Biden’s Immigrant Plan is Cruel and Inhumane

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Ted Eytan

Joe Biden makes a speech during the Human Rights Campaign in Los Angeles in 2012. His speech centered around equality but was not reflected on the immigrant policies. Photo courtesy of Ted Eytan.

Sarah Wollney, Reporter

Many immigrants look at the U.S. as a safe country with opportunities to build a better life for themselves and their children. However, with the immigration system becoming more and more backlogged with millions of green card applications, many still have no chance to enter legally.

The immigration systems backlog consisted of roughly 6.2 million in 2009 and had begun decreasing for a short time before rising again. In 2021, it hit nine million. The system is only now processing green cards for children of U.S. citizens filed in 2010. While President Biden is not entirely to blame for these numbers, his handling of the situation has been inadequate.

Another reason for the increase in numbers is the humanitarian crisis in Haiti. Haitian immigrants have fled their home country due to its economic state. Many of these people have been on the move for years, some having walked to the southern border from South America. At the border camp, pictures were taken of some border patrol officers using horse reins as whips against the migrants, and claims that they were abused when they were deported were made. Other migrants were granted asylum and given an ankle monitor, then told to return to the border within 60 days. Many more migrants, including families and children, were sent back to Haiti under Title 42, a clause allowing the government to prevent certain people from entering the U.S. during a health crisis. This resulted in Mexico flying immigrants back to improve relations with the U.S. Using Title 42 to deport them is inhumane, and while Biden called for a better immigration system, sending them back to Haiti does not support that idea.

Biden chose to deport the migrants under Title 42, a law initially passed by former President Donald Trump. Migration officers are handing migrants $15 to $100 in cash, then sending them on their way back to Haiti, many of whom have not been there in decades. While many advocate for Biden, it’s clear we could do a lot better. The U.S. Agency for International Development has given the International Organization for Migration $5.5 million to help deported Haitian. However, with over 4,000 Haitians deported in the last nine days alone, we can expect individual Haitians will not receive enough money to support themselves. Plus, most places in Haiti have no access to clean water, electricity, or a way to remove their garbage. After promising to treat immigrants and migrants better than the previous president, sending them back to Haiti is cruel and doesn’t fit his agenda.

After images went viral of border patrol agents beating the migrants with a whip on horseback, many called for more humane treatment of the Haitians. Biden has denounced their actions and stated that a federal investigation was opened.

“It’s beyond an embarrassment. It’s dangerous. It’s wrong,” Biden said in a speech. “It sends the wrong message around the world. It sends the wrong message at home. It’s simply not who we are. I [fully] take responsibility.”

While we can’t expect an immediate fix for the humanitarian crisis, the U.S. has enough resources and money to offer more help than it is currently offering. Instead of deporting the immigrants and giving them a small sum of money, the U.S. needs to be more lenient with their policies by allowing immigrants with children to stay in the U.S. or even bringing the United Nations in to help.