Some will no doubt make the argument that the needed enforcement has already happened, during the Trump administration. And it’s true that there were many improvements to immigration enforcement over the past four years. But they don’t even come close to the prerequisites for considering amnesty, for two reasons.
First, Trump’s reforms were ephemeral. Since they were all the result of executive actions, they all can and will be reversed by President Biden (and a compliant judiciary will not interfere to the degree it did in Trump’s actions).
Second, Trump’s immigration-control advances were incomplete. The border wall, as important as it is, is simply one tool among many, and not necessarily the most important one. There is still no entry-exit tracking system in place, 25 years after it was mandated by Congress. For all his supposed hawkishness on immigration, Trump was ambivalent about E-Verify and took no steps to expand its use. Deportations did not increase, while sanctuaries multiplied, despite the administration’s efforts to combat them.
We’re no closer to having in place the enforcement prerequisites for an amnesty than we were under Obama — arguably, we’re farther away, given the Left’s scorched-earth assault on immigration-law enforcement over the past four years. The passage of the Biden immigration bill — even in a slimmed-down form — would merely guarantee continued illegal immigration in the future.