The new push for immigration reform

Farmworkers pick bokchoy in a field
Farmworkers pick bokchoy in a field on Jan. 22 in Calexico, Calif. President Joe Biden has unveiled an immigration reform proposal offering an eight-year path to citizenship for some 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally as well as green cards to upwards of a million DACA recipients and temporary protected status to farmworkers already in the United States.
Sandy Huffaker | Getty Images file

Just hours after he was inaugurated, President Joe Biden signaled his intent to prioritize immigration reform: He sent a comprehensive immigration reform bill to Congress that included new protections for children migrating from Central America and an expedited path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants currently in the country without legal status. 

He also signed a slew of executive orders related to immigration, including a reversal of the travel ban on predominantly Muslim countries, a stop to border wall construction and a 100-day pause on deportations.

But he’s not the first president to tackle this complicated and politically charged issue. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both tried to overhaul immigration — and failed. How is Biden’s plan different?

Thursday, two immigration scholars looked at Biden’s proposals with MPR News host Kerri Miller.


  • Laura Collins is the director of the Economics Growth Program at the Bush Center.

  • Lisa Garcia Bedolla is the vice provost for graduate studies at the University of California-Berkeley with a research specialty in immigrant political and educational integration in the United States.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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