Is it illegal to fart in America?

Joe Biden's migration policy is already taking shape

Among other things, Joe Biden was able to score points with many voters with Latin American roots by promising to pay more attention to Latin America. Their expectations of the new US president are correspondingly high. Especially when it comes to illegal immigration, Biden clearly distinguished himself from his opponent: while incumbent Donald Trump advocated a rigorous policy of isolation, Biden campaigned with a milder migration policy. After almost two months in office, Biden has already delivered quite a bit.

First of all, Biden changed the rhetoric, write John Hudak and Christine Stenglein, analysts at the Brookings Institution: "For five years, Mr. Trump controlled the discussions about migration policy largely with lies, misinformation, exaggerations and twisted data." Trump deliberately gave the impression that the majority of immigrants were criminals and terrorists. The new administration, on the other hand, emphasizes the enrichment that immigration has meant and continues to mean for the US in its history.

End of the rigorous deportations

In the first few weeks of his presidency, Biden signed a number of decrees on immigration. Among other things, he lifted the state of emergency on the border with Mexico, withdrew the decree with which Donald Trump had promoted the rigorous deportation of illegal immigrants and withdrew funding for the construction of the wall on the border with Mexico.

Two-thirds of the vote from voters with roots in Latin America went to Joe Biden in the presidential election

Biden ordered a 100-day freeze on deportation, during which the US immigration laws are to be revised. In addition, asylum seekers from Mexico are now being allowed back into the country. In mid-February, the president then presented a bill that would give the estimated eleven million irregular immigrants a chance to obtain a residence permit and, in the long term, even US citizenship.

Venezuelans could be the first to benefit

Refugees from Venezuela are among the first to benefit from Biden's migration course. The government has announced that, due to the "extraordinary" conditions in their homeland, they will be granted the right to stay and work for an initial period of 18 months.

The number of families trying to cross the "green" border into the US has risen sharply since January

Venezuela is ruled by the authoritarian socialist Nicolás Maduro and has been in a deep economic and humanitarian crisis for years, which is exacerbated by the COVID-19. However, only Venezuelans who were verifiably in the USA on the cut-off date, last Monday, are eligible for this. According to estimates, that could be around 320,000 people.

Migrants are registered

The numerically greater challenge for the USA, however, still awaits south of the Mexican border. Tens of thousands of people from Central and South America have been waiting there for months and years to enter the USA. Now US authorities have started to register people in individual camps and to allow them to enter the USA.

But the number of illegal border crossings has also increased in recent weeks. According to the US border agency CBP, the number of families trying to cross the border has more than doubled since January. Unaccompanied minors were also picked up more frequently, so that the reception facilities for them are reaching their capacity limits.

For Republican Senator Ted Cruz, the reason for the rise is migration policy itself: "Joe Biden promises you amnesty," tweeted Cruz, who represents the state of Texas in Washington. Almost two thirds of the US border with Mexico is there.

Combat the causes of flight

What this means for the millions and millions of people who dream of a better future in the north south of this border is uncertain. "Migrants and asylum seekers should by no means believe that the border will suddenly open," Biden's advisers announced in a written interview with the Spanish news agency EFE at the end of December.

Sporadic arrests of gang leaders, here in Honduras, have so far hardly diminished the power of criminals

Instead, the new US administration apparently wants to stabilize the regions of origin: "It will be much more committed to the prosperity of the region and its ability to tackle problems - such as natural disasters and organized crime - itself," wrote Michael Camilleri of the Washington think tank " The Dialogue "on Biden's inauguration. There is talk of four billion US dollars with which Joe Biden wants to help governments in Central America to get a grip on poverty and violence. Drug cartels and criminal gangs there have driven millions of people to flee.