Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has vowed to provide citizenship to 11 million illegal immigrants if voted to power in the November 3 presidential election.
Biden identified this as one of his priorities in addition to beating the coronavirus pandemic, rebuilding the economy and figuring out how to restore American leadership around the world.
Responding to a question at a virtual fundraiser on Wednesday, Biden said there is a need to deal with what’s going on at the border.
“We’re going to have to deal with the immigration crisis we have. I’m going to send the House and Senate an immigration bill that’s going to provide access to citizenship to 11 million people,” he said.
President Donald Trump has been repeatedly calling for the quick deportation of illegal immigrants who “invade” the US and lamented that the current immigration system is “unfair” to those who came legally to America.
Trump has been asserting that building a wall along the Mexico border is the only way to check illegal immigration, and on various occasions said that every day the US border patrol encounters roughly 2,000 illegal immigrants trying to enter the country.
According to Biden’s campaign, there were 37 attendees and the event was hosted by Jane Hartley, former US Ambassador to France and Monaco and current Chairman, Sesame Workshop; Blair Effron, Founder & Partner, Centerview Partners; Indian American Deven Parekh, Managing Director, Insight Partners and Roger Altman, Founder & Senior Chairman, Evercore.
When asked how he would envision his first 30 days in office in terms of both domestic and foreign policy, Biden said: “A lot more can go wrong between now and January 21, and I’m not being facetious. Four more years, we’re not going to have the country we have now”.
“If the American people elect me, we’re going to have an enormous task in repairing the damage he’s done,” Biden said, referring to the policies of Trump, a Republican.
“We have to be beating the virus, rebuilding the economy and figuring out how to restore American leadership around the world,” Biden said.
Biden said he would move to quickly implement his plan to deal with the pandemic and reopen safely. The Democratic presidential candidate also made a note of the challenges facing “the so-called Z Generation, the very young.”
“They’ve really gotten screwed since they got out of school,” Biden said. “The jobs aren’t there,” he said. “But guess what? They’re the most open, progressive and the brightest generation we’ve ever had,” he added.
“And we have to embrace them. They know the change we need to make and how we need to be much more, much more integrated in everything we do,” he said.
Biden was critical of the policies of President Donald Trump. “The rest of the world is wondering, what in the Lord’s name is happening? What we’re living through today is not normal,” he said.
He reiterated his attacks on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, nothing more than 215,000 Americans have died, and criticised the president for backing away from stimulus talks.
“He didn’t walk away. He never was part of ‘em,” Biden said.
“Three days later, after he said he was walking away, he said he’s coming back … One day, he’s tweeting that the relief package is too big … next day it’s too small. The longer he’s president, the more reckless he gets,” he added.
The US is the worst-hit nation by the deadly coronavirus, with the total number of infections standing at 7,916,100 and deaths at 216,872, according to Johns Hopkins University.
While talking more broadly about the stakes of the election, Biden noted he just got off the phone with top US investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett.
“We have to refuse to postpone what America has to do, the work we have to do. There’s nothing beyond our capacity for God’s sake,” Biden said.
“Just got off the phone with Warren Buffett and talked about how … we’re in a position, unlike we were 50, 70, 80 years ago, to lead the whole damn world in a way that no one else can. There’s no limit to America’s future. The only thing that’s going to tear America apart is America itself,” he said.