Biden's Open Border Policies Go Off the Rails

Biden is creating an unprecedented man-made disaster at the U.S.-Mexico border — not merely a "challenge" as Biden officials like to call it. Biden has rolled out the welcome mat to illegal aliens as well as to would-be asylum-seekers with dubious claims. His reckless policies like catch and release, reversal of the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" program, and his open arms extended to unaccompanied illegal alien minors are huge magnets. Biden is enticing hordes of illegal aliens to make the journey to what they view as their wide-open land of milk and honey.

Walter Melendez of Tegucigalpa, Honduras typifies the enthusiastic response to the new open border president. "We put our trust in God and this new President Joe Biden," Melendez said.

In February alone, according to preliminary figures, U.S. border agents detained nearly 100,000 migrants at the border. This is the highest number of detainees for the month of February since 2006. In one single day in early March, U.S. border agents caught more than 4,500 illegal aliens crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. "It's going to be insane come spring," one Customs and Border Protection source told Fox News.

Border patrol agents have admitted that they are once again releasing apprehended illegal aliens, a policy that the Trump administration had ended. One Border Patrol agent in the hardest-hit Rio Grande Valley sector told Fox News that "we can't catch and release them fast enough."

This situation is particularly acute in the case of illegal alien parents and their children, who will neither be detained for very long nor deported immediately under Biden's lax policies.

The Trump administration had implemented a pandemic emergency order directing immigration agents to turn back nearly all migrants, including children, at the U.S.-Mexico border. Under Trump's emergency order, any migrants, including children, who had illegally entered the country were subject to rapid expulsion. The Biden administration did not rescind this entire order immediately but decided to make an enormous exception for children who had illegally entered the country — whether they were unaccompanied or entered with their families. Biden is sowing the seeds of another whole generation of "Dreamers" who will be offered a quick path to citizenship if the Democrats get their way.

The Trump administration had worked out an arrangement with the Mexican government to have would-be asylum-seekers remain in Mexico pending hearings of their U.S. asylum applications. Biden ended all that. Now they are being allowed to enter and remain in the United States while their applications are being considered. In the meantime, those released from temporary custody were not tested first for the coronavirus by federal officials. Some who subsequently tested positive for the coronavirus in tests administered by local officials and volunteers were able to board buses taking them to their destinations anyway. The New York Times reported that "about 50 migrants a day have been dropped off by Customs and Border Protection at a bus station in Brownsville [Texas], headed to points north."

The risk to other passengers and staff prompted the CEO of the Greyhound bus company to send a letter of concern recently to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. "As a result of COVID-19, we are anticipating a much more serious challenge if there are any potential migration surges in 2021," his letter stated. "Our top priority is the safety of our employees and passengers. We need assurance that any detainees released by ICE have proof of a negative COVID-19 test, similar to the proof required for international airline passengers who arrive at US ports of entry."

Then there is the acute problem caused by the surge of unaccompanied illegal alien minors. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki declared on March 5th that all unaccompanied minors who report to the US-Mexico border will be allowed into the country. "Obviously we're going to have more kids across the — in the country since we have been letting unaccompanied minors stay. And the last administration immorally kicked them out," Psaki said.

The Biden administration's moral code is perverse. By virtue of its strict entry policy, the Trump administration undoubtedly deterred many children from making the long, dangerous journey from Central America to the U.S.-Mexico border in the first place. This policy saved the lives of some children who might have perished along the way from disease or at the hands of smugglers. Some children were spared from rape or other forms of abuse. Biden's decision to invite unaccompanied minors to stay in this country is luring many more children to take the perilous journey to the border despite the grave risks to their lives and well-being.

On March 9th, Psaki still refused to concede that there was a crisis at the southern border in response to reporters' questions. "I don't think we need to sit here and put new labels on what we have already conveyed is challenging," she said. Psaki proceeded to explain that the Biden administration is working to put policies in place aimed at "keeping these kids safe and moving them as quickly as possible from border patrol facilities to shelters where they can have access to educational resources, health resources, mental health resources, legal aid, et cetera." Instead of spending money to return the minors safely to their home countries after testing them for the coronavirus, the Biden administration's plan is to spend American taxpayers' money for the illegal alien minors' shelter, education, psychological counseling, legal aid, and more.

"We are not apprehending a 9-year-old child who's come alone, who has traversed Mexico, whose parents — whose loving parents — had sent that child alone," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas said on March 1st.

Mayorkas's holier-than-thou attitude is sickening. Parents who truly love their child would not take the chance that their 9-year old will be able to trek thousands of miles safely without them and survive. Parents who truly love their child would not turn their 9-year old over to dangerous smugglers. Haven't Democrats and their open border friends lectured us about the inhumanity of separating parents from their children? Now the Biden administration is pursuing policies that magnify such separations — that is, until the administration exploits chain migration and allows the children's parents into the country for family reunifications.

Mayorkas should also check the statistics. The vast majority of unaccompanied minors entering the country illegally are teenagers.

About 2,200 unaccompanied minors were reported to have crossed the border illegally into the United States each week in February. Psaki downplayed the severity of the growing influx. She said "No" to a reporter who asked whether there are "any discussions within the White House about reversing the policy of allowing all unaccompanied children into the United States."

Despite all the self-righteous talk, the Biden administration is at a loss of what to do with the thousands of unaccompanied illegal alien minors from Central America it has enticed to enter the country. These minors are overwhelming shelters. COVID-19 social distancing restrictions that the rest of us are expected to follow have been loosened to accommodate the illegal alien minors while they are housed in temporary facilities. The overflow has forced the Biden administration to reopen border detention facilities, at least one of which was used by the Trump administration and came under heavy Democrat criticism at the time. The Biden administration is so desperate that it is seriously considering using military bases for additional housing.

Former President Donald Trump had it right when he blasted the "spiraling tsunami" at the border since Biden took office. "Our border is now totally out of control thanks to the disastrous leadership of Joe Biden," Trump said in a statement. "A mass incursion into the country by people who should not be here is happening on an hourly basis, getting worse by the minute."

Trump managed to contain the immigration mess he inherited. Biden has quickly doubled down on the ruinous policies of the past. And with radical progressives pushing him more and more to the left, Biden's open door at the border will get wider and wider until there is no effective border at all.

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About the Author

Joseph A. Klein