Biden has not yet implemented expansive policy changes. The vast majority of migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border are still being turned away. Deportations are still taking place and there’s still no pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
But the softer rhetoric and modest changes announced so far by the Biden administration — such as admitting some migrants who have waited in Mexico for months and announcing he would halt deportations — raise the prospects of a new influx of migrants entering the country. There’s already an uptick in migrants heading to the border and some have crossed and been released in some communities already grappling with the pandemic, a strained health care system and high unemployment.
This is a problem. It must be handled properly. Migration is a fact of life. Studies have shown that full migration in the western hemisphere would double GDP of the nations. That’s a hard case to make to folks who see this as a threat rather than a resource.