President Joe Biden rode into Washington on a wave of big promises to the left.
But the lifetime politician has already engaged in the age-old practice of breaking those promises.
He’s being called out by liberal groups for failing to deliver on a major plank in his immigration reform platform, and that’s the reunification of children separated from their families at the border.
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More than 500 children who were separated from their parents during illegal border crossings remain in U.S. custody, many living here with relatives.
The Trump administration was working under court order to find those parents – many of whom had returned to their own countries in Central America, making them difficult to track.
The issue became a key Biden talking point during the campaign and the debates, including a battleground-state ad vowing “first day” action on the matter, with a video tugging at heartstrings as Biden speaks of children “ripped from their arms and separated.”
Biden called the act “criminal.”
Then came the big promise: “On his first day as president, Joe Biden will issue an executive order creating a federal task force to reunite these children with their parents,” the narrator promised.
Biden signed 17 executive orders on that first day.
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This wasn’t one of them.
He signed nine on his second day.
But it didn’t make the cut there, either.
Biden has signed dozens and dozens of executive orders in the week since taking office… but the one he promised he’d sign “on his first day in office” was nowhere among them.
NBC News said many core immigration promises made by Biden during the campaign were being “delayed” for an undetermined period of time.
Officials did not explain the reason for the delay.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain told the network only that the Biden administration would “start the difficult but critical work of reuniting families separated at the border.”
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That’s very different from the “first day” action launched with an executive order that Biden promised during the campaign, where it was an issue used in ads, sound bites, and even during the debates.
Biden used those same opportunities to distance himself from his own past on the issue – as well as the actions taken when he was vice president under then-President Barack Obama.
“We didn’t lock people up in cages,” Biden declared in 2019, referring to the Obama administration. “We didn’t separate families. We didn’t do all of those things, number one.”
Except they did, with PolitiFact rating the claim “False” and pointing in part to a 2014 newspaper article that looked at border detention facilities.
“They are undocumented. They entered the country illegally. And when they were apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, they were shipped to Nogales from overwhelmed processing facilities in Texas,” said the Arizona Republic article, adding:
“But they are still children in cages, not gangsters, not delinquents. Just children, 900 of them, in a makeshift border-town processing center that is larger than a football field.”
Now, he’s distancing himself not only from his own history… but his own promises, too.
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Even the order he’s expected to issue won’t be a solid action of its own, but instead lead to the creation of a multi-agency task force.
In other words, another layer of bureaucracy in the federal government. Immigrant groups aren’t happy, and are calling on him to keep his promise:
Over 600 parents still haven't been reunited with their children after being separated at the border.
Reuniting families needs to be a priority. This work can't wait. https://t.co/Sht0eGBHhg
— National Immigration Forum (@NatImmForum) January 25, 2021
All indications are the task force is coming and coming soon. But given the delays already, quick action once they finally meet seems very unlikely – and the children who were promised “first day” action won’t be going home anytime soon.
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert.