The number of immigrants entering the United States is reaching record highs and President Joe Biden has been faced with the task of managing the influx in a way that is both human and secure. President Biden has made it a priority to restore integrity to the immigration system while also allowing asylum seekers to apply in the U.S. or Canada. While he is praised for his humanitarian approach, his record border crossings may pose a risk as he looks to the 2024 election.
The number of people trying to cross the southwestern border illegally has hit a 20 year high, with over 178,000 apprehensions in March 2021 alone. Experts believe that more individuals are making the dangerous journey due to the harder enforcement policies against immigrants during the Trump administration, as well as instability and poverty in migrant countries. Despite President Biden’s reversal of these policies, unaccompanied minors continue to cross the border in large numbers while migrant’s wait in Mexico for their turn to enter the U.S. Biden’s decision to end the Trump-era policies led to his approval of FEMA camps for interim housing and debunking of “Remain in Mexico” policy.
The Biden administration is also facing pressure from Democrats and Republicans over the handling of the border crisis. While many on both sides of the aisle recognize the challenges posed by the influx of people, their opinion splits when it comes to how to address the issues. On the one hand, there are those who want to reconfigure the way asylum holds are processed through expediting the establishment of a legal path to coming the United States. Others demand that Biden take a firmer stance by increasing border security and combatting organized crime.
The impacts of Biden’s immigration policies are expected to be felt in the 2024 election. Opponents can argue that Biden’s open borders policy is responsible for the record numbers of illegal immigration and can ticket it to an ineffective deterrence of illegal border crossings. On the other hand, Biden’s supporters can point to his administration’s approach that is more humane and considers the plight of those looking to come to America in search of hope and safety.
President Joe Biden is no stranger to the immigration debate. While he has gone against popular opinion by pursing an approach that balances both security and human rights, his record border crossings may be a burden he carries into the 2024 election. His policies will be judged in the public eye, so it’s up to Biden to establish a balance between security and human rights, as well as to showcase how his approach can provide positive long-term results.