Kristof: Biden Making the Right Move to Curb Immigration

New York Times columnist wrestles with his 'conflicted' feelings, but sides with president
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2024 1:04 PM CDT
Kristof: Biden Making the Right Move to Curb Immigration
Border Patrol agents talk with migrants seeking asylum June 5, 2024, near Dulzura, Calif.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

President Biden's new move to restrict the number of migrants from crossing the border has drawn flak on the left, with critics saying his policies are similar to those of then-President Trump. In a New York Times op-ed, Nicholas Kristof writes that he has "reluctantly" concluded that Biden is making the right decision. "I'm conflicted, finding myself caught between pro-refugee instincts and a practical recognition that the system wasn't working: There was a torrent of illegal crossings, and the law provided a loophole that allowed people to claim asylum and stay indefinitely whether or not they warranted it." Kristof notes that he is himself a first-generation American who owes his existence to an Oregon family who sponsored his father as a refugee from Eastern Europe decades ago.

But the sad reality is that the US can't help all refugees, Kristof writes. He sees a distinction between the moves made by Biden and Trump—the latter's were more draconian, he argues, particularly the separation of families done so "cavalierly"—but he thinks Biden must act, too. "Too often, we Americans approach immigration as a binary issue. We're in favor, or we're against. In fact, immigration should be seen as a dial we adjust." The president, in his view, is making a reasonable adjustment of that dial. Even "as the son of a refugee, I think on balance that President Biden made the right call in curbing access to asylum." (Read the full op-ed)

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