WASHINGTON – As he rounds out his first 100 days in office, President Joe Biden’s focus on reining in the coronavirus during the early months of his administration seems to have paid off: He can check off nearly all his campaign promises centered on the pandemic.
Biden has delivered on a number of his biggest campaign pledges focused on climate change and the economy as well. But some issues have proved to be tougher for the administration — including immigration, where Biden is grappling with how to enact promised reforms in the face of a steep increase in unaccompanied minors seeking to cross the border. On some of his promises, Biden is waiting for Congress to act.
Where Biden stands on some of his key promises:
— Raise refugee cap to 125,000, up from the 15,000 set by President Donald Trump.
Nowhere close. The White House first said it would stick to Trump's 15,000 cap due to “humanitarian concerns.” After facing backlash from Democrats, it shifted gears and said Biden would increase the historically low cap on refugees set by Trump — but probably not all the way to the 62,500 that Biden previously had planned. And the numbers actually admitted this year are likely to be closer to 15,000.
— Surge humanitarian resources to the border and encourage public-private partnerships to deal with an increase in migration there.
Yes, but is it enough? The Department of Homeland Security has deployed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help deal with the major increase of border arrivals, and Biden signed an executive order asking officials to prepare plans for using humanitarian resources there. He has yet to establish any new public-private partnerships. The largest number of unaccompanied children ever at the border created massive overcrowding at Customs and Border Protection facilities and set off a mad scramble for temporary space at convention centers, military bases and other large venues.