In August 2021, the Washington Post editorial board concluded President Biden’s immigration policy “has been a failure” and “he needs a coherent strategy for the border.”
Sixteen months have elapsed since with no meaningful action.
The southern border is a disaster and in chaos.
On Dec. 17, the mayor of El Paso, Texas, a Democrat, declared a state of emergency over the expected surge of illegal immigrants after Title 42 – the Trump-era public health order that has allowed border officials to turn away hundreds of thousands of migrants to prevent COVID-19 – expires on Dec. 21.
Biden kept the policy in place for most of his first year in office, but then sought to have it rescinded. He pushed for Title 42 to end without any plan to deal with the influx of illegal immigrants it will unleash.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California warned the end of Title 42 could “break” his state, after a trip to the southern border Dec. 13. Newsom said illegal immigration policies are “not working” and the U.S. government must “take responsibility and ownership.”
In May, the Department of Homeland Security secretary forecast up to 18,000 unlawful crossings per day once Title 42 was lifted. DHS is almost completely reliant on Title 42 to control migration from Mexico and the Northern Triangle.
The vast majority of Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, and Salvadorans encountered by U.S. Border Patrol in October 2022 were expelled under Title 42, rather than being processed.
Biden has done everything in his power to remove deterrents to mass migration. On taking office, he moved to stop the “Remain in Mexico” policy implemented by President Trump, which required asylum seekers to wait in Mexico until their U.S. immigration court date.
Biden also terminated the “safe third country” agreements Trump had negotiated with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, which required migrants to apply for asylum in the first foreign country they crossed into.
By any measure the border crisis is much worse.
In fiscal year 2021, there were 1.7 million encounters at the southern border – a record. In 2022, that number rose to 2.4 million – a record.
In 2021, there were 390,000 known “gotaways” – migrants who evaded Border Patrol. In 2022, “gotaways” grew to 600,000.
Those numbers only accelerated in October 2022, with over 500,000 encounters. That puts us on pace to exceed this year’s record.
As a result, more than 5 million unvetted people have entered the U.S. in the last two years. Anyone can cross.
In the year ending Sept. 30, Border Patrol stopped 98 people on the southern border who were on the U.S. terrorist watch list. How many more entered undetected?
The fentanyl drug cartels are bringing over the border is killing more Americans each year than we lost in Vietnam. Violent gang members, including from the infamous MS-13 El Salvadorian gang, smuggle drugs, firearms and aliens into the United States.
The vast majority of these migrants don’t meet the legal requirement for asylum – escaping religious or political persecution. Under the Biden administration’s “catch and release” policy, they stay pending their court hearings that won’t happen for 5 years or more because of backlogs.
The cost of caring for them in dollars, manpower and time, inevitably reduces services to taxpaying citizens and needy residents.
In September, Vice President Kamala Harris twice declared the U.S. border “secure” during a “Meet the Press” interview. That obvious lie is both ridiculous and insulting.
Asked why he was not visiting the border during a recent trip to Arizona, Biden said he had “more important things going on.”
The Democratic Party is committed to doing nothing. In the 2020 presidential primaries, candidates ignored border security and debated only who would provide greater social services for migrants.
Biden wants to change the subject. He’s AWOL on border security – it’s of no importance to the commander-in-chief.