President Joe Biden used his annual address before Congress to announce a number of major policy proposals, including an amnesty for illegal immigrants. What the president ignored revealed the true scope of disorder on the southern border.
Much of the speech included boilerplate statements about the state of the American economy and foreign policy. Where Biden gained considerable attention was his call to overhaul United States immigration policy.
The president’s State of the Union address Tuesday included multiple references to the southern border. His statements intended to convey major progress in combating illegal immigration and drug smuggling, but so far neither is true.
The president’s speech was light on details about border security. One writer described it as “lip service.” The president said that he wanted immigration to be a “bipartisan issue like it was before.”
The president referenced an increase in border agents but did not mention serious lapses in border security. Some towns and small cities along the southern border are overwhelmed by surges of tens of thousands of migrants.
Anyone paying attention will tell you that Joe Biden's immigration policies created the criminal, humanitarian, and political crisis at the border.
The gimmicks and shell games are disingenuous and won't change the FOUR-FOLD influx of illegal crossings since Biden took office. pic.twitter.com/k99Gf1YEN2
— Byron Donalds (@ByronDonalds) February 8, 2023
The president also did not mention the large increase in illegal immigrants at the border in December 2022.
Furthermore, the president used the address to call for a comprehensive plan for immigration amnesty. Similar amnesty proposals emerged but failed during the terms of former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Biden seeks an eight-year amnesty as part of his immigration plan. His stated goal is to allow this pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants that have been in the country prior to 2021. President Biden also seeks a major expansion of legal status for a variety of groups, including farm workers and the children of illegal immigrants.
It is unlikely that Biden’s plan will make it through a Republican House of Representatives. The close split in the Senate would have its own challenge getting such a major bill through.
Regardless of the outcome, President Biden staked a large part of his legacy on the topic of illegal immigration.