Andrew R. Arthur at the Center for Immigration Studies estimated the number of illegal aliens who could receive amnesty if Joe Biden becomes President, and the total number of new immigrants that would come to the United States through chain migration once amnestied aliens were able to sponsor family members.
Biden has promised, among other things, not to deport anyone in his first 100 days in office, as well as promising amnesty to everyone illegally in the United States. He also has indicated he would not end chain migration, which is how the majority of new immigrants arrive in the United States.
While the number of illegal aliens in the United States is usually estimated at around 11-12 million, what many American don't realize is that any amnesty would likely result in tens of millions of immigrants coming to the United States as a result of familial relationships to those who originally benefit from legalization.
The way that the current immigration laws are structured, immigrants are able to petition for their spouses and children to enter the United States, and once they become citizens, those erstwhile immigrants are able to petition for their parents and siblings, as well. My colleague Jessica Vaughan noted in a September 2017 Backgrounder that 61 percent of the 33 million immigrants admitted to the United States between 1981 and 2016 (20 million in total) were such "chain migration immigrants".
Nothing that the former vice president has said or issued on the campaign trail suggests that he has any intention of reforming that system (he actually says the opposite), however, and in fact, there is no reason to believe that he would not make immediate relatives abroad of an alien issued amnesty eligible for entry, too.
Arthur also notes that the failure to uphold immigration law results in a de facto amnesty, since those who are here illegally and don't receive amnesty through formal legislation are not removed from the U.S., even if they are apprehended by law enforcement. Biden has vowed no one will ever be deported unless they commit a felony.
Once released, there is no reason to believe that they will ever leave. Why do I say that? Because, as I have noted, the former vice president has stated that he will only remove aliens who have committed felonies in the United States (not including DUI), and will fire any ICE officer who transgresses this mandate.
Unless Biden gives way on either the legislative amnesty, the de facto one, or both, that will mean that millions — if not tens of millions — of aliens will remain in and/or enter the United States illegally and stay forever.
Read Arthur's full analysis here.
Updated: Fri, Nov 20th 2020 @ 5:15pm EST