Broken Promises


During Donald Trump’s presidency, a story came to fruition about immigration. People were horrified to learn that the U.S. was separating children from their families as they tried to immigrate into the country; equally terrifying were the conditions in which these children were held. This humanitarian crisis quickly became politicized as it gained attention, to a point where it fell into a debate about immigration itself and was subsequently swept under the rug by the Trump Administration. One of President Biden’s campaign promises was to “immediately reverse the Trump Administration’s cruel and senseless policies that separate parents from their children at our border” during Biden’s first 100 days in office.

In one of the primary debates in Mar. 2020, Biden promised that no one would be deported during his first 100 days. As of Feb. 2021, hundreds of deportations had been carried out under the Biden Administration, and as of Mar. 2021, thousands of migrants and children were crowded together into facilities in Texas.

Shortly after Biden took office, his administration sent out a memo that instructed agencies to pause the majority of deportations for 100 days. This moratorium was challenged by Texas, where a federal judge stopped the moratorium for fourteen days and ruled that the Biden Administration had not provided a reasonable justification to halt deportations. This ruling, while causing one of Biden’s campaign promises to be unfulfilled, did not give any indication on the scheduling of deportations. The agencies that handle deportations are not obligated to continue deporting people at the pace they did under any other administration.

The continued influx of immigrants, many of whom are unaccompanied minors, have added to a backlog in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). While Biden has halted the deportation of all unaccompanied minors, HHS is not placing enough unaccompanied minors with U.S. sponsors to offset the amount of unaccompanied minors being apprehended by the Border Patrol each day. HHS does not have the capacity to provide housing for all of the immigrants, which has led to the Border Patrol being forced to provide housing for unaccompanied minors over extended periods of time.

The current administration has refused to separate families who have crossed the border, but the polarization of immigration has created a roadblock on the way towards issuing legal status to all immigrants. Although Biden has produced a number of executive orders about immigration, the reality of most of those orders is that they are simple refutations of the previous administration’s actions. Senior Finlay Norton-Lindsay states, “In terms of keeping his campaign promises, we all know that politics being what it is, he only needs to fulfill about half of them to keep the press focused on the promises he made as opposed to the ones he forgot. I think it is important to keep in mind that Biden will not do all these things.”

 Millions of people trusted Biden to serve this country in a fuller capacity than the previous president. The many inhumane practices that were followed by previous administrations can no longer continue if Biden hopes to lead this country to a better place.