Biden says ‘Dreamers’ should immediately be made citizens in immigration plan


Posted on: June 24th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Sean Rayford/Getty Images(MIAMI) — Ahead of the debates in Miami this week, former vice present Joe Biden released his immigration policy plan in a Miami Herald op-ed.

In the op-ed, Biden lays out in broad strokes his immigration priorities — starting with granting immediate citizenship to undocumented immigrants brought by their parents to the U.S. when they were children.

“DREAMers are Americans, and Congress needs to make it official. The millions of undocumented people in the United States can only be brought out of the shadows through fair treatment, not ugly threats,” Biden writes.

Biden’s op-ed does not speak specifically about citizenship for others illegally in the U.S., but does calls for improvements to the asylum process, as the U.S. has seen a surge in asylum-seekers at the border.

He also cites recent news reports prompting widespread outrage.

“Under Trump, there have been horrifying scenes at the border of kids being kept in cages, tear gassing asylum seekers, ripping children from their mothers’ arms—actions that subvert our American values and erode our ability to lead on the global stage,” he writes.

Biden also hits the current administration’s attempts to do away with Temporary Protected Status for some, which protects individuals who cannot return to their home country due to temporary dangerous conditions, and prevents them form detained by Department of Homeland Security on the basis of their immigration status.

“Trump’s efforts to repeal Temporary Protected Status (TPS) across the board have injected unnecessary uncertainty into the lives of thousands of families. Our asylum system needs to be improved, but the answer is to streamline and strengthen it so that it benefits legitimate claims of those fleeing persecution, while reducing potential for abuse,” Biden writes.

Biden’s plan also calls for “improving screening procedures at our legal ports of entry and make smart investments in border technology,” and “addressing the root cause of immigration by improving security, reducing inequality, and expanding economic opportunity in Central America.”

Biden’s plan would take on the U.S. approach to foreign policy in the region, calling the Trump administration’s Latin America policies at beast “a Cold War-era retread and, at worst, an ineffective mess.”

“Rather than standing with our partners in the region to take on corruption, transnational criminal groups, climate change and threats to democracy and the rule of law, Trump’s wrong-headed policies are leading us astray at every turn,” Biden writes.

Biden’s op-ed lays out the larger points in the former vice president’s immigration plans, it does not speak to the specifics of he proposes to do so. The Biden campaign told ABC News more details on the full policy would be forthcoming.

Biden also takes direct aim at the Trump administration’s handling of immigration — continuing to pit himself against President Trump rather than his 2020 competitors.

“It’s clear Donald Trump is only interested in using his policies to assault the dignity of the Latinx community and scare voters to turn out on election day, not addressing the real challenges facing our hemisphere,” Biden says, in the first paragraph of the piece.

Biden has spoken about the president’s previous family separation policy often while on the trail, saying “This is not who we are…this is not America.”

“Under Trump, there have been horrifying scenes at the border of kids being kept in cages, tear gassing asylum seekers, ripping children from their mothers’ arms—actions that subvert our American values and erode our ability to lead on the global stage,” Biden writes.

Biden also released a version of the piece in Spanish as well in El Nuevo Herald Monday.

Biden has hinted that he may be making a trip to a detention facility while in Florida this week. During an event earlier this month in Concord, New Hampshire, Biden was asked by an audience member if he would bring the press to visit a facility in Homestead, Florida while in the state for the debate. Biden said his campaign was already working on setting that up. The campaign declined to comment about such a visit when asked by ABC News.

Former congressman Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, has already announced plans to visit the Homestead facility on Thursday.

Some of Biden’s fellow 2020 candidates, including former Obama cabinet Secretary Julian Castro, Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Washington and O’Rourke have also released their immigration plans. All call for a pathway to citizenship for immigrants illegally in the United States.

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