Welcome to the Dashboard, !

Close dashboard icon
LibreOrganize 0.6.0 - Documentation

Biden and Trump: The Enduring US Policy on Migration

US President Joseph Biden, shortly after issuing a new US policy on immigration, traveled to Mexico January 9 to finally meet with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Biden stopped on his way to visit El Paso, at the border with Ciudad Juarez, and the US mainstream media gave a great deal of attention to both that visit and the meeting with AMLO, where migration would be a key topic.

Biden has been under relentless pressure from racist right-wing Republicans like Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for not closing the border completely as well as for refusing to continue constructing Donald Trump’s infamous border wall and pursuing a legal process that allows only a tiny percentage of refugees to apply for asylum in the United States.

The short story here: Biden has essentially given in to Republican political pressure on the immigration front. He has decided to continue the Trump policies that deport asylum seekers to México and force those who haven’t yet entered the US to apply for asylum to “wait in México.”  


The US now allows 30,000 refugees per month from Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela, and Nicaragua to apply for asylum, but these refugees must do so from México. But what about the thousands of Central Americans who need asylum? Their stories don’t fit tidily into the narrative that only leftist governments are creating the asylum problems.


Our media also ignore the US policies that have forced people from Haiti, Cuba, and Venezuela to leave home in the first place. With Cuba and Venezuela, the US economic embargoes have slammed the economies of the two nations. In the case of Haiti, US complicity in the 1991 coup that ousted progressive President Jean Bertrand Aristide led to a return of a brutal and corrupt oligarchy and perpetual instability. 


In the case of Nicaragua, President Daniel Ortega’s repression of dissidents — including Ortega’s former Sandinista and leftist allies — are forcing people to flee that nation. The US is using Nicaragua as an example of what happens when Latin American countries elect a “left-wing” government, but Ortega has long abandoned any pretext of being progressive or in any way “left.” 


AMLO has decided to go along with these policies set by Colossus of the North.


Compromises, of course, always reflect power dynamics, and the US still remains our world’s Superpower. Even so, Mexicanos and Chicanos in the US — groups that see immigration as a huge concern — had hoped that any new Mexican compromises would result in some US concessions. But the current migration negotiations will only result in an increased militarization of both sides of the border, further misery for millions of migrants, and a huge economic burden on México.  


Did Biden learn anything from visiting the border? Did it increase his understanding or compassion? Trump, Biden, no change: The US continues to dodge responsibility and shift the blame onto left-wing governments real or imagined — and put the burden of dealing with the escalating number of migrants on México’s back. 

Bill Gallegos, a veteran Chicano
liberation activist, environmental
justice leader, and revolutionary
socialist, has a lot to howl about.