"Unconscionable"
April 16, 2021 2:10 PM   Subscribe

Biden keeps Trump’s record-low cap on refugeesPresident Joe Biden on Friday stuck with his predecessor’s historically low cap of 15,000 refugees for this year and instead moved to accelerate admissions, triggering an outcry from resettlement agencies and even Biden allies that he was backpedaling on a key promise.

Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07): Jayapal Statement on Biden Decision to Maintain Trump’s Cruel, Xenophobic Refugee Cap
“It is simply unacceptable and unconscionable that the Biden Administration is not immediately repealing Donald Trump’s harmful, xenophobic, and racist refugee cap that cruelly restricts refugee admissions to a historically low level. After four painful years of fighting Trump’s all-out draconian assault on immigrants, President Biden promised to restore America as a beacon of hope and committed to increasing our refugee resettlement numbers. By failing to sign an Emergency Presidential Determination to lift Trump’s historically low refugee cap, President Biden has broken his promise to restore our humanity. We cannot turn our back on refugees around the world, including hundreds of refugees who have already been cleared for resettlement, have sold their belongings, and are ready to board flights.

“While this administration inherited a broken immigration system that was gutted and sabotaged by the previous president, it is on all of us to fix it — quickly. A critical step to doing so is reversing the attack on the refugee resettlement program. I appreciate that President Biden eliminated geographic allocations but this is not sufficient. Each day that passes without signing the Emergency Presidential Determination is another day of signing off on Trump’s cruel policies. President Biden must raise the cap, restore regional allocations, and resume resettlement based on vulnerability.”
Catherine Rampell, Washington Post: Opinion: Biden can easily lift the refugee ceiling. So why hasn’t he?
As it happens, foot-dragging in issuing a “presidential determination” is the same stunt that Trump pulled in 2019 and 2020, when he also wanted to wriggle out of a public commitment on immigration.

“Biden has been saying all the right things, but looking at his actions, when it comes to refugee resettlement, nothing has changed since the Trump administration,” said Mark Hetfield, president and chief executive officer of the refugee resettlement agency HIAS. “Nothing.”

So far, the White House has offered no explanation for Biden’s delay. When I asked, a spokesperson sent me a content-free statement: “The President is committed to strengthening the operations of the United States Refugee Admissions Program. While no firm numbers have been finalized, the President’s view is clear: This program will reflect the generosity and core values of the United States, while benefiting from the many contributions that refugees make to our country.”
Scott Lemieux, LGM: Biden breaks promise on refugee admissions
I have no doubt that Miller and the rest of the Nazi faction of the Trump administration has created administrative obstacles. But that’s still not a good reason to preemptively refuse to even try to admit more refugees than Trump’s historically low limits, and the fact that Biden’s explanation is an incoherent non-sequitur doesn’t incline me to think that it’s logistically impossible to raise the cap.

Biden has learned from some of Obama’s mistakes, but here like Obama he seems to think that preemptive concessions to the right on immigration will help him politically. Not only is the policy bad on the merits but this will probably gain him exactly as much politically as it did Obama (i.e. nothing.)
posted by tonycpsu (45 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 


Adam Serwer, writing for The Atlantic:
I asked the White House to explain what logistical barriers might prevent the refugee cap from being lifted, and why hundreds of already vetted refugees are being blocked from resettlement. Instead of offering specifics, an administration spokesperson reiterated prior public statements about the Trump administration breaking the refugee-admissions process and Biden officials’ promises to fix it. Officials told CNN that Biden fears the “optics” of accepting refugees while the administration faces dubious accusations of being responsible for an influx of migrants at the border.

Restoring “the soul of the nation” cannot mean simply unseating Trump. It also has to mean reversing the policies his administration put in place in an attempt to codify into law his racial and sectarian conception of American citizenship. If Biden cannot do that, then he has restored little more than Democratic control of the presidency. And should he fail to rescind these policies simply because he fears criticism of those who enabled Trump’s cruelty to begin with, it will be nothing short of cowardice.
Chris Hayes puts it a little more bluntly:
All that Great Replacement propaganda worked! Congrats, all.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 2:25 PM on April 16 [22 favorites]


I really hope they do an about-face and walk this back quickly. As it is, it is disgusting and morally wrong to leave that restriction in place.
posted by Dip Flash at 2:37 PM on April 16 [13 favorites]


Surely this.
posted by chavenet at 2:38 PM on April 16 [10 favorites]


"Nothing would fundamentally change."

Where's the lie?

This can go right alongside the "increasing the tax rate to 28%" as if that's still not lower than it was in 2016.
posted by deadaluspark at 2:38 PM on April 16 [9 favorites]


lets not rush to judgement the shit-recently-announced-ever-so-different-from-ethnonationalism policy has to congeal into Received Liberal Wisdom That Can't Be Changed Because Thats Just The Way The World Works before we can do that mark my words watch the west wing reruns
posted by lalochezia at 2:44 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


Any refugee cap is unconscionable. (A genuine belief of mine.)

Ergo, there is no difference between two numbers for it. If you disagree, you're tacitly accepting incrementalism.

(Back to seriousness: this is really horrific.)
posted by InTheYear2017 at 2:52 PM on April 16 [17 favorites]


Seems like they're going to have a bunch of Afghan refugees later this year.
posted by ackptui at 2:52 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


Someone in another thread asked what our plan would be to make the Democratic Party change its ways, and I think holding their feet to the fire on conscious decisions to implement Trump policy definitely has to be a part of that.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:57 PM on April 16 [19 favorites]


Whoopsie! They've already walked it back and plan to raise the cap next month.
posted by zompist at 3:13 PM on April 16 [13 favorites]


Yeah, we're certainly going to need some higher refugee quota come September when Afghanistan explodes.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:26 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


It is worth noting that I expect poor decisions to come out of this Administration, but I also have seen that the Administration is amenable to listening and to change. Keep the criticism up, because this time it can help.
posted by tclark at 3:29 PM on April 16 [44 favorites]


One nontrivial possibility is that the frickity friggin NY Times just plain misreported in its haste to catch someone on a "broken promise", and the Biden lapse was in not keeping enough Dems in the loop to correct the record right-away. Or, more cynically and terribly, this was a trial balloon from the White House.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 3:40 PM on April 16 [14 favorites]


Where's the lie?

In the arms of fifty million vaccinated citizens.
posted by mhoye at 3:57 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


Wow. That was a quick fucking walkback. This administration is hearing the base. At least a little.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:10 PM on April 16 [6 favorites]


I thought the plan was to raise it next year because the infrastructure wasn't in place to support raising it yet? Or was that just Fake News?
posted by lock robster at 4:15 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I am not sure why, other than for optics, it would be a priority to raise the cap right now when, as I understand it, the infrastructure for actually admitting refugees is busted and there is a big backlog? Is there not a backlog?
posted by olykate at 4:21 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


Keeping the cap reprehensibly low isn't going to speed anything up. The more scarcity there is, the more of a crisis it becomes, and the bigger the backlog grows. I'm more familiar with the asylum system than the refugee process, but I imagine that, as with asylum, it's a lot easier to clear cases when you can simply admit people who deserve to be admitted.

The system was broken on purpose. We need to put it back together, and raising the cap is part of that.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 4:47 PM on April 16 [10 favorites]


One nontrivial possibility is that the frickity friggin NY Times just plain misreported in its haste to catch someone on a "broken promise", and the Biden lapse was in not keeping enough Dems in the loop to correct the record right-away.

Doubtful. One of the first people to publicly criticize the move was Dick Durbin, who is Senate Majority Whip and theoretically the 2nd most senior member of the leadership behind Schumer. It seems extremely unlikely that he would be left out of the loop, let alone go on the record about how messed up the proposal is if he did know. Also, immigration activists have been getting increasingly loud and angry over the administration dragging their feet on this and, as the CNN report notes, Congressional Democrats were getting the same non-answers and deflections as reporters were.

Or, more cynically and terribly, this was a trial balloon from the White House.

I don't see how it could have been anything else, considering the whining from WH officials about "optics" and the refusal to answer Serwer's question directly.

I am not sure why, other than for optics, it would be a priority to raise the cap right now when, as I understand it, the infrastructure for actually admitting refugees is busted and there is a big backlog? Is there not a backlog?

As noted in the NYT article, one of the reasons the WH explanation sounded so fishy is that the two problems are handled by entirely separate Departments (DHS/ICE and HHS/ACF).
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 4:57 PM on April 16 [8 favorites]


Yeah. Asylum is a process for people who made it onto US soil, e.g., people in the horrendous camps at the southern border. Asylum is not subject to the refugee cap and is processed through a separate system.

Meanwhile, 35,000 refugees living in camps overseas have already been approved for resettlement and are just waiting to be admitted to the US.

I'd like to think that if the refugee system worked better there would be fewer people risking life and limb to get here.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 5:04 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


Imagine all the affirmatively positive things they could be doing if they cared enough to fight for them, rather than being obsessed with bipartisanship and optics and getting us back to October 2016.
posted by Gadarene at 5:23 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


Sometimes I wonder if The Democrats general hesitation & focus on bipartisanship is something like "Mom, why do let dad talk to you like that?" "Well because if I didn't he would kill us." Like yes we COULD do a lot but they're literally scared of what crazy violent bullshit would follow. Same reason mayors cowtow to their police departments.
posted by bleep at 5:27 PM on April 16 [8 favorites]


Fundamentally, the Left wants to restrict immigration - Labor Unions represent the interests of their members, which is to reduce unemployment and increase wage growth, and the main way you do that is by restricting supply - reduce immigration, documented or undocumented. The Right wants to increase immigration and remove borders - rich capitalist owners of factories and businesses want to flood the economy with workers to reduce wage increases, and increase unemployment so they can offer less benefits and improve employee retention.

That's the "core" interests they represent - Labor vs Owners of Capital. However, how they market their parties differs completely - the Left want to portray themselves as compassionate and diverse, while the Right want to portray themselves as tough on policing and borders. So they'll publicly say one thing, but privately do the opposite.

My anecdotal source: have a friend in a multinational who works in the lobbying / relationships with political parties, and is responsible for forecasting availability of visas for bringing people into the country under different administrations.
posted by xdvesper at 5:32 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


The Right wants to increase immigration and remove borders
[citation-needed]
posted by schmod at 5:35 PM on April 16 [20 favorites]


Some of the most important work on behalf of immigration activism recently has been from major unions like SEIU. For that matter, unions (and whatever "The Left" means) have long had internal disagreements on immigration, the idea that they have and continue to speak with a single voice is preposterous. On the other hand, immigration restrictions on "The Right" have been nearly lockstep for decades now, to the point that the only real difference between the wingnuts and centrist "moderates" like David Frum is the degree of cruelty inflicted during deportation.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 5:45 PM on April 16 [16 favorites]


[citation-needed]

Yeah, if the right wants to increase immigration and remove borders they have a weird way of showing it given that they restrict immigration and vote to fortify the borders at every conceivable opportunity.

I think this is one of those cases where a multi-axis set of variables is being needlessly reduced down to one, and only one, thing: labor-vs-capital.
posted by Justinian at 5:50 PM on April 16 [14 favorites]


This whole thing feels off to me.

Like nearly everyone else here, I was pretty upset when I saw the original headlines, and figured that this was going to be one of the things we'd need to push back on the administration on.

But... they seemingly turned around and changed course 3 hours later? This isn't the sort of policy that any administration would revisit at the drop of the hat, nor is it the sort of thing where an administration would throw their hands up and cry "Oops, you got us!"

So what was it? A poorly communicated policy? A trial balloon gone wrong? Or did they really think they could deprioritize refugee issues?
posted by schmod at 5:54 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I honestly can’t quite parse the administration’s walk back language, but it seems like some of the disconnect has to do with commitments in the fiscal year versus calendar year. But I’m not sure about that.
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:10 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


One of the first people to publicly criticize the move was Dick Durbin, who is Senate Majority Whip and theoretically the 2nd most senior member of the leadership behind Schumer. It seems extremely unlikely that he would be left out of the loop, let alone go on the record about how messed up the proposal is if he did know. Also, immigration activists have been getting increasingly loud and angry over the administration dragging their feet on this and, as the CNN report notes, Congressional Democrats were getting the same non-answers and deflections as reporters were.

This is correct. The highest levels of the Administration were stonewalling everyone. They seemed to think that because Fox News conflates asylum and refugee issues, everyone else would as well.

But... they seemingly turned around and changed course 3 hours later? This isn't the sort of policy that any administration would revisit at the drop of the hat, nor is it the sort of thing where an administration would throw their hands up and cry "Oops, you got us!"

So what was it? A poorly communicated policy? A trial balloon gone wrong? Or did they really think they could deprioritize refugee issues?


They meant to do what they did. The walk-back from Psaki is indicative of a crisis response.

The universal negative response across the board seems to have caught the Administration by surprise. The immigration groups immediately issued dozens of (deservedly) harsh statements within a couple of hours, as did the general humanitarian groups like Oxfam, IRC, Amnesty, etc. But also there was immediate criticism from Biden's old peers in Sens. Durbin, Leahy, Menendez etc. Fwiw the WH also held a closed advocates call a few hours ago, one imagines to placate them and cool down the situation.
posted by migrantology at 6:29 PM on April 16 [7 favorites]


So basically, it boils down to (paraphrasing):

Biden: Okay, a reasonable approach might be that, since the infrastructure to settle refugees has been gutted along with all of the rest of the immigration infrastructure, let’s spend the rest of this fiscal year, the next six months, rebuilding the resettlement infrastructure and then, in October, we can ramp up to the significantly larger refugee goal we promised.

Some long-term Biden allies: Not good enough. There are 35,000 approved refugees waiting for resettlement and they shouldn’t have to wait another six months to be able to move forward. This should be a priority receiving attention sooner than October.

Lots of other respectable folks: *swiftly and loudly losing their freaking minds at what they consider a major broken promise and an ongoing humanitarian crisis*

Biden: Jeezus, people, okay! We’ll move up the priority to this coming month, already!


Honestly, I don’t blame Biden for wanting to get the infrastructure in place to handle the resettlements effectively. I also don’t blame the critics that raised Cain to get him to revise the time frame. Good for those refugees that are already vetted and good for humanity, in general.

On preview: what migrantology said.
posted by darkstar at 6:36 PM on April 16 [12 favorites]


marking a significant reversal from his administration's proposal earlier this year to lift the cap to 62,500
For reference Canada (1/10th the population) admitted over 30,000 refugees last year.
posted by Mitheral at 6:51 PM on April 16 [12 favorites]


I'm really glad to see the fast turn-around once the scathing criticisms started hitting. But I'd really like to see the people who were pushing this get canned. They don't deserve to be part of the administration. It's worse than tone deaf when you are pushing the same policies as the racists.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:17 PM on April 16 [8 favorites]


Although I think the initial 6-month punt was the wrong call, I don't see it as Biden pushing the same policy as the racists. I see it more as his innate cautiousness about moving too swiftly without having the infrastructure there to support what he's doing.

I do think there's definitely cause to review the employment status of someone in the Administration, though, because the initial approach was obviously completely unvetted among even their closest allies. This blow-up never should have happened, because Biden should have received the message that a 6-month punt wasn't acceptable, long before the original statement was made.

It loses a lot of goodwill among people who will see this as a moral failing and a broken promise, whatever the rationale for delay may have been.
posted by darkstar at 7:37 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


(Also, because I don’t for a second believe it’s Biden’s actual intent to keep refugee admissions restricted as a matter of personal preference, I’m tending to give him the benefit of the doubt here. But he really wasn’t served well by his staff on this one. The squirrelly way some Admin officials bobbed and weaved on the question simply added fuel to the fire.)
posted by darkstar at 9:30 PM on April 16 [9 favorites]


The Right wants to increase immigration and remove borders - rich capitalist owners of factories and businesses want to flood the economy with workers to reduce wage increases, and increase unemployment so they can offer less benefits and improve employee retention.

The economy is already full of low wage workers. The majority of them live and work in Asia. Regarding developed economies as a closed system is a major failing of many accounts of the competing interests of capital and labour, including the above.

Breaking individual economic actors out into general "left" and "right" categories on the basis of notional association, rather than considering the specific interests they represent, is also mistake, as it fails to understand the tension between general and particular interests in capital and labour relationships to free movement.

The interests of capital are not served by free movement of labour, but rather by a system of controlled and limited movement that enables (limited and revokable, wherever possible) visas to be issued at the convenience of employers. In general, keeping low-wage workers in low-wage economies reduces costs and maximises profit, because radical inequality enables radical exploitation. Further, free movement would rapidly change the demographic makeup and material interests of voters in developed economies in ways unfavorable to capitalism. The right will never promote free movement, because it would eradicate a major structural imbalance between the two forces.

Hence the restriction of free movement of labour and promotion of free movement of capital is an intrinsic element of capitalism, but that doesn't mean that all actors representing capital all want to restrict all migration all of the time. Capital's general interest is in a political climate and legal regime as hostile to immigration as individual capitalist actors can tolerate, while the general interest of labour is the exact opposite.

The overall tone of right wing discourse, largely controlled by capitalist interests, has moved against migration in the postwar period, while left wing discourse, which largely reflects the interests of labour, has moved the opposite way. This reflects the fact that the ability to move jobs, rather than workers, has increased during this period. The political right and left aren't being deceptive in their general approaches to migration policy, but rather reflecting the general interests of the constituencies they represent. Some individual groups within these constituencies are at some times served by modifying the general policies, but overall stances reflect overall interests accurately.
posted by howfar at 11:52 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


Imagine all the affirmatively positive things they could be doing if they cared enough to fight for them, rather than being obsessed with bipartisanship and optics and getting us back to October 2016.

With respect, that's a fair description of the Obama administration, but not of the Biden administration.

They actually have learned from how things went last time around. This article offers a pretty good summary of why they aren't blindly committed to bipartisanship any more.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 11:54 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Biden: Okay, a reasonable approach might be that, since the infrastructure to settle refugees has been gutted along with all of the rest of the immigration infrastructure, let’s spend the rest of this fiscal year, the next six months, rebuilding the resettlement infrastructure and then, in October, we can ramp up to the significantly larger refugee goal we promised.

This is a startlingly generous read. I think it's far more likely that immigration just isn't a priority for Biden or his staff.

If immigration isn't a priority, you can see why they wouldn't want to spend a cent of political capital on raising entry caps prior to the midterms because of all their actual priorities that will require narrow majority votes in the house and senate. Those narrow majorities include votes from democrats who are not keen on immigration.

After they lose the house or senate or both in 2022 they can then raise immigration caps via executive order in time to energise their base for the 2024 election.
posted by zymil at 2:45 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


I feel like it is possible to give Biden the benefit of the doubt and also feel that it was imperative for people to speak out strongly about it now. There could be bad outcomes from admitting more people without the appropriate capacity to get them resettled. Presumably those bad outcomes are much less bad than having to stay wherever you are right now as a refugee, but they could be used to try to drum up anti-refugee sentiment.
posted by snofoam at 3:59 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


This is a startlingly generous read. I think it's far more likely that immigration just isn't a priority for Biden or his staff.

DING DING DING

‘Incoherent’: Democrats, Advocates Baffled By Biden Argument On Refugees
But the decision to leave Trump’s cap in place for the time being was disturbing to refugee resettlement groups, activists and Democrats. They quickly refuted White House reasoning for the decision, saying the refugee settlement agencies aren’t hindered by other backlogs, including the surge of asylum-seekers at the border. While the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Department of Health and Human Services is partially responsible for both groups, migrants at the border seeking asylum are processed in an entirely separate system than refugees fleeing persecution overseas.

“It is immoral to pit vulnerable populations against one another, particularly in light of the fact that we have the capacity to do all of these things,” said Meredith Own, the director of policy and advocacy at Church World Services, one of the nine major resettlement agencies.

In a statement, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called the decision to keep the refugee cap low “cruel” and “no more acceptable now than it was during the Trump Administration.”

“The asylum process at the southern border and the refugee process are completely separate immigration systems,” he continued. “Conflating the two constitutes caving to the politics of fear.”
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 5:00 AM on April 17 [10 favorites]


With respect, that's a fair description of the Obama administration, but not of the Biden administration.

They actually have learned from how things went last time around. This article offers a pretty good summary of why they aren't blindly committed to bipartisanship any more.


We'll see what their priorities are.
posted by Gadarene at 5:18 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


We'll see what their priorities are.

We already have ample evidence from the American Rescue Plan -- a stimulus twice as big as Obama's, which is predicted to cut child poverty in half -- and the American Jobs Plan -- the biggest infrastructure package in generations. In both cases, Biden has made it clear he's willing to politely listen to Republicans, but isn't going to self-sabotage or indefinitely delay legislation in the hope of pleasing or appeasing the GOP.

As the article I linked above says:

...Obama, Biden, the key political strategists who advise Biden and almost the entire Democratic congressional caucus simply stopped believing Republicans would ever vote for major Democratic bills. They listened to McConnell when he said that “the only way the American people would know that a great debate was going on was if the measures were not bipartisan.” And so Democrats stopped devising compromised bills in a bid to win Republican votes.

This has transformed policy design: These are now negotiations among Democrats, done with the intention of finding policies popular enough that Republican voters will back them, even if Republican politicians will not. Biden still talks like he believes bipartisanship is possible in Congress, but his administration has put the onus on Republicans to prove it, and to do so on the administration’s terms. That, more than any other single factor, has unleashed Democrats’ legislative ambitions.


The floated (and now apparently walked-back) idea of delaying raising the cap on refugees was actually an uncharacteristically conservative gesture from the Biden administration. So far, most of their policy initiatives have been more progressive than anything out of the Obama administration.

Are they going full DSA? No. And I don't expect them to. But they seem to be tracking the general progressive shift of the Democratic party.

I guess it's weird to me to encounter so many people on the left who haven't really noticed or acknowledged any of this, and who are still operating with a mental image of Biden from before the election. I thought he was a hopelessly out-of-date centrist too — back in 2019. But it's necessary to update one's understanding when new information appears.

What Biden really is, and always was, is a professional politician who tracks the mood of his party. He wasn't an ideologically committed neoliberal in the '90s and 2000s... but other prominent Dems were, so he followed the herd. He's not a born-again democratic socialist now... but he sees which way the wind is blowing, and has made a lot of moves to appease the Sanders/Ocasio-Cortez wing of the party.

I'm glad a lot of people pushed back on this refugee cap. I'm also glad the administration quickly adjusted their statements about it. That's a sign that Democratic party politics are in a healthier place than they used to be. The base is actually being listened to.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:03 AM on April 17 [20 favorites]


We'll see what their priorities are.

We already have ample evidence from the American Rescue Plan -- a stimulus twice as big as Obama's, which is predicted to cut child poverty in half -- and the American Jobs Plan -- the biggest infrastructure package in generations.


I mean, that's fantastic, but given the context is immigration & foreign policy, those domestic policies could just as easily fall into a nationalist model. (Not that I'd place the Biden administration as significantly-more-nationalist than average for both Democrats & being an executive branch in power, but.)

So far, it seems like there's been movement from Biden on domestic policy, agreed, but so far it's read like he's been far more willing to make 'cold political calculations' on international policy, and that's coming at a disproportionate cost. I'm hoping you're right, I really am.

But even within the confines of Metafilter here we've seen the toll repeatedly treating marginalized people as academic concepts/thought experiments/political capital to be horse-traded against. To borrow apt words from Alterscape, recently,
There's an unfortunate history on this site of upper-middle-class white people in discussions talking about the circumstances of a group or culture in broad generalizations while members of that group are in the comments too. It's basically talking over people, and reducing their lived experience to a (often inaccurate/ignorant/ill-conceived) talking point, and it sucks, and we shouldn't do it, even if academics in the past did it. Our ability to share our hot takes should not be privileged over what people are telling us about their own experiences and values.
My assertion here is that the sort of "we'll clamp down; no wait we won't, but cap to be determined later (hold on); but we're aiming to get back up to 2015-level (or 1993 level if the more expansive claim happens)" churn is itself analogous to that described issue, but on a national/international level. When churn happens on that scale, even if it gets walked back, people's lives get upended by the thousands.
posted by CrystalDave at 10:58 AM on April 17 [6 favorites]


But even within the confines of Metafilter here we've seen the toll repeatedly treating marginalized people as academic concepts/thought experiments/political capital to be horse-traded against.

No doubt.

I was simply responding to the idea that the Biden admin's central dynamic is a tendency to believe that if they appease the GOP, a compromise can be reached. I think that's pretty clearly no longer the operative philosophy.

The full outlines of Biden's immigration policy are not yet clear. I just don't think it's likely to be based on trying to meet the GOP halfway.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 12:44 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


I also read in various places that US contributes to the instability directly due to how easily drugs can be smuggled in and the ease with which guns can be smuggled out. Have no idea how true it is though. Has there been any serious discussions on what US can do, as a good neighbor, in the long run to address the root cause?
posted by asra at 1:04 PM on April 17


NYT: An Early Promise Broken: Inside Biden’s Reversal on Refugees
In the meeting, on March 3, Mr. Blinken implored the president to end Trump-era restrictions on immigration and to allow tens of thousands of desperate refugees fleeing war, poverty and natural disasters into the United States, according to several people familiar with the exchange.

But Mr. Biden, already under intense political pressure because of the surge of migrant children at the border with Mexico, was unmoved. The attitude of the president during the meeting, according to one person to whom the conversation was later described, was, essentially: Why are you bothering me with this?

What had been an easy promise on the campaign trail — to reverse what Democrats called President Donald J. Trump’s “racist” limits on accepting refugees — has become a test of what is truly important to the new occupant of the White House, according to an account of his decision making from more than a dozen Biden administration officials, refugee resettlement officials and others.
Washington Post: ‘The wheels fell off’: How Biden’s misgivings on border surge upended plan on refugees
President Biden overruled his top foreign policy and national security aides, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, when he kept in place the Trump administration’s record low cap on the number of refugees admitted to the United States, according to three people familiar with the matter, a decision that was reversed after a public outcry.

Biden harbored concerns about what the sharp increase in migrants at the southern border meant for the government’s capacity to handle an influx of refugees from elsewhere, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share private deliberations. In the end, the president’s own misgivings fueled the decision more than anything else, the people said.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 6:26 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


« Older Jesus is a Jew   |   At eye-level with the surface of the sea.... Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.