The Tensions of Joe Biden’s Immigration Platform

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden during a visit to a voter-activation center in Chester, Pa., October 26, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
Even as Biden stakes his campaign on a “return to normalcy,” his immigration platform might double down on the contradictions that have powered the past five years of political disruption.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE O ne of the central issues of the 2016 presidential race, immigration was rocket-fuel for Donald Trump’s insurgent candidacy. But immigration has played much less of a role in the 2020 campaign. It received little attention in the initial presidential debates, and the third debate’s brief discussion of the issue was mostly confined to border policies. Nor have the Trump or Biden campaigns led with this issue.

The relative lack of discussion of Biden’s immigration platform has obscured the scope of his plans for immigration as well as the tensions within his vision for immigration policy. Though he doesn’t talk about it