Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

Democratic Groups Are Prepared to Attack Biden on His Possible Border Measures

Joe Biden is coming under pressure to do something about the border. The Republicans in Congress don't want to fix the problem because Donald Trump has ordered them not to so he can run on a platform of "only I can fix the border problem." But Biden doesn't want to let Trump be able to say: "You did nothing." Consequently, the President is considering various executive orders that could stem immigration somewhat. He is trying to turn the border from a losing issue for Democrats into a winning issue by showing that the Republicans in Congress are refusing to take action so he is doing it unilaterally.

Are Democrats cheering that he may have found a way to defuse the Republicans' strongest policy issue and make it work for them? Goodness, no. A group of 150 progressive organizations is already opposing his actions before he has even taken them. One of the actions he is considering, which is probably legal, is to require asylum seekers to check in at an official port of entry to make their case, and not try to sneak into the U.S. in the middle of the desert and then make their case to the border patrol agent if caught. Biden is also considering raising the standard for getting asylum from the asylum seeker having a "credible fear" to something tougher. After all, the current standard basically hinges on whether the asylum seeker was afraid. How can anyone know if the asylum seeker was afraid? Biden could change the standard to something other than the seeker's personal feelings to something like whether there was an active shooting war going on in the area the specific person came from. He is also considering changing the procedures so that people who fail to meet the asylum test can be deported quickly, without years of litigation.

The progressive groups don't want any of these things. They would like more judges at the border to handle asylum cases quickly and more resources for border towns dealing with the influx. They also want more legal representation for migrants to make their cases and an increase in the number of legal immigrants. In other words, they want more immigrants when Biden is trying to get fewer immigrants, to take the wind out of the Republicans' sails. These two points of view cannot be reconciled. Of course, the progressive groups may just be bluffing and trying to lobby Biden into doing as little as possible, but when he does take action, they may just go off and mope but not actively oppose him in November. (V)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates