TAMPA, Fla. - President-elect Joe Biden says he will send a comprehensive immigration plan to Congress within his first 100 days in office. But he will face some striking challenges, starting with his pledge to stop construction on our southern border walls.
"There will not be another foot of wall constructed in my administration," Biden pledged on the campaign trail.
To fulfill that promise, Biden would have to terminate some $7-billion in federal building contracts the Trump administration has already signed. The incoming Biden administration would have to settle those terminated contracts with tax-dollars. We would all be paying the builders to abandon their work.
Biden will face pressure from both sides on this as he appears to have a choice between paying people a lot of money to do nothing, or break a campaign pledge.
Meanwhile, Biden has also promised to protect the more than 600,000 ‘dreamers.’ He said those who were brought her illegally as young kids years ago -- by no fault of their own -- will not be deported on his watch.
"So for me, this election has meant everything because it meant I could finish my college degree and then I can get a job," DACA recipient Estefany Pineda offered.
But Biden will face court challenges on that, and the final decisions could be made by a Supreme Court stacked with republican appointees – including three from President Trump.
There are several other changes Biden can and likely will make in immigration policy by reversing Trump’s executive actions.
He has said he will revise visa policies, end travel bans from some majority-Muslim nations, and improve conditions for migrants seeking asylum.
He also pledged to step up efforts to reunite migrant families the Trump administration separated at the border.
"They got separated from their parents and it makes us a laughingstock and violates every notion of who we are as a nation," Biden said.
Given the manner in which the families were separated, there are no guarantees of results.
Biden has also called for broader immigration reform to include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who follows the ground rules. But that would require passing a bill through Congress which Republican and Democratic presidents alike have failed to do for years.