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Migration in the United States: Could Biden Lose Congress?

With the legislative and gubernatorial elections so close, migration in the United States is beginning to mark the democratic debate with Republicans criticizing Biden's problems and using them in their favor.

Joe Biden

Photo: Flickr - Gage Skidmore

LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez Hernández

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Leer en español: Migración en Estados Unidos: incumplimientos de Biden podrían costarle mayoría en el Congreso

In January 2021, Joe Biden took office as the new president of the United States, with a clear advantage: both the Senate and the House of Representatives of that country had a Democratic majority. This meant, of course, that with Biden in the White House, both Congress and the Executive would be controlled by liberal politicians, and of course, this would make it easier for the president to manage.

However, this situation could change at the end of 2022, when the “mid-term” legislative elections are held, in which Americans will vote for the 435 seats in the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate.

Migration, Joe Biden's 'Achilles heel'

Although Biden has enjoyed significant support in the Congress of the Republic during his almost year and a half in office, the truth is that this 'favouritism' could come crashing down if in November of this year the voters decide to overturn the parliament and vote for Republicans. 

But why might conservatives unseat Democrats in Congress? Although it is still uncertain, what is believed is that the issue of migration to the southern United States could be, if not the most important reason, one of the strongest for citizens to show their disagreement with the Joe Biden government by voting against his party in 2022.

On his first day in office, Biden announced ambitious immigration reform that would pave the way for some 11 million undocumented immigrants to become US citizens, creating new hope for this population; However, to date, such reform has not been possible, and the migration crisis does not seem to stop.

Biden's arrival in power represented for many the opportunity to repeal Donald Trump's anti-immigration laws, but it seems that, even with the Democratic majority in Congress, this does not seem to be a viable reality.

There is also the continued existence of Title 42, a strategy imposed during the Trump administration, with which more than 1.8 million immigrants have been expelled since 2020, when the covid-19 pandemic began. 19, according to official data.

Although Biden had said that this measure would be lifted on May 23, with which he sought to counteract the spread of the disease in the United States as much as possible, the Republicans have done everything possible to ensure that Title 42 is maintained and in this way “ keep at bay” migrants trying to enter the country from Mexico.

In recent days it was learned that leaders of the Republican Party in 21 states decided to intervene legally to prevent this measure from being repealed, accusing a negative impact for territories such as Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri in case of allowing the massive entry of immigrants through the south of the country.

“What the court says is what we will do. If they say we can't do it, that's what we'll do, " Biden said upon learning of this situation, which somewhat alleviated the criticism of his opponents, but increased the nonconformity of a Democratic part of the Senate that, headed by Chuck Schumer, has cataloged the president's attitude as a "disappointment."

On the other hand, the non-repeal of Title 42 has made even people who had thought of migrating feel inhibited from doing so, especially after the Secretary of National Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, asked them, in a pleading tone, not to do so. they did.

“Do not come, because our southern border is not open (…) What is happening now is that individuals are removed by the authority of Title 42 or they are put under immigration law procedures and they are removed if they do not have a valid petition under our law to stay," Mayorkas said in a conversation with CNN.

In this way, Biden begins to be affected by a problem that placed him in the Presidency of the United States, based on promises and changes for the undocumented, but that still continues to affect, not only this population, but also those who want to enter to the country.

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Finally, it is important to note that this scenario is perfect for a character who, even behind the scenes, hopes to strike at the right time: Donald Trump. The former president who was defeated in 2020 may use this chance to return to the White House in 2024. 

In recent months, Trump has not hesitated to constantly criticize the immigration policies of his successor and make Mar-a-lago (his vacation home) the Republican stronghold, from which he directed the campaign of the new governor of Virginia (a state that had traditionally been a Democrat in recent years), Glenn Youngkin, who won this seat in November 2021.

Thus, with legislative elections and more than 30 governorships just around the corner, and a migration crisis that leaves hundreds of thousands expelled, the truth is that Biden will not maintain Congress easily. 

The failure to keep his promises on the one hand, and the disappointment of his own co-supporters on the other, could make Americans decide, once again, to give the Republicans a chance and begin to accommodate Donald Trump's path for the 2024 presidential elections.