America has had an illegal immigration problem for decades, but President Trump showed how stronger laws and simply enforcing the laws we already have on the books can help combat illegal immigration. Over many years, politicians from both sides of the aisle have vowed to solve this problem through various means and actions, but the problem of illegal land border crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border has reached a crescendo under President Biden. In the 2021 calendar year, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) reported over 2 million encounters along the southwest land border.
The number of southwest U.S. land border encounters in April beat the previous record of 222,144 encounters reported the month prior, March 2022 (the most ever recorded!).
These numbers are so outrageous that they are hard to conceptualize and are becoming impossible to justify. In fact, President Biden isn’t even addressing the issue publicly. He’s ignoring the problem outright while trying to head off even larger issues like inflation, which is surging at its highest rate in four decades.
Biden is in a political and legal pickle on immigration – a lawless mess of his own creation. On the one hand, his immigration policies have failed miserably, and stopping the border security needed, including “the wall,” essentially constitutes an open invitation by him and his administration to largely “unrestricted illegal alien entry” and the surreptitious transporting them to communities throughout the United States. In his first year in office as President, more people have illegally crossed into the U.S. than ever before in our history.
In this connection, US immigration law (8 USC 1324(a) “Criminal penalties”) makes it a criminal felony to encourage or induce an alien (and for “each alien”) to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry or residence is or will be in violation of the law. Indeed, Biden’s decisions and his immigration directives and actions ignore his responsibilities under the Constitution. Article II, section 3, defines the roles and responsibilities of the President and says in part, “…he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed…” Furthermore, such actions by Biden and his administration also ignore the Presidential Oath as set forth in the Constitution and which he took, promising “I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Even still, Biden faces constant pressure from his own party to ease immigration laws further. Many have pressured him to eliminate Title 42, a Trump-era health measure that authorizes the U.S. government to expel illegal migrants to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As such, CBP has been in a mad dash to prepare for a massive influx of illegal migrant crossings. Video reports from Fox News showed thousands of people crossing at a single location. “This is a new tent city compound that border patrol started building here in Eagle Pass [Texas] in anticipation of that surge with Title 42 [expected to end],” correspondent Bill Meligun said.
Blue state Democratic Senators in tough reelection battles, such as Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and Catherine Cortez Mastro (D-NV), have all publicly questioned Biden’s approach. Even moderate Democrat Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), a top Biden ally, and Senate Homeland Security Chairman Gary Peters (D-MI) have spoken up regarding Biden’s efforts to repeal Title 42.
“Unless we have a well-thought-out plan, I think it is something that should be revisited and perhaps delayed. I’m going to defer judgment on that until I give the [Biden] administration the opportunity to fully articulate what that plan is,” Peters said. “The administration really needs to step up here, develop a plan and get more resources to the southern border,” Hassan told a New Hampshire television station, while visiting Arizona.
A Morning Consult-POLITICO poll from last month showed that 56% of U.S. voters opposed the President’s plan to end Title 42, calling it “Biden’s most unpopular move yet.”
On May 20th, a federal judge struck down President Biden’s attempt to end Title 42. Robert R. Summerhays, a Louisiana judge appointed by President Trump ruled that Biden violated the administrative procedures act in announcing in April the he planned to rescind the Title 42 order. The judge noted that this would cause “irreparable harm” as states would be footing the bill for migrants’ health needs. Frankly, President Biden is lucky that the judge smacked down his poor policy decision, much like what happened when he attempted to rescind President Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy. Title 42 is likely to be tied up in litigation in the coming months.
Even with these measures still in place, the administration is willingly turning a blind eye to a huge problem on the southern border and the law which it supposed to enforce. President Biden’s border problem is one of his own creation and even his own party is being forced to question his policy decisions. Republicans are also fairly questioning his motives and the administration’s willful abatement of responsibility for this massive problem. Polls show that voters, while being chiefly concerned with inflation and the economy, are also intensely concerned with the crisis on our southern border. It’s past time for President Biden to wake up and follow the law, and to listen to the American people — as well as reasonable voices within Biden’s own party — who are urging him to stop making America’s surging illegal immigration problem even worse.
Bob Carlstrom is President of AMAC Action