Former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden Jr. said in a Miami Herald opinion piece that beneficiaries of president Barack H. Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program should officially be made U.S. citizens.
“The next president must institute effective immigration reform while restoring regional policies grounded in respect,” Biden said. “That starts by recognizing that DREAMers are Americans, and Congress needs to make it official.”
DACA recipients, commonly referred to as “DREAMers,” are children of illegal aliens who were brought to the United States at a young age, and grew up here. Officially, there are somewhere around one million DACA recipients living in the United States. Detractors of the proposition of granting DACE recipients citizenship point towards the failure of president Ronald Reagan’s 1986 amnesty, which promised border security and strict work rules for newly-minted citizens which have never been realized. U.S. immigration courts are still processing claims from the Reagan amnesty today.
But Biden, likely recognizing that one million new voters would greatly benefit Democrats in swing states like Florida, wants to repeat Reagan’s mistake.
“We are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants,” he said. “Our country is made up of hard-working, aspirational people from every culture, from every nation — and that is an indisputable strength. There’s no better example of the richness that’s possible when the United States is closely knit together with our neighbors in Latin America and the Caribbean than the city of Miami.”
What better way to prove that America is a “nation of laws” than rewarding those who have broken America’s laws with citizenship – all while legal immigrants wait in line, pay thousands of dollars, and pass through a rigorous vetting process before they are granted the same access.
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