BIDEN’S BORDER DELUSION. Before President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, there was some speculation about whether he would mention the mess he has created on the U.S.-Mexico border or whether he would simply pretend it did not exist. As it turned out, he did both — he mentioned the border, and he pretended the mess did not exist.
Biden did not give the subject prominent placement — he got to the border nearly 50 minutes into his hourlong speech. He had just made a pitch for the confirmation of his Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, and segued into the border, seeking to link the court, the border, and the broader issue of comprehensive immigration reform under the concept of “liberty and justice.”
“If we are to advance liberty and justice, we need to secure our border and fix the immigration system,” Biden said. “We can do both.”
It was astonishing to hear Biden declare that “we need to secure our border,” given that he has done so much to ensure that the border is not secure. After Biden’s 2020 campaign promises to end restrictive Trump policies and stop deportations, millions of would-be illegal crossers flocked to the border beginning immediately after the new president took office. U.S. border officials encountered more than two million illegal crossers in calendar year 2021.
2022 has started on an equally bad note. In January, border authorities encountered 153,941 illegal crossers. That was almost double the number from January 2021, which was 78,414. And the 2021 figure was more than double the number from the year before that, January 2020, when authorities encountered 36,585 illegal crossers.
They are coming in huge numbers because they believe the Biden administration will allow them to stay in the United States. And indeed, as Robert Law of the Center for Immigration Studies, which supports more restrictive immigration policies, points out, “removals fell by more than 70 percent in fiscal year 2021 [at the same time] the Biden administration has granted, or extended, amnesty-lite (read: work permits, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses) to approximately 500,000 illegal aliens through an abusive application of Temporary Protected Status.”
And then, there is the fact that under Biden, would-be illegal crossers from all around the world — not just Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries — are coming to the U.S.-Mexico border. Look at this from the Feb. 1 Daily Memo: “A new report in Axios has some of the numbers. ‘More than 800 people from India illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Yuma, Arizona in December,’ according to Axios. ‘And for the second month in a row, more than 500 migrants from Turkey crossed into El Paso, Texas.’ In the area around San Diego, 2,000 Russians arrived, as well as 300 Ukrainians. There were 15,000 illegal crossers from Cuba and Haiti. And the big number: In December, according to Axios, ‘Border Patrol agents arrested close to 53,000 migrants from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.'”
Beyond that, the Biden administration is also secretly relocating illegal border-crossers all around the country. It is doing so secretly because it does not want local residents to know that the U.S. government is moving unvetted, illegal crossers into their towns and communities.
In late January, Fox News obtained video of a passenger plane arriving in the middle of the night at the Westchester County Airport, about 30 miles outside of New York City. A stream of single, adult men began to walk down the plane’s steps. When a local security guard asked what was going on, an official with the immigrants described the arrival as “down-low stuff that we don’t tell people, because what we don’t want to do is attract attention. We don’t want the media. Like, we don’t even know where we’re going when they tell us.” In this case, “they” refers to the Biden administration.
In light of all that, it was downright delusional for Biden to declare that “we need to secure our border.” He simply cannot have meant that statement in the way that most people would understand it, because Biden is at this moment pursuing policies that make the border less secure. This is why it was important to listen very carefully when Biden moved on to his next point:
At our border, we’ve installed new technology like cutting-edge scanners to better detect drug smuggling. We’ve set up joint patrols with Mexico and Guatemala to catch more human traffickers. We’re putting in place dedicated immigration judges in significant, larger numbers so families fleeing persecution and violence can have their cases heard faster and those who don’t [sic] legitimately here can be sent back. We’re securing commitments and supporting partners in South and Central America to host more refugees and secure their own borders. We can do all this while keeping lit the torch of liberty that has led generations of immigrants to this land — my forebears and so many of yours.
The short version of any analysis of this paragraph is that Biden is not directing his policies toward stopping the flow of millions of people who seek to cross illegally into the United States. He will stop drug smugglers, which, if he actually accomplished it, would be a good thing but would not address the millions of illegal crossers problem. Likewise, focusing on human traffickers would be a good thing, but Biden hasn’t come within a mile of doing it.
The part about more immigration judges was interesting — in the final text of the speech handed out before Biden’s delivery, the sentence ended with “have their cases heard faster.” Biden apparently ad-libbed (and partially mangled) the part about “those who don’t [sic] legitimately here can be sent back.” And then the rest of the paragraph was essentially the old “root causes” approach to illegal border-crossing that does nothing to address today’s problem.
From there, Biden went on to a boilerplate pitch for comprehensive immigration reform, with the admonition, “Let’s get it done once and for all.”
But it was Biden’s reference to securing the border that was, in retrospect, a great moment in political dishonesty. Here he is, president of the United States, sending a message to millions of would-be illegal border-crossers that if they cross into the U.S., they will be allowed to stay. And then he stands before Congress and the entire nation and says, with a straight face, “we need to secure our border.”