Letters to the Editor: Biden’s border policy follows U.S. law on refugees. What’s radical about that?

President Biden speaks at the White House on March 8.
(Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

To the editor: It is remarkable that our national immigration debate rarely if ever takes account of our laws, regardless of who occupies the White House. (“Biden’s bind: Dismantling Trump immigration policies without sparking a border rush,” March 6)

Since Congress passed the Refugee Act in 1980, it has been U.S. law to take in refugees (as that term is defined by the 1967 United Nations protocol) arriving at our borders, and allow them to petition for asylum and citizenship.

At one time it was understood and accepted that Congress made laws, and the executive carried out those laws. No president faithfully carrying out the will of Congress should find himself in a “bind” merely for executing the law. If the result of any law has a consequence we the people find inconvenient, then the onus is on Congress to change that law.


Recalling the 2013 collapse of the “Gang of Eight’s” comprehensive immigration bill, and the subsequent flip-flop of some of those gang members, it is obvious that congressional Republicans and would-be presidential candidates find some value in continuing the chaos and crisis at our borders.

Joseph S. Carmellino, San Diego