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Immigration among top issues for voters heading into 2024 election

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have vastly different approaches to immigration and the U.S. border.
Immigration Arizona Border
Posted at 9:49 AM, Jul 08, 2024

Whoever is elected as president in November’s election will confront a host of issues. But when it comes to the topic of immigration and the U.S. border, there are vast differences between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

In terms of immigration, President Biden has repeatedly called for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S.

The president recently expanded health care benefits to DACA recipients. DACA is the program that gives immigrants who came to the U.S. as children some protections.

In recent weeks, President Biden has also made it easier for immigrants married to U.S. citizens to qualify for citizenship.

On the other hand, Trump tried to end DACA as president. He has called for "mass deportations" for those in the U.S. illegally.

Trump has also called for an end to automatic citizenship for children born in the U.S. from immigrant parents. He also opposes increasing refugee numbers to assist those from other countries.

Trump did however call for graduates of U.S. colleges to receive an easier process to get a green card.

Where the U.S.-Mexico border is concerned, there are also vast differences between President Biden and the former president on how to limit illegal crossings.

"To protect America as a land that welcomes immigrants, we must first secure the border, and secure it now,” President Biden has said.

The president took steps earlier this year to make it harder to declare asylum, shutting down the border when there are over 2,500 daily crossings.

President Biden used the same authority to issue that executive order that Trump used to restrict the asylum-seeking process.

Trump's border plan not only includes restricting asylum, but it also includes new plans to build a wall along the southern border. He hasn't ruled out sending the military to the border either. He was asked about it during an interview with Scripps News Phoenix.

When asked if he would send federal agents and the military to make sure certain border arrests are happening, Trump said, “If it was necessary to protect our border — absolutely."

Of course, presidents are limited in what they can do regarding immigration and border security.

Experts have said comprehensive reform can only come from Congress.

The last time Congress acted to pass major immigration reform was nearly 40 years ago.