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Biden: 'Dreamers' Should be Citizens   06/24 06:40

   (AP) -- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, unveiling his 
immigration policy outline ahead of the first 2020 debates , is calling for 
Congress to grant citizenship immediately to more than 800,000 U.S. residents 
who were brought to the country illegally as children.

   The former vice president and Democratic polling leader unveiled some of his 
immigration priorities on Monday in a newspaper op-ed that blisters President 
Donald Trump for an "assault on the dignity" of the Latino community through 
policies and rhetoric designed to "scare voters" in 2020.

   "Trump repeatedly invokes racist invective to describe anyone south of the 
Rio Grande," Biden writes, noting "horrifying scenes ... of kids being kept in 
cages" and other "actions that subvert our American values and our ability to 
lead on the global stage."

   Biden, who launched his 2020 campaign in April, calls for streamlining the 
asylum system for migrants and spending more on electronic security at U.S. 
borders rather than Trump's proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall.

   Biden pledges an overhaul of U.S. foreign policy in the Americas, echoing 
fellow Democrats who've blasted Trump's approach to Mexico, Central America and 
South America.

   "The Administration's Latin America policy is at best a Cold War-era 
retread, and at worst an ineffective mess," Biden writes.

   The op-ed is published in the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, with Biden 
using the English and Spanish versions to praise the diversity of the 
surrounding city where 20 Democratic candidates will take the debate stage in 
two heats Wednesday and Thursday.

   Other than the so-called "Dreamers" brought to the U.S. as children, Biden's 
outline does not directly address the more than 11 million immigrants in the 
country illegally. But as vice president in President Barack Obama's 
administration, he backed a comprehensive immigration overhaul that would have 
established a path to citizenship for most of those residents. That effort 
cleared the Senate but died in what was then a Republican-led House.

   Trump has said his hard-line immigration policies are necessary to keep the 
country safe.

   The immigrants brought to the U.S. as children are commonly referred to as 
"Dreamers" because of never-passed proposals in Congress called the DREAM Act, 
which would have allowed them to remain in the country if they met certain 
criteria. Opponents say the act would reward people for breaking the law, 
encourage illegal immigration and hurt American workers.


(KA)

 
 
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