year amnesty track that could naturalize nearly all of the 11 to 22 million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States.

Episode 2: Doubts and Delays on the Hill

Biden addresses the media
Then-presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to the media at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Construction and Maintenance conference on April 5, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images)

House Democratic leadership pumps the brakes, with certain members reportedly viewing the Biden immigration plan as radical and unready.

Celebrated by hardline progressives, the legislative package suffers low support in early Democratic attempts to whip the vote, leaving some to believe the bill would die on the House floor — a reality freshman Utah Republican Rep. Burgess Owens confirmed, telling The Western Journal “even some Democrats” had refused to get on board.

Episode 3: Political Opportunity, Human Cost

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A detained migrant stands behind facility doors.
A man stands in a holding cell at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility for illegal immigrants in Florence, Arizona, on July 30, 2010. (John Moore / Getty Images)

The human cost of Biden’s immigration rhetoric comes to light, as reports surface revealing capacity and living standard violations in the migrant detention system.

Despite slamming the Trump administration for its aggressive border agenda, the promise of “fair and humane” treatment of migrants in U.S. custody remains elusive, with one facility in Donna, Texas, suffering at 729 percent capacity. The rising tides do little to move Biden toward a crisis declaration, however, with the prospect of congressional immigration “reform” apparently too great an opportunity to squander.

Episode 4: All the Makings of a Crisis

Mexican migrants arrive at a U.S. port of entry.
A caravan of Central Americans walk from Mexico to the U.S. side of the border to ask for asylum on April 29, 2018, in Tijuana, Baja California Norte, Mexico. (David McNew / Getty Images)

Biden and his cabinet continue to deny the crisis, facing down a detention facility scandal and near-record influx in border apprehensions behind the scenes.

With experts quick to correct the record, The Western Journal takes a deep dive into 200 years of rocky history at the U.S.-Mexico border, analyzing the inconsistent policies that laid the groundwork for a modern migration crisis. A prominent immigration official from the Trump era also weighs in on the “patchwork” necessary to fix the broken U.S. immigration system going forward.

Continued Crisis and Congressional Grappling

With America waking up to a major surge in apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months, widespread calls for a crisis declaration from the Biden administration continue to mount.

As the president weighs his options and legislative grappling proceeds on Capitol Hill, The Western Journal will continue its in-depth reporting on a moment that may define the next four years.

  • We will update this index with every chapter in the Biden immigration saga.
  • Catch our commentary and coverage of further developments on “WJ Live.”

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Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosted the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.




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