December 21st was the date set by a federal court order to end border agents’ emergency authority under Title 42 to immediately expel illegal immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border on public health grounds related to COVID-19. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has stepped in at the last minute to temporarily freeze this order in response to an emergency appeal that a number of Republican-led states filed on December 19th. Justice Roberts gave the Biden administration a day to respond to these states’ appeal. Notably, the administration itself had not moved to reverse the lower court’s order, or even to seek a stay. Earlier this year, the administration itself was moving to end Title 42.
The Biden administration claims to be prepared to handle the huge, expected influx of as many as 18,000 illegal immigrants crossing the southern border daily once the Title 42 expulsion authority is lifted. It just needs some help from Congress, it says. Congress should give the Biden Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at least $3 billion more of border funding for who knows what, and Congress should also pass the administration’s “comprehensive immigration reform.” Do these things, the Biden administration assures us, and all will be well.
Pardon my skepticism. The administration’s so-called immigration reform proposal is little more than a plan for mass amnesty. And the administration has proven unwilling to spend the money that it has already received on what should be the government’s highest priority – to beef up border security. It would be insane to give this catch-and-release crew even more money to squander.
Look at how the Biden administration has been using the border agents, for example. Border agents are supposed to enforce the nation’s immigration laws. That means keeping illegal immigrants from entering the U.S. and promptly removing or detaining those who manage to cross the border illegally. Instead, the administration is assigning border agents to process illegal immigrants and prepare them for release into border towns and other parts of the U.S. This diversion of border agents creates huge gaps in law enforcement along the border, which Mexican cartels exploit to smuggle across the border many more illegal immigrants and a record amount of deadly fentanyl.
Instead of providing the resources and support that the border agents need to do their real jobs, the Biden administration has undercut the agents at every turn. President Biden and senior officials in his administration, for example, falsely accused border agents on horseback of “whipping” Haitian migrants who were trying to illegally enter the United States. Biden and company assumed that the border agents were guilty without any facts to back up their rush to judgement. Even after the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Personal Responsibility found “no evidence that [Border Patrol agents] involved in this incident struck, intentionally or otherwise, any migrant with their reins,” Biden did not apologize. To save face, the administration disgracefully referred agents involved in the incident for administrative discipline.
Border agents are understandably angry and demoralized.
The border crisis started the day that President Biden took office. He reversed many of the policies of the Trump administration that were successful in keeping illegal immigrant border crossings to a manageable level, including the construction of the border wall. The Biden administration left building materials along the wayside that could have been used to complete the construction of the border wall that was well underway when President Biden took office. Taxpayers had to incur needless termination costs after President Biden abruptly stopped the border wall construction project.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s claim that President Biden “has done the work to deal with what we’re seeing at the border since day one” is laughable. All that President Biden has done from day one has been to deliberately open the floodgates to illegal immigrants.
President Biden’s first Border Patrol chief, Rodney Scott, wrote a letter to the Senate leadership back in September 2021 stating that he had “witnessed the unprecedented seismic shift in border security and immigration policy that was initiated on January 20, 2021.” Mr. Scott wrote that this “seismic” policy shift “created the current border crisis,” adding that he had “witnessed a lack of any meaningful effort to secure our borders.”
Conditions at the border have gotten far worse. Just look at the facts on the ground, which the Biden administration continues to play down.
There were 230,678 reported U.S. Customs and Border Protection encounters in total with illegal immigrants along the southwest land border in October 2022 alone, a 1.3% increase compared to September 2022. During the 2022 fiscal year, which ended September 30th, there were 2,766,582 such encounters, far exceeding the record set during the prior fiscal year. And that is not counting all the illegal immigrants who managed to slip through the cracks and got away.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas either lied to Congress or was delusional when he testified last month that he thought the southern border was secure. Whatever the explanation is for his false claim, Mayorkas is unfit for his position and needs to go as soon as possible for the sake of the country.
However, Alejandro Mayorkas’s departure will not itself solve the problem that President Biden created. Mayorkas is incompetent at best or a pathological liar at worst. But he is just carrying out the president’s reckless policies. And President Biden continues to pooh-pooh the notion that there is a crisis at the border of his own making.
When the president visited Arizona earlier this month, he did not bother to stop at the border, which was just a hop, skip, and a jump away, to see the unmanageable conditions at the border firsthand. President Biden explained that “there are more important things going on.”
Never mind about the security, health, and welfare of the border town residents who are being inundated daily by surges of illegal immigrants crossing the border and then quickly released into the residents’ communities. More important things are going on, said Biden.
Not only did President Biden refuse to visit Arizona’s border with Mexico when he had the chance. His Department of Justice has just recently sued Arizona’s Republican Governor Doug Ducey to stop Arizona’s construction of its own border wall consisting of shipping containers. The Biden administration alleged that Arizona was “trespassing on federal lands” and that its installation of the shipping containers was damaging federal lands as well as threatening public safety.
The Biden administration is perfectly willing to let millions of migrants enter the U.S. illegally, trespass on public and private lands, damage property, and commit crimes against Americans. However, when the sovereign state of Arizona tries to protect its own residents by building a border barrier, after the Biden administration refused to enforce America’s immigration laws, the administration puts up a no trespass sign.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dismissed out of hand the idea that the end of Title 42 would lead to chaos at the border. “The fact is that the removal of Title 42 does not mean the border is open,” Ms. Jean-Pierre said during a White House press briefing. “Anyone who suggests otherwise is simply doing the work of these smugglers who, again, are spreading misinformation which is very dangerous.”
The border already is open, thanks to the Biden administration’s decision to place the interests of illegal immigrants above enforcing the nation’s immigration laws and protecting the American people. The Biden administration’s reckless immigration open door policies are jacking up the demand for the smugglers’ services, which will skyrocket further once Title 42 authority is lifted.