The Indicator from Planet Money - What Biden Could Do On Immigration

As President-elect Biden prepares to take office, there's a lot of speculation about how his administration might change the federal approach to immigration.

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I want is Cardiff busy indicator from Planet Money immigration policy is one of the areas were presidents have a lot of discretion to do what they want and during his time in office President Trump pursued an immigration agenda. It was aimed at reducing overall migration to the US and acting policies that were meant to disincentivize undocumented immigrants from coming to the u.s. And also policies it made it harder for people to move to the us legally. So how does President elect Joe Biden plan to approach immigration once she takes office we try to undo everything President Trump did it and he didn't show I'm speaking with Andrew Sealy the president of the migration policy Institute, which is an organization that researches immigration Trends and Andrew. Not only answer these questions also explains why the answers matter so much for the US economy that's coming up after a quick break.

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Andrew Sealy welcome to the podcast. Thank you. It's great to be with you and I want to start with a very broad question, which is what can we say based on what's been reported so far about president-elect Bynes likely philosophy towards immigration policy and how it might differ from President Trump's immigration policy of the last four years has an acid problem be solved. This is going to be a proactive approach to work? The people out but but largely it's an asset that helps us grow is a country and we got to figure out the right designs of an immigration system with the details a little more closely. I want to start by talking about legal immigration, which I think often gets less attention because the subject of undocumented illegal immigration.

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Is such a political hot button, how do you think President Biden is likely to approach legal immigration in a way that's fundamentally different from the way President Trump approached it be much more robust legal immigration program. Do not you do not overwhelmingly. So because they're always question marks in American society. If you raised the numbers of people coming too far, I think he's going to be cautious and yet at the same time think about legal immigration as an important part of strengthen the labor force in the United States practically areas where we have Labor Force needs em Portugues we come out of the recession in the rain right now. So I think you'll see changes to make our high school program high-skilled immigration system more robust professional visas. Also, perhaps agriculture service visas temporary workers in the administration trying to do something about bringing people out of the saddle.

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You're working contributing to American society, but don't have legal documents. And I think he sees as part of illegal immigration to the US with their parents without documents in a grown up in this country. The program called doctor that gives Congress to another big part of the agenda illegal immigration. What's quantifiable. It sounds like from what you're saying that under President Biden. The numbers are probably going to Rebound in terms of annual legal immigration is is that a fair thing to predict down in seasonal occupations in the fields and

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Some of the jobs that have have been short of American workers were horses robust again and end their needs again for 4:40 workers are now to undocumented immigrants president-elect has reportedly suggested that he's going to have a 100-day moratorium on deportations of undocumented immigrants to start his administration. What can we infer from that was part of the Obama Administration and one of the things they weren't working together is that it did Althea by mobizen Administration and they really Ghetto by was called the deporter in Chief back to their home countries. And what is it made people afraid to approach

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Local authorities police social service agencies unable to invest in their kids education afraid of interacting and in public life and switch to begin having very clear priorities on who could be detained and deported Biden will start up there to criminal offenses in Preston Apple security number to American society that they can have a normal life in the United States.

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Yeah, and then I want to turn now to the issue of Asylum and specifically the Asylum system at the US border with Mexico. President Trump has dismantled a lot of that system and it seems like part of the rationale for that was to disincentivize mass migrations originating in parts of Central or maybe South America that would come up through Mexico. And then and then cross the border into the US seeking Asylum and I guess my question is do you think it's likely the president of like buying will try to reinvigorate or re-establish the Asylum system and if so, is it possible to do so in such a way that does not really incentivize the kinds of large mass migrations that have taken place at various times over roughly the last decade and have really been like a difficult thing bureaucratically for for the US to solve it.

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Border with Mexico. It's going to be their toughest issue without any doubt. I think you're going to see that is committed to Asylum into restoring the Asylum system. And I think it was the trade-off for Out of the Shadows in this country enforcement but they're going to try and temper that has more efficient morph are probably protection measures that they can do close to where people live in Central America Mexico to take some time to do the border is the last place where the red shoes and take a few months before they're ready to risk changes at the border and we launched the Asylum system because they don't want it.

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And you're silly. Thank you so much. Great to be with you part of.

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This episode of the indicator was produced by Jamila Huxtable and fact-checked by Sean. Saldania our editors Patty Hearst and the indicator is a production of NPR.

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