EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – With a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, all that President Joe Biden and his party’s leadership need to bring about immigration reform this year is political will, migrant advocates said on Friday.
And if they don’t do it now, the voters that got them elected two years ago will remember that at the ballot box come primary season and in November, some activists say.
“On day 1, President Biden introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act, but without a clear legislative strategy to secure success, one year later (it) remains a promise unfulfilled,” said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights.
Salas and other advocates who joined a national press call on Friday give Biden credit for quickly changing the hostile rhetoric toward migrants that characterized the Trump administration. But they said Biden has been slow to follow words with action.
“While President Biden has made progress on some commitments, he has yet to deliver on his most urgent promises, including immigration reform, a path to citizenship that begins with ‘green cards.’ We are also still waiting for an end to for-profit detention and the rebuilding of an asylum system for those fleeing danger in their home countries,” Salas said. “We deserve better.”
The mounting pressure from progressives and organizations that long have seen Democrats as a natural ally is consistent with polls showing Biden at his lowest popularity since taking office. While the general public is frustrated with rising consumer prices and the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, Latino and civil rights groups are disappointed with his mixed messages on immigration.
Marielena Hincapie said she remembers the expectations raised by the Democratic victory in 2020 to which the minority vote contributed heavily.
By Julian Resendiz for BORDER REPORT
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