“If I’m elected president, we’re going to immediately end Trump’s assault on the dignity of immigrant communities. We’re going to restore our moral standing in the world and our historic role as a safe haven for refugees and asylum-seekers.”
Joe Biden’s DNC Acceptance Speech
The dignity of immigrants. Do we even know what that means anymore?
For four years we were served up daily images of kids in cages. Very real people fleeing very real agony were used by politically motivated columnists and commentators as props in America’s never-ending presidential campaign season. Those who view the lives of immigrants and asylum-seekers as equal to their own were understandably burdened by these images and stories, and understandably motivated to vote for a change.
In setting himself as the complete opposite to Donald Trump, then candidate Joe Biden made immigration, and more specifically the reversal of all Trump-era immigration policies, a beacon of his campaign. Of course his decades in Congress and eight years as Vice President provided plenty of reasons for concern to anyone who took an honest look at Biden’s history. And many did. At a 2019 campaign rally in South Carolina, an immigration advocate who had previously volunteered for Barack Obama expressed how disheartened he was that during the eight years of Obama’s presidency, “there were 3 million people that were deported and separated from their families.” Without letting the speaker even finish his question, Biden brushed off this deeply concerned voter by responding, “You should vote for Trump.” It seemed Joe knew he had no defense to make.
Still, the campaign continued, and the promises persisted. “Not another mile of border wall.” “No more separating families.” “No more prolonged detentions.” “No more deportations of peaceable, hardworking migrants.”
Where are we now? More than one hundred days of Biden’s presidency has done precious little for the “dignity of immigrants.” Images of detained children and desperate families are not as prevalent in our daily lives as they were for so long, but that does not mean they are not there — simply that they are not politically useful at this time to those who needed them before. Now however, it is Republican members of Congress and right-wing TV hosts who want you to see the current state of these detention centers. Sure these are the same people who cheered then president Trump when he pompously proclaimed, “We don’t want ’em here. We want ’em outside. We got sued all over the place, and we won. So now they don’t come into the United States. They can wait outside.” It is not for any care of dignity or humanity that the Right is now shrieking about our collective immigration failures. It is simply, as it was to the Left, a means to tear down their opposition.
What of Biden’s promises? Have any been kept? Are things even slowly getting better? Under the Biden Administration, eminent domain lawsuits have continued as the Federal government seeks to seize private property for a border wall. According to the Texas Civil Rights Project, there are still more than 140 active eminent domain cases. The policy of “separating families” is technically no more, however the new guidance did not forbid this practice. It simply told prosecutors to “use their discretion.”
Avenues for legal immigration have remained so blocked up that those attempting to seek asylum still must break Federal law by entering the country secretly and then finding an agent to ask for legal asylum. Desperate parents on one side of the border are told if they accompany their children across they will be immediately sent back. Deprived of any other option, they send their children alone. The current bureaucratic system was not built to speedily find relatives or caregivers for these children, so yes, there are still many kids in cages in the Land of the Free. And deportations? United We Dream is an immigrant youth-led organization that tracks deportations as well as accusations of abuse within the system. Since President Biden took office they have reported more than 484,000 deportations.
In October 2020 Joe Biden said the state of our immigration crisis, “violates every notion of who we are as a nation.” That was true then. It is true now.
It is not news to any long-time member of the Party of Principle that libertarianism falls on the side of dignity and humanity. Democrats and Republicans have plenty keeping them from simply getting out of the way of peaceful people looking for a better life. From political rhetoric to deep-seeded prejudices to the influence of powerful donor groups, the parties’ desire to gain or remain in power will always guide their policies.
Your Libertarian Party is unafraid to fight for individual liberty, no matter where that individual was born. Join with us as we work for Libertad en nuestra vida.