By the end of his first term two years from now, President Biden may have released 3 or 4 million (maybe even 5 million) illegal immigrants into the United States. Some of them will apply for asylum, some of those will actually show up for hearings, and some of those will win their cases — but the large majority won’t do any of these things. Under Biden, these millions will just be allowed to stay illegally.
Why? What is the administration thinking?
Many commentators imagine the administration’s weak-borders policies are about importing voters for the Democrats. It’s true that, even if Republican plans for progress among Hispanics bear fruit, most Hispanic voters are still likely to lean Democrat.
But they need to be citizens to vote. And there just aren’t very many non-citizens — let alone illegal immigrants — voting.
Nor are Biden’s illegal immigrants likely to get legalized any time soon. The administration’s comprehensive immigration reform bill last year would have given green cards to those who’d arrived as little as three weeks before Inauguration Day, but it was dead on arrival. That could change if the Democrats increase their majorities in both houses of Congress this November, but that seems unlikely. Instead, Biden’s new batch of illegal immigrants will join the previous people living, if not in the shadows (you’re not in the shadows if you’re giving TV interviews and testifying before Congress), then at least in a kind of limbo.
Illegal immigrants also are counted in the Census for purposes of deciding how many congressmen — and how much federal money — each state gets. But that’s a pretty indirect and long-term issue, and doesn’t necessarily cut in the Democrats’ favor, since many of them settle in red states.