The continuing incursion of illegal border crossers into the United States is the most astonishing story in American politics. There have been days recently in which 10,000 people crossed illegally into the country — and remember, in a long-ago era, when Barack Obama was president, a tenth of that was considered a crisis.
The current emergency can be attributed entirely to President Joe Biden. In word and deed, from the 2020 campaign on, Biden sent a message to would-be illegal border crossers around the world: If you come to the United States, you will be allowed to stay. And millions have.
Lately, though, Biden’s welcome-to-illegal-crossers policy has become a burden on some important Democrats. New York City Mayor Eric Adams is screaming about the arrival of an estimated 110,000 new asylum seekers in his city. The cost of caring for the new residents will “destroy New York City,” Adams said. And even though Adams tried to blame Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott for sending illegal border crossers to New York, the fact is that Abbott has sent just 13,000. In any event, the presence of all 110,000 in New York is the result of Biden policies.
Now that some Democrats are complaining, news reports say Biden is beginning to feel some pressure. Can he do something to lower the heat? In response, Biden has come up with a way to address the problem: Rush more inadmissible migrants into the United States.
It seems crazy, and it is. But it is more than that. It is also perhaps the best indicator we have of Biden’s intentions in the border crisis. Look at the 10,000-a-day flow of illegal crossers over the border. The president of the United States has the authority and means to protect the U.S. border. The only way a president would allow this to go on for years is if the president wanted this to happen. And it appears that Biden does, in fact, want this to happen.
Early in the border crisis, I wrote, “The president is not trying to stop the flow of illegal crossers. Instead, he is trying to accommodate the flow, scrambling to find housing and living arrangements for those coming in. The message has gotten out to the world, and the world is coming.”
And now Biden is going one step further. With the flow at historic levels, he will use U.S. government resources to speed it up, not to slow it down. This is an entirely intentional crisis.
The New York Times reports that nearly half a million migrants from Venezuela will “be allowed to immediately apply for work authorization.” The purpose of the move, the Times said, is this: “By allowing them to legally earn income, the change could alleviate the costly burden of housing the refugees in major cities across the country. The migrants also will be protected from deportation for at least the next 18 months.”
Maybe that will mollify Mayor Adams for a while. It will certainly increase the incentive for Venezuelans to come to the U.S. as soon as possible. But how, one might ask, did the migrants arrive in the United States from Venezuela in the first place? The answer lies with a Biden administration program known as CBP One. It is what is called a “parole” program, that is, it is designed to release migrants into the United States quickly and without public scrutiny. This is from the Center for Immigration Studies: “A little-known part of the Biden administration’s CBP One parole program permits inadmissible aliens to make an appointment to fly directly to airports in the interior of the United States, bypassing the border altogether.”
The Biden program “allows migrants to take commercial passenger flights from foreign countries straight to their American cities of choice.” The program applies to migrants from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti. The migrants, according to the Center, “request ‘advance travel authorizations’ through the CBP One mobile app and take commercial flights (‘at their own expense’) directly into U.S. airports, where U.S. Customs officers parole them into the nation, sight unseen, and in numbers publicly unknown.”
The numbers are big. Through the Freedom of Information Act, the Center for Immigration Studies, which supports stricter immigration laws, got information on the flights so far in 2023. The administration has allowed in 221,456 migrants through the program this year. There were 29,120 in May, 29,506 in June, 28,669 in August, and so on. The flow continues.
Where are they going? The administration would not disclose which airports have received the migrants. If any local leaders want to know how thousands of new people are arriving in their towns virtually overnight, courtesy of the U.S. government — well, if they want to know that, they can’t find out.
Now the White House is offering immediate work authorization, not just to migrants who crossed the land border illegally but to those who took part in the administration’s secretive flight program. That will surely lure more to come, whether by foot over the border or to an undisclosed airport. If you ever hear an administration official say that President Biden is trying to get the border situation under control — don’t believe it.