AMAC Exclusive – By Seamus Brennan
As Americans celebrated the start of the new year following a particularly tumultuous 2021, few were likely surprised to see President Joe Biden entering his second year in office with the worst disapproval ratings of his term thus far. Less than a full year since his inauguration, the Biden presidency has been largely defined by a growing mountain of crises—from record levels of inflation to humiliating COVID failures, to his cataclysmic withdrawal from Afghanistan. But few issues have exposed Joe Biden’s toxic combination of radicalism and ineptitude more strikingly than his orchestration of the worst year for border security in American history.
When Joe Biden entered office, he inherited what was by most metrics the most secure border on record from former President Donald Trump. Under Trump, the U.S. saw a nearly 90 percent reduction in illegal border crossings thanks to policies like “Remain in Mexico” (which ended the practice of “catch and release” and forced would-be illegal border crossers to wait for their court date in Mexico rather than the United States), construction of hundreds of miles of the border wall, asylum reform, and expedited deportations. Throughout his four years in office, Trump also targeted the cartels and criminal gangs that had for years wreaked havoc in Mexico and American cities, leading to a number of notable successes like the deportation of more than 4,000 known members of the notorious MS-13. These efforts included a record reduction in drug trafficking, which contributed to the administration’s historic advances in the battle against opioid addiction and overdoses.
Despite that clear record of success, immediately upon entering office Biden reversed nearly every one of those policies. Rather than forcing border crossers to remain in Mexico while awaiting adjudication of their case by immigration courts, migrants were crowded into massive camps inside the United States. Biden also re-instituted catch-and-release and stopped and even reversed border wall construction – not only weakening border security but also wasting millions of taxpayer dollars.
Yet another hallmark of successful Trump-era border policy abandoned by the Biden administration has been a robust cooperation with Mexico and other Latin American countries from which migrants originate. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador notably suggested that illegal migrants see Biden as “the migrant president,” which has compelled many to “feel they’re going to reach the United States.” Unsurprisingly, these comments have failed to elicit any response from the White House other than continued attempts to whitewash the crisis, or in the words of a recent takedown of Biden’s record from Trump’s Save America PAC, give the impression that “they had no idea what was happening.”
Biden also effectively hamstrung U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other law enforcement agencies—going so far as to implement what the administration calls “protected areas” in which ICE is not permitted to enter. President Biden and top White House officials also attacked Border Patrol, repeating debunked claims that Del Rio border agents were “whipping” migrants attempting to cross into the U.S. illegally, leading one agent to comment that the president had “started a war with border patrol.”
All of this was a recipe for disaster.
And disaster is exactly what we have seen over the past 12 months. In 2021, U.S. Border Patrol encountered nearly two million illegal aliens—the most since records started—and that only includes those who were caught. Despite Biden’s repeated attempts to downplay the border crisis as something that “happens every year,” the numbers suggest otherwise. July of 2021 saw the most apprehensions in a single month for at least the past 21 years. In November, law enforcement agencies reported 173,620 stops along the border – more than twice the number of stops in November of 2020.
On Biden’s watch, arrests of illegal alien drug smugglers increased by 453 percent, while arrests of illegal alien sex offenders skyrocketed 212 percent. Most alarmingly, under President Biden, Border Patrol arrests of illegal alien murderers rose more than 1,900 percent. While arrests are good, such an increase indicates a drastic increase in the number of criminals coming into the country, with many being released or altogether undetected.
But the Biden border crisis does not end there: in the months since Biden took office, unprecedented amounts of lethal drugs—including fentanyl and methamphetamine—have been detected by Border Patrol. 11,000 pounds of fentanyl, for instance, were seized in the fiscal year 2021, which is more than double the amount the previous year (once again, this is an indicator for a huge increase in traffic). Moreover, Biden’s policies have prompted the largest number of unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border in history, many of whom are being brought across by ruthless smuggling rings that engage in sex trafficking and the drug trade.
The border disaster has been further aggravated by the Biden administration’s promises of mass amnesty, which both the President and Democrats in Congress are actively pushing as part of their domestic agenda. For many illegal border crossers, the hope is that if they can reach the United States, Biden will simply grant them citizenship.
To top it all off, there is mounting evidence that the border crisis may also be contributing to a spike in COVID cases. One report from August of last year found that nearly 20% of migrant families who crossed the U.S. border tested positive for the virus. Given that many more infected individuals likely escaped to the interior of the country, Biden’s failure at the border may be directly related to his failure to “shut down” the virus. If even 10% of the more than 2 million illegal entrants had COVID, that’s a minimum of 200,000 COVID infections introduced into American communities this year—each of which infects an exponentially growing number of people.
Of course, the solution to the border crisis—as with every other crisis inflicted by the Biden administration—should be clear. A simple return to the immigration and border policies of the Trump years would likely bring the border calamity to an end. Yet if the last 12 months indicate anything, Americans can likely expect the opposite: Biden only ever seems to double down on his failures, refusing to admit that he could possibly have done anything wrong.
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