Reiterates resolve to send immigration bill to Senate in first 100 days.
President-elect Joe Biden has reiterated his resolve to bring an immigration bill with a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people in America, including about 500,000 Indians, in his first 100 days in office.
Previewing his agenda in an interview with NBC News Tuesday, he also spoke of plans to roll back President Donald Trump’s executive orders on the environment.
“Some of it is going to depend on the kind of cooperation I can or cannot get from the United States Congress,” Biden said of his priorities in his first 100 days.
“I made a commitment, in the first 100 days, I will send an immigration bill to the United States Senate with a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people in America,” Biden said.
Such an immigration reform measure appears unlikely to pass the Senate if it remains under Republican control. The two Senate runoffs in Georgia taking place in January will decide the control of the Senate.
Biden also said he plans to roll back what he described as “damaging executive orders” signed by Trump that have adversely impacted the climate. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had been “eviscerated” under the current president, he said.
Meanwhile, immigrant advocacy groups are expecting Biden to follow through on his promise to quickly undo Trump’s immigration policies, Politico reported.
Biden and his transition team know the president-elect will have to rebuild trust with immigrant communities and do more than just end the harm caused by the Trump administration, it said citing a person close to the transition.
“I definitely think he’s going to move the ball forward,” Kerri Talbot, director of federal advocacy for the Immigration Hub, an advocacy group, was quoted as saying. Talbot predicted immigration will remain a big focus of a Biden administration.
Politico cited unnamed Democrats as saying they’re determined to put forth a comprehensive immigration reform bill that Biden can sign off on. California Rep. Linda Sanchez is drafting a bill that Democrats hope to drop right as Biden enters the White House, it said.
If Democrats don’t pass immigration reform or a pathway to citizenship at the very least, Democrats will “be in a world of hurt” next election cycle, Chuck Rocha, former senior adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, was quoted as saying.
“It hurts us in the next election if we can’t take something back to the community that we’re doing for them,” Rocha said.
However, some advocates and lawmakers insist Democrats “shouldn’t put all their eggs in a basket” and should be ready to pursue a piecemeal approach, Politico said.