[Editor’s note: Make sure to read Joseph Klein’s masterpiece contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
Illegal immigrants continue to pour into the United States, adding to the millions whom the Biden administration has already allowed to enter the country and has released from custody in violation of U.S. immigration laws. Despite crisis conditions at the southern border with Mexico, the administration has repeatedly assured the American people that everything is under control.
Senior Biden administration officials claimed that they had an effective plan to prevent any further surge of illegal immigrant crossings following the expiration of the Title 42 health emergency order on May 11th, which had allowed expedited expulsions. But after a brief downtick in June, the number of illegal immigrants apprehended by border officials jumped more than 30 percent in July to exceed 130,000, according to preliminary figures cited by the Washington Post.
President Biden created the border crisis. The president and his incompetent Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, have utterly failed to carry out the executive branch’s constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the immigration laws. In addition to not securing the border adequately in the first place, the Biden administration has made catch and release its standard policy.
Prodded by the expiration of the Title 42 health emergency expulsion order, the administration scrambled to implement carrot and stick measures intended to redirect immigrants seeking to enter the country to do so through legally permissible channels. The hodgepodge of measures includes an app allowing migrants to make appointments beforehand for entry into the United States at a U.S. port of entry to apply for asylum. The app does not work consistently, and Mexican cartel smugglers have already hacked it. Many migrants have simply bypassed using the app altogether and have entered the country illegally without an appointment.
The Biden administration also added a requirement that migrants seeking asylum in the United States must first demonstrate that they tried but failed to obtain asylum in a safe country through which they traveled to reach the U.S. As the July surge of illegal immigrants entering the country demonstrates, they have found ways to bypass this requirement with the help of human smugglers.
The Biden administration tried to defend its new asylum measures after U.S. District Court Judge Jon S. Tigar in California ruled on July 25th that the restrictions were unlawful. In a filing seeking an emergency stay of Judge Tigar’s order from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which was granted temporarily, administration lawyers delivered a somber warning. Without the new restrictions available for use, they wrote, there could be “a surge in border crossings that could match — or even exceed — the levels seen in the days leading up to the end of the Title 42’ order.”
This begs the question why at minimum the restrictions were not put into place and implemented at the outset of the Biden presidency. President Biden set the surge in border crossings in motion on his first day in office by opening the border wide to record numbers of illegal immigrants. He did away with the Trump administration’s deterrent policies that had limited the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border and brought back catch and release on a massive scale. Biden thought it was more important to cater to the Democratic Party’s left-wing progressive base with its pro-open border agenda rather than put the welfare and security of the American people first.
Now, as if a lightbulb suddenly went on in their heads, the Biden administration is finally seeking half-heartedly to restrict asylum seekers’ entry into the country – more than two years after enthusiastically pursuing precisely the opposite course.
Too little too late!
President Biden’s reckless immigration policies have placed an enormous strain on the resources of small communities and large cities alike, both near the southern border as well as thousands of miles away from the border. Instead of taking responsibility for detaining asylum-seekers while they are awaiting court hearings on their applications years from now, the Biden administration is releasing many asylum seekers and expecting the localities where they settle to bear the consequences.
Texas has installed its own barriers to limit the flow of illegal immigrants into the state but has met resistance from the Biden administration, which claims that immigration is exclusively a federal government responsibility. But the administration has not fulfilled its responsibility to stem the tide of illegal immigrants. It has released many asylum-seekers rather than detain them or at least take care of the cost of their shelter, food, clothes, health care, and other necessities while they remain in the country pending their asylum hearings. Texas has been forced to step into the breach and take action in order to save its border towns from continuing to be overwhelmed by the huge influx. Instead of working with Texas officials to enforce the law and alleviate the strain on border towns’ resources, the Biden administration has sued the state of Texas over the its Rio Grande buoy barrier installed to slow down the flow of more illegal immigrants into the state.
As Texas sent thousands of migrants to sanctuary cities, Democrat politicians up north have been getting a taste of what border states like Texas and Arizona have been putting up with because of President Biden’s open border policies. These Democrats are directing their anger at the president and leader of their own party. And they are demanding federal support to relieve the financial burdens their cities have been forced to incur as more migrants arrive at their doorsteps virtually every day.
Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey, for example, complained of “a federal crisis of inaction” and demanded that the Biden administration help defray the cost of housing more than 20,000 immigrants in her state’s shelters.
Democrat Chicago Alderman Raymond Lopez wrote in an open letter to President Biden complaining about the lack of help from the federal government to deal with the fallout from the immigration crisis. He stated that Chicago’s migrant camps and shelters “offering semi-permanent housing to the migrants and asylum seekers…are pushing our city to the brink unnecessarily because of the lax response from [Homeland Security] Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas and USCIS Director [Ur] Jaddou.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams hardly lets a day go by without pointing out the urgent need for federal assistance. “We are past our breaking point,” Mayor Adams declared recently as he projected that the cost to the city of taking care of homeless immigrant arrivals could add up to at least $12 billion over the next three years.
Last April, Mayor Adams said that the flood of migrants into New York City was bringing about “one of the largest humanitarian crises this city has ever experienced.” He added: “It will impact every service in this city. Why isn’t every elected official in Washington, D.C. asking the national government, ‘Why are you doing this to New York?’ The national government has turned its back on New York City.”
New York City has an absurd Right to Shelter Law, which requires the city to provide shelter to anyone with no homes to call their own within the city’s five boroughs. This law has been applied to cover homeless migrants coming to New York from anywhere in the world. It is contributing to the outrageous financial burden being imposed on New Yorkers that will only get worse as more migrants are lured by the city’s freebies. But that is still no excuse for the federal government to shirk its responsibility to fully pay for the immigration crisis that President Biden himself created by giving a free pass to millions of immigrants crossing the border illegally.
To date, the Biden administration has offered New York City a token $142 million in federal funding. Adding insult to injury, the administration rejected Democrat New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s request to use the 1000-acre former military airfield, Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, to house some of the migrants in New York City needing shelter.
The immigration crisis created by President Biden has reached its breaking point and the American people are fed up. This is yet another of many reasons why Joe Biden should be a one-term president.