Trump administration enacted tough rules and regulations, and hiked immigration fees in a bid to restrict foreigners, including tourists and immigrants, from entering or living in the US. Trump further introduced a ban on the H-2B visa, amongst others, locking out many potential immigrants looking for seasonal work. The current administration is on the course of reviewing those rules, regulations and fees to render them friendly, and employers are able to view a visa compliance guide to ensure they are compliant with the rules around the H-2B visa while still allowing immigrants seasonal employment.
The Southern Border
Biden’s crucial efforts, however, could end in vain if the emerging immigration crisis witnessed on the United States’ southern border persists. Over recent years, large numbers of Central Americans have attempted to cross the US border to seek asylum. Before arriving at a sensible policy, the Trump administration initially applied ruthless tactics, including alienating children from their parents. In an effort to cut down the number of people seeking refuge in the US, the Trump government opted to stop the admission of new asylum seekers at the southern border. This prompted immigrants to wait a long time at the border for their cases to be settled. The Trump administration successfully negotiated agreements that permitted the United States to deport people back to Central America to seek refuge in the neighboring counties instead of in the US.
Biden’s reversal of Trump’s egregious policies with more generous ones has resulted in a surge in the number of immigrants seeking to enter the US. According to the latest immigration reports, close to 180,000 people found their way to the southern border or attempted to enter unlawfully in 2021, doubling the number in the first two months of 2020. The number is projected to surge as it gets warmer. Already, officials at the border are getting overwhelmed by the rise in numbers. Biden’s move to exempt solitary children has contributed to the surge in the number of unaccompanied children arriving at the border. Federal authorities are currently working to find places to house over 3,500 children roaming at border patrol stations, and are even looking for an unoccupied space at an airfield or military base.
Outdated Asylum System
The reality is that the asylum system is unmanageable. The idea of asylum was first actualized after World War II, when the US government came up with a separate route to enter the country for those who felt insecure in their home countries due to their political or religious beliefs. This moral idea was invented following the refusal by the United States to admit Jews in the 1930s. It was applied moderately for decades, mostly to instances involving severe discrimination. However, most people crossing the southern border are generally traditional migrants, running away from poverty and civil wars.
Trump has already begun to identify a weakness or vulnerability in how the Biden administration is handling the immigration issue. The promise to tackle illegal immigration, to a great extent, contributed to Donald Trump’s election in 2016. In February, Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference lashed out at the Biden administration for facilitating massive unlawful immigration into the country, which has never been witnessed before. Recently, he issued another statement alleging that most of the immigrants were lawbreakers and covid transmitters.
The tribulations surrounding the border coupled with Trump’s resistance could derail Biden’s efforts to realize an all-inclusive reform of the entire system. Asylum seekers form a small fraction of immigrants. Nonetheless, many immigrants possess skills that the United States requires, while the rest are those seeking to reunite with their families. The Trump policies subjected the immigrants to a more unfavorable environment than any other administration since the United States abolished quotas in 1965.
Immigration to the US has hiked to levels not witnessed in the last four decades. Some immigrants are preferring to go to more friendly countries like Canada and Australia. Census data reveals that lack of immigration would cause the country a devastating demographic future. It would translate to fewer people, particularly young people, which would result in minimal growth, dynamism, and opportunities for everyone. The immigration crisis experienced at the southern border is a lesser concern compared to this.