Biden immigration bill brings promise and peril

The Biden administration plans to unveil its comprehensive immigration bill on Thursday alongside Congressional leaders.

Gustavo Flores-Macias, professor of government and the former Director of Public Affairs in Mexico’s Consumer Protection Agency, is an expert on taxation and state capacity.

“The proposed immigration bill’s emphasis on addressing the root causes of migration in Latin America is a welcome change from the previous administration’s stance on immigration policy," says Flores-Macias. "Without taking seriously the ‘push factors’ in migrants’ communities of origin, such as violent crime and economic insecurity, a punitive strategy focusing on border security alone is bound to fail.

“Investing in the region’s economic development and promoting anti-corruption efforts can make a real difference to reduce the immigrant caravans that have saturated the US immigration system.”

Maria Cristina Garcia, professor of history and American studies, studies refugees, immigrants and exiles. She has authored several books on refugees in the U.S., most recently “The Refugee Challenge in Post-Cold War America.”

"Biden’s proposal to set up refugee processing in Central America is unusual but has historic precedent," says Garcia.

"During the Cold War, past administrations occasionally allowed refugees to request admission to the United States while still in their countries, in order to ease the burden on the countries that bordered areas of humanitarian crisis. Such a policy would certainly ease the pressure on Mexico, which has borne the burden of Trump’s 'Remain in Mexico' policy and has had to redirect resources to its southern border to curtail Central American migration."

For media inquiries, contact Linda Glaser, news & media relations manager, lbg37@cornell.edu, 607-255-8942

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