President Donald Trump rode to the White House on controversial promises of building a wall and an immigration crackdown – but President-elect Joe Biden admits he won’t be able to push through wholesale changes immediately.
‘It will get done and it will get done quickly. But it’s not going to be able to be done on Day One,’ Biden said when asked at a press conference about the prospects of instituting immigration changes.
He got asked about the topic after the Washington Post reported his transition officials said his administration would ‘need time’ to roll back the ‘damage’ that Trump policies had done on immigration through Mexico and asylum claims.
‘It will get done, and it will get done quickly,’ President-elect Joe Biden said when asked about immigration policy changes. But he said they won’t be ready on ‘Day One’
‘Migrants and asylum seekers absolutely should not believe those in the region peddling the idea that the border will suddenly be fully open to process everyone on Day 1. It will not,’ Biden domestic policy advisor Susan Rice told Spanish-language EFE.
‘The last thing we need is to say we’re going to stop immediately, the access to asylum the way it’s been run now, and then end up with 2 million people on our border,’ Biden said. ‘It’s a matter of setting up the guardrails so we can move to the direction,’ he said.
He said he and his team have ‘already started discussing’ the issue with the president of Mexico and ‘our friends in Latin America.’
President Trump campaigned on a border wall and limited opportunities for asylum claims
Biden said he won’t do a sudden change that would end up with ‘2 million people on our border’
‘It will get done and it will get done quickly. But it’s not going to be able to be done on Day One,’ Biden conceded.
‘We have a crisis on our hands and that complicates what we’re trying to do,’ he said.
He repeated campaign calls for a ‘much more humane policy based on family unification.’
But he said it requires ‘getting a lot in place,’ including funding for things like asylum judges.
His response comes as pro-immigration groups are pushing for changes, including to the model of detaining and deporting immigrants.
A Trump administration policy begun in March, citing the pandemic, allows for expulsion of migrants back to Mexico and waive opportunities for asylum claims.
‘It will get done, and it will get done quickly,’ Biden said generally. ‘But it’s not going to be able to be done on Day One with every restriction that exists.’
His message to immigration organizations was: ‘I will do what I said. It’s going to take not Day One, it’s going to take probably the next six months to put that in place.