Sen. Kamala Harris of California promised that a Joe Biden administration would rescind President Donald Trump’s travel ban directed at foreign nationals from countries considered to pose a security threat.
Harris also said Biden, as president, would reinstate the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program, which allows the children of illegal immigrants to remain in the United States.
“These last four years have been heartbreaking and difficult ones,” the Democratic senator said in a recorded address to this week’s virtual National Immigrant Integration Conference. “Children have been separated from their families. Those fleeing persecution have been denied the ability to even apply for refuge.”
She vowed that in a Biden administration’s “first 100 days, we will send an immigration bill to Congress, reinstate DACA, repeal harmful and discriminatory policies like the Muslim ban.
“And during our administration, we will repeal indiscriminate enforcement policies that tear families apart and make us less safe.”
For the record, Trump did not impose a “Muslim ban”: The executive orders did not even impact most Muslim majority countries.
The original 2017 ban included Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, Venezuela and North Korea.
Chad has since come off the list, while Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania have been added.
These are countries that either export terror, are known to harbor ill will toward the U.S. or lack a government functioning to the point that our State Department can safely vet foreign nationals from them.
The ban is not absolute, but the restrictions are significantly greater.
It seems like a wise policy, and the Trump years have been characterized by very few terror incidents on U.S. soil compared with the previous two administrations.
The Supreme Court upheld the ban, noting that relevant federal law gave the president “ample power” to impose restrictions on who enters the country based on security concerns or other factors.
Also for the record, children were “separated from their families” when Biden was serving as vice president in the administration of President Barack Obama.
As to DACA, notice that Harris said a Biden administration would “reinstate DACA” and send an immigration bill to Congress.
In 2010, President Barack Obama conceded he did not have the legal authority to change immigration law, but he did so anyway.
“I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself. We have a system of government that requires the Congress to work with the executive branch to make it happen,” Obama said when asked about the topic during a Univision interview.
As a side note, the Democrats held both houses of Congress — including a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate — during Obama’s first two years in office yet did nothing to address immigration despite calls from Hispanic leaders to do so.
When Obama enacted DACA in 2012 during the heat of his re-election campaign, he described the program as “a temporary stopgap measure.”
And here we are eight years and many court cases later with the program still alive and now likely to grow significantly.
One thing seems clear: If Trump’s election legal challenges fall short and Biden and Harris take the reins of power next month, we can expect an America that is less secure and a government that is more lawless.
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