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Biden Will Push Immigration Policy In Congressional Address: Report

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Kaylee Greenlee Immigration and Extremism Reporter
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President Joe Biden is expected to emphasize targeted immigration policies with historical bipartisan support at his first congressional address, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Biden will reportedly ask Congress to pass proposed immigration legislation to provide funding for security upgrades at the border and citizenship opportunities for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., an administration official who requested anonymity reportedly told the Post.

Republicans have criticized Biden’s response to the migrant surge at the southern border, while Democrats are frustrated with the refugee cap, the Post reported. Biden planned to raise former President Donald Trump’s refugee cap of 15,000 to 125,000, though around 15,000 will be admitted this year due to “humanitarian concerns,” the Associated Press reported.

Biden sent an immigration bill to Congress on his first day in office, but the administration’s infrastructure proposal and COVID-19 relief bill were prioritized, the Post reported. (RELATED: Biden’s Pick To Lead ICE Didn’t Like Reporting Illegal Immigrants To Feds)

At least 10 Senate Republicans would have to vote in favor of the Biden administration’s comprehensive immigration bill for it to pass, the Post reported. Biden will focus on specific elements of his wider immigration reform bill, which have garnered GOP support historically.

The American Dream and Promise Act passed the House with support from nine Republicans, while 30 Republicans voted for the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, the Post reported. Biden will reportedly highlight immigrant’s role in supporting the economy for unconvinced Republican lawmakers, the administration official told the Post.

Biden has completed seven of his 17 immigration-related campaign promises including ending a Trump-era Muslim travel ban, stopping the deportation of some migrants and working to reunite separated families, the AP reported. The administration sent humanitarian resources to the southern border as the number of migrants arriving from mostly Central American countries continued to increase.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials encountered over 172,000 migrants including nearly 19,000 unaccompanied minors in March and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said officials are expected to encounter more migrants in 2021 than in the last 20 years.

The administration ended Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols requiring migrants to remain in Mexico as their asylum cases were processed and allowed some of the group to enter the U.S., the AP reported. Public health order Title 42 allowing for the rapid expulsion of migrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic was lifted for unaccompanied migrant minors who are taken into federal custody upon apprehension.

The Department of Health and Human Services reported around 22,100 unaccompanied migrant minors were in custody as of Tuesday and another 1,135 were in CBP facilities.

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