White House is masking illegal immigration instead of stopping it
What is border security?
This seems a simple question. But on Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas described border security as “maximizing the resources that we have available to us to deliver the most effective results.”
This opaque word salad conceals a more troubling reality: The Biden administration would rather change the meaning of border security than actually secure the border.
Immediately upon taking office, President Biden dismantled most of the commonsense border security measures put in place by the previous administration. These actions included halting construction of the border wall, eliminating “Migrant Protection Protocols,” lifting prohibitions on sanctuary cities, proposing legislation granting U.S. citizenship en masse to illegal immigrants, removing enforcement and removal tools from law enforcement agents, disregarding requirements for detaining and removing criminal illegal immigrants in the United States, and dramatically cutting deportation of illegal aliens.
Unsurprisingly, the number of illegal border crossings exploded. In January 2021, DHS encounters with illegal aliens were roughly 70,000 per month. By April 2021, the number of encounters had more than doubled to 178,795, and by summer 2021, encounters exceeded 200,000 per month. Fiscal 2021 set an all-time record for illegal border crossings, but this was shattered in fiscal 2022, when there were over 2.3 million encounters at the southwestern border alone.
Despite accounts of a collapsed southern border and a rapidly worsening crisis, the president and Mr. Mayorkas insisted that there was no crisis for the first two years of the Biden administration.
But after the 2022 midterm elections, and, of course, as the 2024 presidential election came into view, the White House realized that the strategy of denial was politically untenable, so it shifted. Mr. Biden had to at least create the appearance that his administration was addressing the border crisis, even if only by legerdemain.
Let’s start with December’s government funding bill, in which Democrats included $1.9 billion for border management. On the surface, this seems like a meaningful step toward securing the border, yet behind the smoke screen, DHS was explicitly prohibited from using this money for border security. Instead, these funds must be spent on resettling migrants across the country. They’re building border welcome centers, not border walls.
That was quickly followed by Mr. Mayorkas’ legally questionable plan to create new pathways for “lawful” migration. By expanding and abusing authorities such as temporary protected status, he greenlighted “legal” entry of tens of thousands of illegal aliens from select countries every month, so long as they use the CBP One Mobile App to schedule the border crossing with Customs and Border Protection.
In Mr. Biden’s America, there’s even an app for illegal immigration.
To put it plainly, the Biden administration isn’t trying to stop illegal immigration; it’s trying to mask it and artificially reduce illegal immigration statistics by circumventing the legislative branch and legalizing illegal immigration.
The president’s fiscal 2024 budget proposal doubles down on this approach by including a new $4.7 billion slush fund for “border management” — again funding welcome centers over border security. Border management in Mr. Biden’s America amounts to the installation of turnstiles and green lights at our southern border.
On top of that, last week, the Biden administration announced new U.S. immigration welcome centers in Guatemala and Colombia for use in processing and shuttling migrants to the United States. This will conveniently avoid the embarrassing photos of migrants at our border.
The administration’s border management plan is a shell game. Border crossing numbers will artificially decline — and the Biden administration will claim success in addressing the crisis — because there’s no need to cross the Rio Grande anymore when there’s an illegal immigration app and welcome center in your own country.
Driving down illegal migration with the flick of a pen by converting illegal aliens to legal ones will allow the administration to feign progress for those Americans who still believe in national sovereignty and security without alienating the far-left believers in open borders and unfettered illegal immigration. Given this goal, Mr. Mayorkas’ redefinition of border security as “deliver[ing] the most effective results” is even more frightening.