Democrats Send Urgent Letter to Biden Desiring Action on Immigration Ahead of Election

By: Alex Trent | Published: May 09, 2024

As Biden’s first term as president comes to a close, a group of more than 80 Democrat lawmakers have sent a letter to the president demanding urgent action to help undocumented immigrants.

Seeing this as a critical moment, immigration advocates worry about the possibility of a Trump reelection, which could see massive deportations and crackdowns on asylum seekers.

Democrat Letter

The letter from Democrats to the president contains a desperate plea for action as well as recommendations for Biden on how to use his executive power ahead of the November elections.

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A man writing on a piece of paper.

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“Dear Mr. President: We urge your Administration to take all available actions to streamline pathways to lawful status for undocumented immigrants, providing certainty to the American businesses, communities, and families who rely on them,” the letter said.

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Undocumented Contributions

Democrats made the case that undocumented immigrants have made significant contributions to America and are deserving of protection.

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A Chicago mural that says 'we are a nation of immigrants.'

Source: Acediscovery/Wikimedia

“In 2019 alone, undocumented immigrants contributed an estimated $9.7 billion in federal and state taxes and over $11 billion in social security contributions,” said the letter.

Trump’s Threat

Democrats worry about escalating language and promises from Trump that they feel would destroy the American economy and hurt families.

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Donald Trump is captured in mid-speech, pointing directly at the camera with his right hand

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Deporting all such individuals—as former President Donald Trump has threatened to do if reelected —would devastate the American economy and destroy American families,” Democrats said in the letter.

Rhetoric from Trump

Donald Trump reaffirmed a promise to use military force to deport migrants recently in a sitdown interview with Time Magazine.

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A close-up portrait of President Donald Trump in 2016.

Source: Library of Congress/Unsplash

In March, Trump spoke at a rally calling some migrants who are accused of criminality as being “not people” and warned of an economic “bloodbath” in the automobile industry if he is not reelected in November.

Streamline the Process

Democrats in their letter to Biden extolled the virtues of fast-tracking legal status for undocumented immigrants.

Joe Biden sitting down in front of a US flag.

Source: The White House/Wikimedia Commons

“Streamlining pathways for undocumented immigrants with no criminal history and deep ties to the United States to obtain parole or a lawful immigration status would provide stability to their families, require them to pay taxes, and to check in with the U.S. government regularly,” the letter said.

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Recommendations for Streamlining

The letter outlined several actions that Biden can take which include things like allowing spouses of Americans to work while green cards are pending, empowering spouses to sponsor undocumented immigrants for lawful status, and canceling rules that separate families.

A mother and daughter from Colombia pose for a photo.

Source: Jhon David/Unsplash

“We appreciate your careful consideration of these recommendations and all available options to provide much needed relief for undocumented immigrants and the American businesses, families, and communities that rely upon them,” said the letter.

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Seize the Moment

In a separate statement to Biden, Democrat Representative Nanette Barragan demanded that he “seize this critical moment by exercising his Executive Authority to rebuild our broken immigration system.”

President Joe Biden speaking into a microphone.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia

So far, Biden has been hesitant to attempt to utilize his full authority as President on the border issue, fearing disrupting a delicate balance between some supporters who want a strong border and others who want a more compassionate for undocumented immigrants.

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Border Crisis

Consistent polling, including a recent survey by Axios in late April, found that Americans are increasingly warming to the idea of mass deportations for undocumented immigrants.

A man is looking over a metal border fence where several white crosses with names are attached, symbolizing a memorial

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Two-thirds of Americans consider the recent influx of migrants into the country as a “real crisis” and not just political theater.

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Democrats Too

The recent Axios survey found that even 42% of Democrats say they would support mass deportations of undocumented migrants if it were on the table.

A Border Patrol agent in a dark uniform with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection patch is in the foreground, blurred in focus, with a group of migrants in the background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

30% of Democrat respondents to the survey said they would support ending birthright citizenship, a protection granted under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.

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Delicate Balance

Biden is keenly aware of the split of opinion and competing interests around the issue. This has made him hesitant to act in the face of an election, instead choosing to convince concerned voters that the current problem is Trump and Republicans’ fault.

A group of people is shot from behind while waving small American flags

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Democrats blame Trump and Republicans for killing a bill in the Senate in February that would have provided more resources to secure the border.

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Follow Up Letter

This recent letter comes weeks after a similar letter sent by Senate Democrats in March, who were also wary of a potential Trump Presidency. Democrats are also coming out with their own statements to pressure Biden to act now.

President Joe Biden, wearing sunglasses and a casual shirt, speaking into a microphone at an outdoor event with buildings in the background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

”As the Biden administration considers executive actions on immigration, we must not return to failed Trump-era policies aimed at banning asylum and moving us backwards,” said Immigration Subcommittee Chair Alex Padilla in a statement to NBC.

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