The whole world seems to have gotten the memo: our southern border is anything but closed and nowhere close to secure.
After Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas declared, “We are not saying ‘don’t come,’” illegal border crossings have hit a 21-year high and this week it was reported migrants from outside Central America have jumped 35 percent.
- In April, over 33,000 migrants from countries outside of Central America were caught at our southern border.
- Migrants from over 160 countries have been apprehended at the border in recent months.
- Additionally, 2,200 Romanian migrants have been caught at the border this fiscal year which is eight times higher than all of 2019 and 2020.
The Biden administration created this crisis by eliminating effective Trump-era immigration policies, offering incentives for illegal immigrants, and eliminating enforcement of our immigration laws.
President Biden ended the “Remain in Mexico” program of the Trump administration, which kept migrants in Mexico as they claimed asylum in the United States. Today, migrants from Europe are exploiting Biden’s policy reversal by traveling to Mexico, where no visa is required, then crossing our southern border to claim asylum knowing they will not be removed. This further burdens border patrol agents who are already dealing with a surge of illegal migration.
And while illegal border crossings are at a 21-year high, ICE deportations have hit a record low. The Biden administration is effectively abolishing ICE by executive fiat, restricting the agency’s ability to enforce immigration laws:
- ICE now averages just one arrest every two months
- DHS has closed two ICE detention centers
- ICE officers are demoralized, saying “the administration doesn’t have our backs.”
Despite the startling reality at our southern border, the Biden administration has been in denial that a crisis exists at all. They have so far refused to offer any solutions to the crisis, and the appointed border czar, Vice President Kamala Harris, has yet to visit the border or hold a press conference for 64 days. In fact, Harris has distanced herself from the situation at the border in pursuit of the “root causes” of migration from Central America as migration from overseas is on the rise. But while she finds excuses to avoid traveling to the border, illegal border crossings remain at historic highs.
Everything about the Biden administration’s lackluster response to the border crisis is misguided and misinformed. But House Republicans recognize it for what it is: a humanitarian, public health, and national security crisis.
- Humanitarian Crisis: Nearly 20,000 unaccompanied children are currently in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.
- Public Health Crisis: Fentanyl is flooding across the border at alarming rates. Las Cruces and Doña Ana counties in New Mexico have already seen a 2,682 percent increase in intercepted fentanyl pills — from all of last year.
- Seizure of fentanyl, the deadly opioid, has jumped 233%
- Border agents also face the “insurmountable” task of COVID testing this surge of migrants, as the U.S. encounters an influx of COVID-positive illegal immigrants amid a global pandemic.
- National Security Crisis: CBP has arrested suspects on the Terrorism Watch List caught illegally crossing the border, even as Democrat Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations, falsely claimed that Leader McCarthy was “either wrong or lying” that this was happening at all.
- Additionally, there were an estimated 40,000 “got-aways” in April, illegal immigrants who crossed the border and evaded border patrol agents.
The Biden border crisis is getting worse. Illegal border crossings are expected to remain so high that the Biden administration is now looking to redefine success. As one Biden official said, “getting to zero is not a measure of success.”
Under President Biden, the border is open and nowhere near secure.