Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Opinion: Biden, it’s time for an immigration policy change

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While the Trump presidency remains infamous for a number of reasons, the strict and inhumane treatment of migrants and children at the southern border is unlikely to be something anyone forgets soon. When the U.S. elected a new president, Joe Biden, one who challenged Donald Trump on nearly every policy, it seemed reasonable to hope for change.

Instead, history seems to be repeating itself when it comes to the Biden administration and the border―and we must continue to hold our leaders accountable. The conditions at the border are deplorable and there must be a change.

The uptick in migrants at the border began approximately a year ago, due to a variety of factors, including pandemic-induced economic crises and two hurricanes that ravaged Central America, as reported The Washington Post. However, it must be acknowledged that the current crisis is not due to the number of people, but rather the country’s lack of preparedness.

Blame should not be put solely onto the Biden administration, as they inherited a crumbling immigration system from the former White House. 

Since his inauguration, Biden has passed numerous executive orders, aiming to restore a crumbling immigration system and change the rhetoric surrounding immigration. While this not only admirable but necessary, he and his administration have faltered when it comes to reversing Trump-era policies.

Some of Trump’s policies are still in effect, and to many, it seems the new administration is not moving fast enough to change this.

Photos of the current conditions of immigration facilities used to house primarily children were leaked by Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat, shocking the nation. While we should celebrate that Biden created a task force designed to aid in reuniting families that were separated at the border, this does not mean we can simply sit back and say our work is done.

The Democrats face a strong wall of GOP dissent in the Senate, so the thought of passing sweeping legislation in the blink of an eye is impossible. However, with smaller, more moderate bills being passed in the House, there is still a glimmer of hope for progressives.

At the end of the day, many voted for Biden because they desired to see long-lasting change and to restore the U.S. to a kinder and more respectable place. Kindness is not keeping migrants crammed into facilities and looking away simply because there is a Democrat in power, not a Republican.

This year has been full of advocacy for marginalized communities, but now we must do more than blame the past administration. Solidarity cannot stall because the stories are not reaching the front page anymore.

Collectively, we must continue to hold our politicians accountable, no matter what party they represent. Even if change takes time, we cannot let injustices be forgotten just because it stopped trending on social media.

Each and every person deserves the chance for a better life for themselves and their family―it’s time our immigration policy reflected this. Biden, it’s time for change.

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About the Contributor
Shealagh Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief | she/her
Shealagh is a senior majoring in journalism with a minor in international relations from Ashby, Mass. She has previously worked as a co-op for the Boston Globe on the homepage desk and as an intern for GBH News and Boston Public Radio. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, finding a new favorite coffee spot and exploring Boston. She is a huge art lover and wants nothing more than to see the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. After graduation, Shealagh hopes to be a political journalist in Washington D.C. Follow Shealagh on Twitter @ShealaghS.

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Opinion: Biden, it’s time for an immigration policy change