Media Outlets Attribute Migrant Caravans And Increased Asylum Seekers To Biden’s Immigration Proposals

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Kaylee Greenlee Immigration and Extremism Reporter
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  • Media outlets have been reporting since December that President Joe Biden’s proposed immigration and asylum policies could be interpreted as relaxed leading to an increase in migrants seeking refuge in the U.S.
  • The Bloomberg editorial board cautioned Biden against using messaging that suggested open borders.
  • The Washington Post editorial board called Trump’s immigration policy terrifying and threatening to migrants, and Biden’s proposed policy as “compassionate, rational and aligned.” 
  • The New York Post board accused the left of “irrationally” hating everything Trump did, even when it was successful. 

Media outlets have been reporting since December that President Joe Biden’s proposed immigration and asylum policies could be interpreted as relaxed leading to an increase in migrants seeking refuge in the U.S.

Caravans of migrants have organized through messaging apps in Central America, where some members reminded the group not to arrive at the border before Biden took the White House Jan. 20 because “they’ll have problems” if they were to arrive before former President Donald Trump left office, Reuters reported in December.

Reuters reported that a migrant caravan “could create an early crisis” for the Biden administration as it moves to “roll back the harsh policies” of the Trump administration.

Around 7,000 migrants are estimated to have traveled with a caravan from Honduras before they were stopped by Guatemalan law enforcement officials in riot gear, NPR reported Jan. 18. NPR suggests that migration won’t stop with this caravan and that other migrants are already waiting at the border because they see the Biden administration’s immigration and asylum policies as relaxed.

Other migrants “may view the change in administration in Washington as an opportunity to try to enter,” NPR reported. (RELATED: Joe Biden Unveils Immigration Platform, Acknowledges ‘Pain’ Of Deportations During Obama Era)

A Honduran migrant said that he “just want[s] patience and prayers that we can get to the U.S. because they’re having a new president whereas Biden, he’s going to help all of us,” The Hill reported on Jan. 18. The migrant added that Biden is “giving us 100 days to get to the U.S.”

Biden’s win could potentially “inspire a surge of migrants hopeful that his administration will significantly relax migration policy, making it easier for them to get into the country,” The New York Times reported on Jan.  17.

Biden’s potentially “far-reaching legislation” proposal would reinstate refugee and asylum programs done away with by the Trump administration, The Times reported. His plans include allocating more funding for federal aid to Central America and easier access to work for migrants. 

The Los Angeles Times referred to Biden’s plan to allow a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants as a “controversial centerpiece” of how he wants to reform immigration policy on Jan. 15.

The Bloomberg editorial board advised the Biden administration to learn from the mistakes of both the Obama and Trump administrations in a Dec. 31 editorial. The board warned against any messaging by the Biden administration that might suggest open borders, and suggested reviewing Trump’s agreements with other countries to allow for asylum requests to be heard instead of letting refugees into the U.S.

Bloomberg added that Trump’s rhetoric “shamed the nation” and that Biden likely won’t be able to make a total U-turn on immigration policy without suggesting relaxed laws.

The Washington Post editorial board said on Dec. 24 that President Donald Trump’s policies were designed to “terrify, threaten and deter migrants” from coming to the U.S. and referred to Biden’s proposed immigration policies as “compassionate, rational and aligned.”

The Washington Post also said that Biden will have to avoid causing a humanitarian crisis at the southern border since changes in policy could be perceived as more relaxed thus encouraging migrants to cross the border illegally.

Migrants impacted by natural and economic disasters in Central America considered making the journey, many for the second time, to the U.S. border because Biden said he intended on reforming immigration policy to relax some restrictions, Reuters reported Dec. 15.

The New York Post editorial board said Dec. 1 that the “left irrationally hates everything President Trump did, even when it was successful,” adding that Biden’s proposed policies will cause a border crisis similar to the one experienced during the Obama administration and may bring back the “deporter in chief” nickname earned by former President Barack Obama.

The New York Post described Obama-era policies as a “horror” where families were separated and put in “cages” and illegal immigrants typically ended up being released into the interior of the country. Biden’s proposed policies, such as ending the program allowing migrants to stay in Mexico while their claims process, are to satisfy the “extremists” in the party, according to the New York Post editorial board.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a Thursday press conference that Biden’s immigration reform proposal includes a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country and funding for “smart security,” because focusing on a wall has not worked in keeping “bad actors” out.

Colby McCoy contributed to this report.

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