President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden squared off in their final debate before the November 3 election. Although the debate commission previously announced that they would not address any immigration questions, the candidates nonetheless sparred over border policy and their respective immigration visions. In front of an audience of millions, Biden formally pledged to amnesty every illegal alien in the United States.
On his website, Biden promises to “create a roadmap to citizenship for the nearly 11 million people who have been living in and strengthening our country for years.” In the final presidential debate, Biden unequivocally endorsed this position in person, telling debate moderator Kristen Welker and the millions of Americans watching at home that he would give every alien in the United States a pathway to citizenship within the first 100 days of his presidency.
Biden’s immigration pitch to voters is twofold. First, he promises to undo everything that President Trump has done since taking office in January 2017. In that vein, Biden promises to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, eliminate the Migrant Protection Protocols, end our asylum agreements with the Northern Triangle countries of Central America, restore the policy of catch and release, rescind the new public charge rules, halt the construction of additional barriers on the southwest border, end the travel ban on state sponsors of terrorism, and reverse reforms to the H-1B guestworker program.
In addition to reversing all of President Trump’s immigration actions, Biden pledges to pursue a pathway to citizenship for every illegal alien in the United States, end prolonged immigration detention, expand Temporary Protected Status, increase the number of “high-skilled” guestworkers, retain the visa lottery, allow cities and states the ability to petition for visas, fight states that have anti-sanctuary policies, and cobble together a $4 billion aid package for Central America to prevent illegal immigration to the United States. This is all laid out in his platform online.
The immigration policies offered by both campaigns are polar opposites. Despite ignoring the issue for most of the campaign, President Trump still advocates for the same immigration policies that helped elect him in 2016 – cracking down on illegal immigration, completing the border wall, and lowering overall immigration numbers. Biden promises to do the exact opposite by pursuing amnesty legislation within the first 100 days of his presidency and reversing all of Trump’s executive actions.