Ilhan Omar accused the Biden team of not following through with their “core campaign promise” after the team admitted that it would not be rolling back Trump’s immigration policies, according to Fox News.
Susan Rice and Jake Sullivan say that changes to the U.S. immigration system would “take time” and migrants should not expect the border to be “fully open” right away.
“This is a classic bait and switch,” Omar said. “It perpetuates Trump’s dehumanization of migrants and breaks a core campaign promise. Democrats lose big when administrations won’t fulfill their promise. I urge the Biden transition team to reconsider this position.”
“We will be able to take some steps to change policies right away,” Rice had said. “Others will take time to put in place, and the situation at the border will not transform overnight due in large part to the damage done over the last four years. But we are committed to addressing it in full.”
“Migrants and asylum seekers absolutely should not believe those in the region peddling the idea that the border will suddenly be fully open to process everyone on Day 1. It will not,” Rice said.
“Our priority is to reopen asylum processing at the border consistent with the capacity to do so safely and to protect public health, especially in the context of Covid-19,” Rice said. “This effort will begin immediately, but it will take months to develop the capacity that we will need to reopen fully.”
“MPP has been a disaster from the start and has led to a humanitarian crisis in northern Mexico,” Sullivan said. “But putting the new policy into practice will take time.”
“We need legislative changes to make enduring repairs to our immigration system, and the president-elect will share his vision with Congress,” Rice said. “He is committed to working collaboratively with members of Congress to achieve the needed reform that has long eluded the country.”
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Specifically, Biden had promised in January to end the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) on “day one” of his administration. But Rice said Biden will not immediately end the practice of “expelling” migrants to Mexico, citing public health concerns. The practice was installed by the Trump administration in March. Homeland Security officials say it is needed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in detention centers.
AS BORDER NUMBERS INCREASE, CBP CHIEF SAYS US FACES ‘FULL-BLOWN CRISIS’ IF TRUMP-ERA POLICIES END
That policy, known as the “Remain-in-Mexico” policy, has been the cornerstone of the Trump administration’s efforts to end “catch and release” – the term officials used to described migrants being released into the interior to await their immigration hearings.
More than 60,000 migrants have been returned to Mexico under MPP until their hearings are held in tent courts right at the border. Critics have called the policy cruel and one that leaves migrants in danger in Mexico.