There are two options, or alternatives, for sanctuary cities that complement each other. There should be an easier pathway to citizenship, as stated on Joe Biden’s website, but there is an option for the Republicans and Democrats to meet in the middle and provide a temporary location for migrants and asylum seekers in the form of Stephen Miller’s plan i.e. to release immigrants into sanctuary cities. Although the intent of Stephen Miller’s plan is to punish sanctuary jurisdiction, his proposal actually lends a hand towards the immigration process. It provides an option for sanctuary cities to operate in various locations for migrants to feel safe.
Joe Biden proposes that we “reform the visa program for temporary workers in select industries… (The Biden Plan for Securing Our Values as a Nation of Immigrants).” How the Vice President and Stephen Miller’s plans can meet in the middle is through an expedition of the visa process for those located in Sanctuary Cities. This is contingent on sanctuary jurisdictions providing transportation for asylum seekers in migrants upon the approval of their visa process. An interesting fact, brought up by Shikha Dalmia is that “There are about 300 state and local governments that are considered sanctuary jurisdictions. Even if they had to absorb a million asylum seekers this year that would work out to an average of 3,333 per jurisdiction (Dalmia, 2019).” In addition, Dalmia lays out precedence in which Florida accepted over 125,000 low skilled Cuban convicts in the 1980s and since then, there has been no correlation between crime and migration.
So, the question is, will this plan appease Americans on the anti-immigration side of the political spectrum? The answer is yes. This plan would provide a “guest worker program with Central American countries (Dalmia, 2019) that would serve those who want immigrants to prove they are contributing to the economy; as their stay would be contingent on the labor they do. This would also allow the United States’ Immigration and Customs Enforcements (ICE) to relocate to areas out of sanctuary jurisdictions and focus on other matters. Thus, there would be no need to disband ICE, but maybe restructure so that they are performing other tasks.
So, with all that being said, why should the plan to create a pathway towards citizenship accompany the plan to relocate migrants and asylum seekers to local jurisdictions? “In 2015, the IRS collected $23.6 billion from 4.4 million workers without Social Security numbers-many of whom were undocumented (The Biden Plan for Securing Our Values as a Nation of Immigrants).” Vice President, and Presidential Candidate, Joe Biden’s proposal to reform the visa program to provide work for markets that need labor would serve different cities looking for labor positions to be filled. According to Dalmia, “Many mayors and governors who have for years been pleading with Uncle Sam to give them special visas to recruit immigrants to relieve labor shortages or to boost flagging population can jump in on the action (Dalmia, 2019).” With that being said, a path towards citizenship for immigrants through work visas in designated sanctuary jurisdictions could serve the values of both democrats and republicans.
Dalmia, Shikha. “Sanctuary Cities Should Hope That Stephen Miller Makes Good on His Threats.” Reason.com. Reason, April 22, 2019. https://reason.com/2019/04/23/sanctuary-cities-should-hope-that-stephen-miller-makes-good-on-his-threats/.
“The Biden Plan for Securing Our Values as a Nation of Immigrants.” Joe Biden for President: Official Campaign Website, August 5, 2020. https://joebiden.com/immigration/.