Tag Archive for: Biden’sBorderCrisis

Total Southern Border Encounters, ‘gotaways’ Greater Than Population of 23 U.S. States

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

President Joe Biden and his administration insist the southwest U.S. border is closed and federal immigration laws are being enforced.

But since Biden took office, more than 3 million people have been encountered/apprehended entering the U.S. illegally from over 150 countries, according to Customs and Border Patrol data. And that number doesn’t include so-called “gotaways,” the term used for those crossing the border illegally who evade capture. 

CBP doesn’t report the number of gotaways publicly, but Border Patrol agents who spoke to The Center Square said they total more than a million since Biden took office, setting the total number of border crossings at more than 4 million.

Of the most populous of these 23 states, those entering illegally since Biden took office total slightly more than Oklahoma’s population of 4 million; more than Connecticut’s 3.5 million; more than Utah’s 3.3 million; more than Nevada’s 3.3. million.

In the first five months of this year alone, more than 1 million people have been encountered/apprehended entering the U.S. illegally. They total more than the individual populations of Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, the District of Columbia, Vermont and Wyoming.

The number encountered/apprehended in May 2022 was 239,416, according to CBP data, a new monthly record high. That’s after a previous record high in April.

In April, CBP reported 235,478 total encounters; in March, 222,239; in February, 165,902; in January, 154,816.

The last two months alone equals roughly the size of the population of Wyoming being encountered entering the U.S. illegally.

The majority of them have been released into the U.S., including a record number of unaccompanied minors. This is in addition to another estimated more than 1 million got-aways, those who’ve made their way into the U.S. evading capture.

Those in law enforcement have expressed concerns to The Center Square that the got-aways are the ones who keep them up at night. Those evading capture, not surrendering to Border Patrol requesting asylum or making other immigration claims are more likely those with criminal records and don’t want to be caught, they say.

Law enforcement officers say they don’t know who they are, where they are now, or really how many there are in the U.S.

*****

This article was published by The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

‘Shocking Discovery:’ Biden Knows Drug Cartels Control, Profit From Illegal Immigration, DHS Memo Shows

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Border patrol agents are preparing for “a possible increase in migrant activity due to an increase in large group activity” as a result of Biden administration immigration policies, an internal Department of Homeland Security document released by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody says.

It specifically sites suspending the Migrant Protection Protocols, otherwise known as the Remain in Mexico Policy, and terminating the public health authority, Title 42, as contributing to an influx of people coming to the U.S. southern border from Central and South America through Mexico.

“This is a shocking discovery,” Moody said. “It contradicts what the Biden administration has been telling the American people and shows that the Mexican drug cartels are profiting off the mass migration of unvetted immigrants to fund an increase in violence at the border.”

Attorneys general from multiple states has sued the administration over terminating both policies, including Texas AG Ken Paxton and Missouri AG Eric Schmitt, who recently argued before the Supreme Court asking it to require the administration to follow the law and reinstate the MPP.

“We are in the midst of a national opioid crisis and the deadliest drugs are being smuggled into our country from Mexico,” Moody said in a statement. “President Biden knows this, yet he continues to double down on his terrible immigration policies knowing full well these policies are emboldening and enriching the very drug cartels who are profiting off the deaths of thousands of Americans.”

Entitled “U.S. Customs and Border Protection Overview of the Southwest Border,” the 8-page redacted document describes the role of Mexican cartels and transnational, organized-criminal networks in smuggling people to the U.S.

It states, “…we assess that smuggling networks are very active in promoting the flow of migrants through Mexico as drug trafficking organizations maintain control of the primary trafficking corridors into the United States. The drug trafficking organizations’ control of these corridors allows them to regulate the flow of migrants as well as charge migrants a ‘tax’ … for the right to pass through the corridors.

“Transnational criminal organizations will exploit migration flows and entrench themselves in the smuggling cycle. TCOs endanger vulnerable individuals, amass illicit profits that feed cartel violence in Mexico and along the border, and create a volatile border environment.”

The document also “proves that the Biden administration knows that its disastrous border policies are responsible for the influx of illegal migrants,” Moody says. She points to a section that states that “irregular migration,” which is new terminology DHS is using to refer to illegal immigration, “will likely increase in the fiscal year 2021 as economic opportunities emerge and migrant perceptions of U.S. immigration policies shift.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and DHS officials are preparing for an influx of people, having “initiated contingency planning in anticipation of a potential surge of illegal migration,” the document states, with preparation to move them into the U.S.

It points to Biden administration policies, including, “the pause in the use of removal pathways such as the Migrant Protection Protocols, Asylum Cooperation Agreements, and Prompt Asylum Claim Review,” as factors contributing to increased migration, which have restricted CBP and Border Patrol agents’ ability over the last year to process and remove those in the U.S. illegally.

Total CBP encounters with illegal immigrants at the southwest border totaled nearly 2.5 million since February 2021, Moody notes, with deportations down by 70% last year.

*****

This article was published by The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

Lifting Title 42 Will Mean Fewer Border Patrol Agents in Field

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Border security experts expect the nation will bear the consequences of more illegal immigration whether the Biden administration ends a key public health measure by the end of the month or does it later.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last month that the policy, known as Title 42, would expire May 23. Biden’s Department of Homeland Security has estimated that could mean an influx of 18,000 migrants a day who cross the border illegally.

“There are too many Democrats pushing back, too many Democrats terrified of the consequences, because the [Department of Homeland Security] itself, Biden’s DHS, was predicting a doubling or more of the flow across the border if they lifted Title 42,” Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Daily Signal in a recent interview.

“But it is going to be lifted at some point,” Krikorian said of Title 42.

Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., are among the most vocal Democrats calling for the Biden administration to keep the public health policy in place.

Title 42 is a provision of a 1944 law meant to stop the spread of communicable diseases. The provision allowed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to take emergency action in March 2020, during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, to authorize border authorities to quickly expel illegal immigrants and deny entry to asylum-seekers.

Although the measure hasn’t stopped huge numbers of illegal immigrants from crossing the southern border and immediately claiming asylum, it has made it easier for the Border Patrol to send back illegal aliens.

‘Enormous Pressure From Left’

Once Title 42 is gone, unlawful border crossers will have the right to have their asylum claims adjudicated on American soil.

“Unless Congress intervenes and passes a law saying they can keep it in place and the president signs it, it just seems to me it’s going to have to be lifted at some point because the president is also getting enormous pressure from this hard left,” Krikorian told The Daily Signal.

“When they do that,” he added, “it’s going to be bad news on the border and it’s going to be worse news for the Democratic Party, because the more they keep delaying it, the closer and closer it gets to the election.”

The Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates strict enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws and opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants, organized a visit to the border in South Texas last month that The Daily Signal joined.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas met Tuesday in Washington with Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard.

Mayorkas “spoke of the United States’ whole-of-government strategy to prepare for the CDC’s announced May 23, 2022, end to the exercise of its Title 42 authority,” according to the department’s readout of the meeting.

Expulsions Under Title 42

After the CDC invoked Title 42, the Border Patrol had about 2.9 million encounters with illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border between April 2020 and March 2022, according to a study by Pew Research. March is the most recent month for which such data is available.

About 1.8 million of those encounters, or 61%, resulted in illegal immigrants being expelled under Title 42, according to Pew. The 1.1 million remaining encounters ended with illegal immigrants being detained, at least temporarily, rather than sent back.

Expulsions were based largely on whether the migrants came as families and whether children were involved.

Under the Biden administration, about 88% of the 1.8 million expulsions since 2020 under Title 42 were of single adults, while 11% were families and 1% were unaccompanied minors.

About 60% of those expelled came from Mexico, 15% came from Guatemala, 14% from Honduras, 5% from El Salvador, and 6% from other countries, according to Pew.

COVID-19 isn’t the only public health concern to consider, said Chris Cabrera, spokesman for the union National Border Patrol Council Local 3307, which represents nonsupervisory Border Patrol employees who work in the Rio Grande Valley.

“It’s to the point where everybody I work with, every single person, has had COVID,” Cabrera told a group gathered in Texas for the border tour sponsored by the Center for Immigration Studies.

But, the union spokesman said, some Border Patrol agents have contracted communicable diseases while policing the border that doctors have had trouble diagnosing.

‘Spinning Your Wheels’

If Title 42 ends, it will bring more chaos to the southern border, said Michael Salinas, a retired Border Patrol agent who was on the front lines for 34 years.

“Pretty much, there’s going to be nobody out in the field,” Salinas told The Daily Signal.

“The Border Patrol knows where they’re at,” the veteran agent said of these so-called got-aways. “But if they don’t have access to it because they’re stuck processing or prepping people for transport to processing centers, it takes away from all that. So you’re just spinning your wheels.”

The Center for Immigration Studies’ Krikorian said he expects that Biden and congressional Democrats will try to kick the can down the road, but that it can’t go on forever.

Events may depend on what faction in the Biden administration prevails, he said:

There are two factions in the administration on this immigration issue. They both believe the same thing. In other words, everybody in the administration wants basically amnesty for all the illegals and unlimited immigration in the future, and all that stuff. It’s not really at all a policy dispute, it’s a political dispute.

Krikorian said White House chief of staff Ron Klain and Susan Rice, director of the Domestic Policy Council, are trying to take a more politically acceptable approach to illegal immigration in the short term.

“The people like Ron Klain and Susan Rice, who are at least a little bit more in touch with reality … the point is they’re more cautious politically,” Krikorian said. “But then everybody who’s in charge of immigration policy are radicals. They’re anti-borders radicals.”

*****

This article was published by The Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

Law Enforcement: Border Patrol Agents Have Lost Operational Control, Awareness at Border

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Agents estimate 1 million people evaded capture and are already in U.S. illegally with no way of knowing who they are.

 

While Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas claims the southern border is secure and he has a plan in place for increased surges, those in law enforcement say the opposite is true. Not only have Border Patrol agents lost operational control of the border, but they’ve also lost operational awareness and have no idea who is coming through, current and former Border Patrol agents told The Center Square.

In President Joe Biden’s first year in office, an estimated 1 million people entered the U.S. illegally and evaded capture, Border Patrol agents estimate. Known as “gotaways,” they aren’t included in the apprehension and enforcement data published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection every month.

There are generally two groups of people entering the U.S. illegally, those in law enforcement told The Center Square. Those who surrender at ports of entry claim to seek asylum or other immigration-related claims, and gotaways.

Gotaways are considered to be more dangerous, those in law enforcement – from Border Patrol agents, to sheriffs, to local police – say. When they’re captured, they often have criminal records. Sheriffs attempt to quantify the ones who’ve evaded capture through a range of methods after finding stash houses and images of groups of people wearing camouflage and backpacks traveling on foot caught on cameras placed on private properties and in other areas.

Last year, CBP “officially released known, documented numbers of illegal aliens who evaded apprehension to be roughly 380,000 people,” retired Chief of U.S. Border Patrol Rodney Scott told The Center Square. “Last month, we learned from a leaked Border Patrol document that there were over 300,000 known people who evaded apprehension” in the first three months of this year, he said.

“In light of these numbers and the fact that Border Patrol agents are so overwhelmed that very few are out patrolling the border,” he said, “it would be absolutely naive to believe that there aren’t already over one million gotaways in the U.S. when Border Patrol was able to document over 300,000 known gotaways with very few agents in the field and hundreds of miles of the border left unpatrolled.”

Scott adds that while many immigrants are coming to America seeking a better life, those entering illegally through the southern border are doing so with the aid of Mexican cartels.

“Cartels are using the massive numbers of people as a weapon to overwhelm Border Patrol,” Scott said, “so they can intentionally bring in criminals, terrorists, and narcotics.

“Even if you feel sorry for these people, they are willingly participating in criminal activity to bring serious threats into this country and that includes terrorist criminals, and narcotics,” he said. “They are creating a diversion to usher in all of these criminal elements.”

On Tuesday, Mayorkas published a 20-page memo detailing DHS’ border security plan. It states that DHS “has been executing a comprehensive and deliberate strategy to secure our borders and build a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system.”

But that hasn’t been the case over the past year, critics of Mayorkas’ argue. In Biden’s first year in office, a record number of people entered the U.S. illegally after Mayorkas introduced sweeping changes to immigration enforcement efforts, prompting multiple lawsuits.

In fiscal 2021, CBP reported 1.9 million total enforcement actions. Already in fiscal 2022, CBP has reported 1.2 million enforcement actions, excluding gotaways.

But even these numbers are “very misleading,” a Border Patrol agent in Texas, speaking on the condition of anonymity out of concerns for his job, told The Center Square. “On the one hand, you can argue the border is more secure because of higher apprehensions. On the other, it’s less secure because there are more apprehensions – meaning, if more family units are being apprehended you don’t know how many single individuals are getting through or who they are.”

In reality, the agent said, “We don’t have complete situational awareness of the border since the 2006 Secure Fence Act, which requires us to do so. We will never know who and how many came across,” unless the approach to border security changes, the agent said.

Border Patrol agents estimate the number of gotaways by identifying sign cuttings, foot traffic marks, images captured from drawbridge cameras, residents’ critter cam images, or a visual of groups from camera towers, among other methods.

They also learn about gotaways from local residents who call them “about their property broken into – which is every single day, the agent said. “Residents along the border are tired of their property being broken into and or stolen. They are afraid of speaking out because of cartel retaliation.”

Retired Border Patrol agent Frank Lopez, Jr., who’s filed to run in Texas’ Congressional District 23, told The Center Square, “Personnel on the ground have now lost operational awareness let alone operational control because they’re not patrolling like they used to, meaning Border Patrol has no idea who is coming through or how many are. The best we have are estimates.”

*****

This article was published by The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

 

The Border Invasion is an Existential Crisis for America

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The invasion crisis on our southern border is baffling. How could this outrage be happening?

The White House wants you to believe that they’re powerless to stop it. They’re willing to appear negligent and/or stupid to keep the wheels turning.

But there’s only one possible explanation that holds water: it’s a plan. And it’s working, as the border zone is flooded with millions of illegal immigrants, almost all of whom will stay permanently and lay the groundwork for an invincible voting bloc in the future.

If they sincerely wanted to do something about it, officials wouldn’t have to do any complicated thinking. Just stop egging on illegal immigrants to come and reinstate the Trump-era policies that were at least somewhat helpful.

You have to almost admire the masterminds of this catastrophe for persevering in the face of growing bipartisan revulsion at this inhumane tragedy. They are playing the long game even at the price of taking short-term political hits.

In contrast to the helpless-to-resist image they’re trying to peddle, they’re contemplating the revocation of Title 42, a Trump-era rule allowing migrant crossings to be turned away for public health reasons. Homeland Security projects ending Title 42 would result in an inconceivable 18,000 migrant crossings daily, up from our already unmanageable 7000. At that rate, by the end of Biden’s term, one in five American residents would be here illegally.

Americans don’t need to be told the results of massive illegal immigration. We live it daily. Illegal immigrants by law have access to our emergency rooms. Over half of the newborns at LA County Hospital are newly minted American citizens born to illegal immigrant parents at taxpayer expense.

Illegal immigrants crowd our schools, forcing our already stressed educational system to divert focus to ESL instruction. Moreover, they undercut unskilled American workers and drive down their wages.

They also contribute to our burgeoning crime problem. The number of criminals who have evaded Border Patrol is obviously unknown but over 40 migrants on the terror watchlist have been apprehended in addition to those who have slipped through. Enough fentanyl has been imported for every single American to have taken a fatal overdose.

But America’s greatest threat from massive illegal immigration isn’t the effect on our safety, our education nor our healthcare.  It’s not the welfare and correctional services illegal immigrants consume. The greatest danger is losing our nationhood.

America is uniquely a nation based not on geography nor blood but on its values and ideals. We have amply demonstrated our ability to absorb large numbers of immigrants who love America, who come because they want to be Americans and share our values and ideals, established in our Declaration and Constitution.

Illegal immigrants, by contrast, begin their relationship by defying a foundational principle that has made the US a magnet for immigrants since its creation: the Rule of Law.  This is the belief that we are ruled by laws, not men (people), and that each of us stand as a free and equal individual before the law.

Unfortunately, this tsunami of immigration from socialist autocracies where corruption is the norm is occurring at a time wherein America is struggling with growing levels of tribalism. E Pluribus Unum is fading as many Americans now identify primarily as members of a political, racial or other groups that competes for favors from government.

Assimilation is now scorned as a micro-aggression.  America is regarded by its own citizens as oppressive and bigoted.

Tens of millions of illegal immigrants who neither know nor care about America’s defining values don’t bode well for our future. In a decade or two, we’ll undoubtedly begin to hear about how they “deserve“ citizenship, they’ve been here a long time, don’t have any other home, and so on.  Our unity as Americans will become more fractured.

Americans are historically compassionate and resilient.  But it is past time for Americans to reinforce the crucial distinction between illegal and legal immigrants.

It’s not racist or xenophobic to protect our borders from those who ignore our principles but want to enjoy the fruits of our success. It is crucial to the survival of America as we know it.

*****

Thomas C. Patterson, MD is a retired Emergency Medicine physician, Arizona state Senator and Arizona Senate Majority Leader in the ’90s. He is a former Chairman, Goldwater Institute.

 

U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Arguments in Lawsuit Seeking Reinstatement of Remain in Mexico Policy

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Editors’ Note (Restated from 4/25): The following article is an excellent description of the southern border crisis, an open border threatening all citizens and the national security of the United States. The statement is often made that the Biden administration doesn’t have an effective policy to address this crisis. Our national headlines should be shouting that this crisis and invasion of our country is exactly the administration’s policy. With large numbers of Hispanic American citizens leaving the Democrat party, the radical leftists running the executive branch want many millions of non-skilled, unvetted illegal residents flooding into the country who will be highly dependent on government services and ultimately Democrat voters, whether legal or not, in the decades to come. Damn the fentanyl, the criminals, the terrorists, the cartels or any other factor undermining our national security and sovereignty – just flood the nation (yes, all fifty states) with illegals and the hell with American citizens – whatever it takes to maintain Democrat power is the goal. The previous America First policy controlling and protecting our southern border is now the Americans Last policy of the Biden presidency.

 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt are heading to the U.S. Supreme Court again on Tuesday, arguing the Biden administration must follow federal law and fully reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols, otherwise known as the Remain in Mexico policy.

It’s the second time they’ve argued before the court in a lawsuit they filed against the administration since last April. Last August, the Supreme Court rejected the administration’s request to stay a lower court’s ruling requiring it to reinstate the MPP.

“Missouri and Texas filed suit after the Biden Administration suspended the policy and obtained a permanent injunction in federal court, and then successfully defended that injunction in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States,” Schmitt told The Center Square. “We look forward to presenting our arguments in front of the Supreme Court and continuing our winning streak against the Biden Administration,”

Last August, U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas ordered the administration to reinstate the MPP, ruling that halting it violated the Administrative Procedures Act. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Kacsmaryk’s ruling more than once, determining the administration also violated federal immigration law.

The administration argues the MPP is inhumane and has fought the AGs in court even after the Supreme Court’s decision. In its most recent filing with the Supreme Court, it argues that courts ordering the Department of Homeland Security to reinstate the MPP is “unprecedented.”

The MPP, enacted in 2019, applies “to aliens who have no legal entitlement to enter the United States but who depart from a third country and transit through Mexico to reach the United States land border.” It requires those seeking to enter the U.S. to remain in Mexico while their immigration applications are considered, which can take years.

On President Joe Biden’s first day in office, DHS announced it was no longer enrolling illegal immigrants into the MPP effective Jan. 21, 2021. Last February, DHS began processing MPP enrollees in Mexico and releasing them into the U.S.

Doing so, it said, was “to reform immigration policies that do not align with our nation’s values.” This was also part of a “first step in a phased approach to restore safe and orderly processing at the Southwest Border,” it said.

But the administration’s approach isn’t safe or orderly, it’s created chaos, Schmitt and Paxton argue.

“Before the Migrant Protection Protocols, illegal immigrants were released into the interior with a court date, never to be seen again,” Schmitt told The Center Square. “The Migrant Protection Protocols was a successful tool for curtailing the influx of illegal immigrants and securing the border.

“Because of the Biden Administration’s lax border policies, illegal drugs like fentanyl are streaming across our border and human traffickers are thriving,” he said, endangering and killing Americans in the process.

In addition to leading to increased criminal activity, Biden’s border policies are draining resources, Paxton said.

“President Biden could immediately remedy the influx of crime pouring across our border by reinstating the Migrant Protection Protocols,” Paxton argued when he filed the lawsuit. “Dangerous criminals are taking advantage of the lapse in law enforcement and it’s resulting in human trafficking, smuggling, a plethora of violent crimes, and a massive, unprecedented burden on state and federal programs for which taxpayers must foot the bill. We cannot allow this lawlessness to destroy our communities any longer.”

By last June, DHS expanded its criteria for MPP enrollees to be processed and released into the U.S. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also implemented a wide range of policy changes to effectively halt most deportations and directed CBP and Border Patrol agents to release illegal immigrants into the U.S. en masse.

Most of the 15,000 Haitians who initially arrived in Del Rio, Texas, last September and many of the two million illegal immigrants encountered or apprehended by Border Patrol during Biden’s first year in office, for example, wouldn’t have been released into the U.S. if the administration had complied with Judge Kacsmaryk’s order, the AGs argue.

Under the Biden administration, enforcement mechanisms don’t exist to ensure that illegal immigrants attend immigration hearings once they’re in the U.S., the AGs argue, and those with deportation orders aren’t being deported.

Last year, the administration acknowledged that more than 50,000 people released into the U.S. failed to report to their deportation proceedings and that court information was missing for 40,000 people in just a five-month period last year.

According to court filings, more than 1.2 million people with court orders for deportation were still living in the U.S. as of last February.

With the administration estimating that roughly 18,000 people a day will enter U.S. custody once Title 42 is repealed in May, the AGs argue forcing the administration to follow the law is imperative for the safety of Americans. Both Paxton and Schmitt have sued separately to keep Title 42, a public health authority that enables federal agents to quickly expel illegal immigrants during a public health emergency, in place. They’ve both called for Mayorkas’ resignation.

DHS announced it was reinstating the MPP in “good faith” last December but also argued that DHS has the authority to parole illegal immigrants, allowing them to stay in the U.S. while their cases progress.

The Fifth Circuit rejected the administration’s arguments.

Judge Andrew Oldham argued federal immigration law “… requires DHS to detain aliens, pending removal proceedings, who unlawfully enter the United States and seek permission to stay.”

Because DHS lacks the physical capacity to hold the volume of people entering the U.S. illegally, the MPP was implemented. The statute directs the government to return individuals to contiguous countries while their cases are pending, Oldham explained.

“That safety valve was the statutory basis for the protocols,” Oldham argued. “DHS’s termination decision was a refusal to use the statute’s safety valve. That refusal, combined with DHS’s lack of detention capacity, means DHS is not detaining the aliens that Congress required it to detain.

“The idea seems to be that DHS can simply parole every alien it lacks the capacity to detain. But that solves nothing: The statute allows only case-by-case parole. Deciding to parole aliens en masse is the opposite of case-by-case decision making,” Oldham argued.

The administration’s stance would have implications for the separation of powers, Oldham said.

“The Government also says it has unreviewable and unilateral discretion to ignore statutory limits imposed by Congress and to remake entire titles of the United States Code to suit the preferences of the executive branch. And the Government says it can do all of this by typing up a new ‘memo’ and posting it on the internet. If the Government were correct, it would supplant the rule of law with the rule of say-so.

“We hold the Government is wrong.”

The AGs are hoping the Supreme Court agrees with Oldham and upholds Kacsmaryk’s ruling.

*****

This article was published by The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

Tidal Wave Nears Border, but Team Biden Goes Full Steam Ahead

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Editors’ Note: The following article is an excellent description of the southern border crisis, an open border threatening all citizens and the national security of the United States. The statement is often made that the Biden administration doesn’t have an effective policy to address this crisis. Our national headlines should be shouting that this crisis and invasion of our country is exactly the administration’s policy. With large numbers of Hispanic American citizens leaving the Democrat party, the radical leftists running the executive branch want many millions of non-skilled, unvetted illegal residents flooding into the country who will be highly dependent on government services and ultimately Democrat voters, whether legal or not, in the decades to come. Damn the fentanyl, the criminals, the terrorists, the cartels or any other factor undermining our national security and sovereignty – just flood the nation (yes, all fifty states) with illegals and the hell with American citizens – whatever it takes to maintain Democrat power is the goal. The previous America First policy controlling and protecting our southern border is now the Americans Last policy of the Biden presidency.

 

A disaster is looming.

President Joe Biden appears to be going full steam ahead on ending Title 42. This is the health policy, created in the 1940s and implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under President Donald Trump, that allowed the swift deportation of illegal immigrants during the pandemic to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

It has been one of the few things keeping the exploding southern border numbers under even the slightest control during the Biden presidency. The administration announced it would end Title 42 on May 23, but according to Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin, it is starting to peel it away even sooner.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently released its March statistics for illegal immigrant border encounters. It’s a sign of what’s to come.

In total, there were 221,303 encounters along the southwest land border in March, a 33 percent increase compared to February,” the agency reported. “Of those, 28 percent involved individuals who had at least one prior encounter in the previous 12 months, compared to an average one-year re-encounter rate of 14 percent for FY2014-2019.”

Of course, many others came through without being apprehended.

The March numbers are the highest monthly total in two decades. And this is before Title 42 is set to be discontinued.

It’s not just raw numbers of illegal border crossers that are worrying. According to the agency, over 40 migrants on the terror watchlist have been apprehended since Biden became president. These are people who have been known to be involved in or are “reasonably suspected” of being involved in terrorist activity.

The U.S. Border Patrol is already swamped. In March, Customs and Border Protection estimated that, in addition to the over 221,000 encounters, over 60,000 border crossers slipped through without being apprehended—about 2,000 per day. Drastically increasing the total numbers of those attempting to cross the border—which will inevitably happen if Title 42 is rescinded—puts the country at risk that more potential terrorists will slip through.

When Biden was considering ending Title 42, a handful of border state Democrats warned him against it. But now that he’s made the announcement, the list of Democrats in opposition is growing. One of the opponents is Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.

Several Republicans on the committee wrote him a letter in early April expressing deep concern about what ending Title 42 would mean for the country. Peters seemed to have been receptive to the message.

“Unless we have a well-thought-out plan, I think it is something that should be revisited and perhaps delayed,” Peters said to reporters, according to The Hill. “I’m going to defer judgment on that until I give the administration the opportunity to fully articulate what that plan is. But I share … concerns of some of my colleagues.”

The entire situation conveys the impression that the Biden administration is reckless and partisan and that it caters to the most extreme voices on its left flank. It’s part of the toothless Caesarism that we’ve become used to over the past year. The administration does its best to create vast restrictions on Americans at home, but does nothing to protect the American people or our interests from threats abroad.

If the administration really does think it is necessary to end Title 42, it could at least show some commitment to options that would help maintain order at the border. Biden has even failed to do that.

Predictably, the administration has chosen to do everything to remove those options, too.

The Biden administration has done everything in its power—or beyond its power—to eliminate the Migrant Protection Protocols—better known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. The policy, like Title 42, was created under Trump and was designed as an answer to President Barack Obama’s “catch and release” border policy.

The Remain in Mexico policy makes it so asylum-seekers—those claiming to flee war zones, political violence, or persecution—must wait in Mexico while applying for asylum in the U.S. It deters people who may want to come to the United States with bogus asylum claims. Once in the country, many dodge their court dates or never get a court date at all.

Biden ended the Remain in Mexico policy on Day One of his presidency and is now engaged in a legal battle to put the policy entirely off the table.

So, what’s the administration’s plan if it gets its way? The Wall Street Journal editorial board did a good job of explaining what’s on tap:

The administration’s alternative seems to be a new policy that would let federal asylum officers grant residence to most claimants, rather than wait in the queue for Justice Department immigration judges. The asylum officers approve claims at a higher rate than judges, who weigh more seriously whether a claimant is fleeing genuine danger. That message will spread throughout Latin America as further incentive to make the trek and cross the border seeking asylum.

Battling the Remain in Mexico Policy, combined with ending Title 42 and the general lack of support for Border Patrol, suggests that the administration isn’t willing to uphold American law and protect our border.

Instead, it is doing everything in its power to not only keep those floodgates open but to open them even wider, forcing the American people to pay the price for its recklessness.

*****

This article was published by The Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

Failed Nation-Building In Mexico

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

The Merida Initiative is another failed project of America’s foreign-policy establishment.

As the media and White House draw the national attention to Ukraine and other faraway regions, conservatives are right to insist that our lawless and vulnerable southern border be Washington’s first order of business. Until the Trump administration put a real spotlight on the border, security policies both in Washington and Mexico City had been aimed at the Mexican interior.

The “Merida Initiative,” launched in 2007-08, aimed to help Mexico rebuild weak institutions like its police and courts, and to assist Mexican security forces in fighting drug cartels. However, this long-running initiative failed to secure either country: Mexico continues to suffer from failing institutions and appalling levels of violence, while narcotics and illegal migrants stream into the United States through the unsecured border.

Last fall, Biden administration officials and their Mexican counterparts quietly ended the Merida Initiative, announcing instead a new “Bicentennial Framework” for security cooperation. The announcement was a diplomatic concession to Mexican President Lopez Obrador (AMLO), who had signaled since taking office in 2018 that robust cooperation against the cartels was over. Both sides are back at the drawing board with no new ideas.

Now is the time for American policymakers to once again learn a crucial foreign-policy lesson: ambitious multi-year institution-building plans, particularly in complicated countries like Mexico, and struggling with a formidable combat foe in the field do not provide a positive return on investment—either for the United States or the partner. We need to understand why Merida failed.

With Merida, there was too little skepticism about what country-wide government engagement could actually achieve. U.S. officials, armed with multi-year funding and a “can-do” attitude, tend not to forecast mission failure but a path to success—the same syndrome that kept us engaged for 20 years nation-building in Afghanistan. Merida once again teaches Washington the bitter lesson that rebuilding institutions is not a task for foreign nations. Successful reform, when it happens, is led and owned by national authorities.

President Trump’s instinct to focus on our southern frontier was more fruitful for the security of both countries than a dozen years of Merida cooperation. If the U.S. makes the border a national priority, the border will become a national priority for Mexico. Trump demonstrated that a White House committed to border issues could in fact push skeptical Mexican leaders to focus on a region they tend to ignore.

It was just a start, but Trump’s success in convincing even AMLO—despite the Mexican president’s deep suspicion of the U.S.—to accede to the Migration Protection Protocols (or “Remain in Mexico” policy) shows what can be done if Washington pursues attainable goals. Securing effective U.S.-Mexican cooperation in the lawless frontier region is difficult (and beyond the scope of this analysis), but such efforts should be the centerpiece of any future bilateral security strategy.

When launched, the Merida Initiative (sometimes called Plan Mexico) promised U.S. support for large-scale Mexican operations against the drug cartels (“transnational criminal organizations,” or TCOs). During the Obama administration, Washington provided the typical foreign-assistance mix of law-enforcement activities and development projects.

The Merida Initiative was possible because Mexican President Felipe Calderon sought unprecedented U.S. assistance and cooperation, opening a door U.S. diplomats and aid planners could not resist entering. Not only did Merida include law-enforcement assistance against powerful TCOs, but U.S. officials also took on intractable issues like human-rights violations and corruption, as the gringos attempted to help Mexico rebuild its entire criminal-justice system. On paper, Merida also addressed border security, but this “pillar” of the plan was largely ignored as the mammoth undertakings of breaking the drug cartels and rebuilding the criminal-justice system consumed valuable political will and operational trust on both sides.

Advocates argued that the Merida Initiative would provide results for Mexico similar to those of Plan Colombia (the success of which can also be debated). Yet Latin American nations are not interchangeable. The harsh truth is that U.S. efforts to rebuild key Mexican institutions, despite more than a dozen years of valiant efforts from hardworking officials, yielded results that looked less like the experience of Colombia in the 1990s than that of South Vietnam in the 1960s.

Although it was a noble aim to help Mexico tackle its corrupt institutions, to vet and train its police, and fight human-rights violations, Washington simply did not have the firepower to make the difference. Moreover, expending valuable political will on grappling with Mexican institutions distracted us from bringing more security to the southern border, which should have been Washington’s primary objective.

The United States spent around $3.3 billion on Merida over a dozen years, while the Mexicans dedicated $10-$15 billion annually to security activities under the plan. After all that engagement, however, Mexican TCOs are just as entrenched, if not more so, while Mexican law-enforcement authorities—particularly prosecutors, judges and the criminal courts—remain dysfunctional and mired in corruption. Mexico’s national homicide numbers continue to be alarmingly high—approaching 30,000 a year. Incredibly, over 200,000 Mexicans have been killed or disappeared since 2007. And today, under AMLO, no one talks about the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel as the carnage drags on and increasingly moves north toward the United States.

Early on, after launching their war on the drug cartels, Mexican officials themselves realized they had badly underestimated the challenges they faced. The United States assisted with professional training, high-tech weapons (like helicopter gunships) and intelligence. American advisors advocated “decapitating” TCO leadership (either by killing or arresting and extraditing them) as an effective strategy with whose success can be measured.

Yet though this “kingpin” strategy did eliminate many drug lords, it failed to cripple the criminal enterprises. TCOs splintered but proved adaptable and survivable in defiance of the experts, as new would-be “El Chapo” types could and did emerge, often after bloody turf wars. The lure of fast wealth from this criminal lifestyle drew in seemingly innumerable new recruits. When the Mexican military sometimes made successful strikes in TCO-dominated territory, local police and prosecutors could not follow up and hold these gains. Ruthless cartel tactics—“plata o plomo”—had broken local officials, who take bribes and look the other way to protect themselves and family members from certain murder.

Criminal-justice reform, perhaps our most ambitious Merida-related undertaking, was equally ineffective. In 2008, encouraged by the State Department, Mexico enacted a constitutional reform aimed at transforming the legal system from its inquisitorial approach modeled on Roman law to one based on Anglo-American adversarial procedures. U.S. and international experts fundamentally rewrote Mexican federal and state legal procedures, while fanning out across the country to retrain judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and law-school professors. The reformed system was to be a close hybrid of its American cousin, but the rebuilding enterprise was every bit as daunting as it sounds.

The new system empowered prosecutors, assisted by police investigators, to present a criminal case at an oral trial using witnesses, cross-examination, and evidence. The plan built in several modern security features, including the videotaping of courtroom activities and the safeguarding of judicial records. All good in theory, but the central shortcoming of this vast institutional remake was its underappreciation of the vulnerability of human actors: namely, that if the practitioners (judges, attorneys, police, and legal staff) of any legal system can be intimidated or bought off, that system will be corrupted. However superior the Anglo-American adversarial system, if indeed it is, its superiority was not enough to overcome cartel intimidation and corrupt practices—the reality that pervades criminal justice most everywhere in Mexico.

Unlike in Afghanistan, the end of Merida featured no dramatic airport-evacuation scenes, but U.S. efforts in both countries are examples of Washington’s overextended security commitments, which have done little if anything to make Americans safer at home. Both are examples of America’s foreign-policy hubris, its unrealistic attempts to effect change beyond our capacity in difficult environments. Unlike Afghanistan, however, Mexico is our neighbor and directly linked to vital U.S. national interests. It is the conduit through which hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants enter our country, along with enough fentanyl to kill 100,000 Americans in overdoses annually.

We wish our friends in Mexico Godspeed in dealing with their serious national challenges, but Merida has illustrated convincingly that we have no magic bullets for them. The lesson from Trump’s efforts is that a border-security strategy with Mexico—not one that unrealistically seeks to remake Mexican national institutions—is the policy road we should have taken in 2007-08, and the one we should take today.

*****

This article was published in The American Conservative and is reproduced with permission.

Republican-led States Sue Biden Administration Over Repeal of Title 42 Border Rule

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Three Republican-led states have filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration in an attempt to prevent it from lifting a rule that allows illegal immigrants at the border to be expelled in the name of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Former President Donald Trump instituted that policy, Title 42, but the Biden administration announced Friday that it would end it. The lawsuit, filed by Louisiana, Missouri, and Arizona, alleges that removing the order is “profoundly illegal.”

“The Title 42 Revocation thus stands as a radical outlier – seemingly the only COVID-19-based restriction the Administration sees fit to end,” the lawsuit reads. “But the CDC’s Termination Order is not merely unfathomably bad public policy. It is also profoundly illegal. That is principally so for two reasons: (1) Defendants unlawfully flouted the notice-and-comment requirements for rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) and (2) Defendants’ Termination Order is arbitrary and capricious, thus violating the APA, because it has numerous omissions that each independently render it illegal.”

The Biden administration has made several regulatory changes to loosen immigration enforcement.

Since President Joe Biden took office, illegal immigration has soared. U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that federal agents encountered about 2 million illegal immigrants trying to enter the country last year. That does not include those migrants who slipped by undetected.

Republicans have pointed to that rise as another reason to strengthen, not weaken, border enforcement.

“President Biden’s open-border policies are an unmitigated disaster for national security,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement. “His recklessness has forced the State of Texas to take unprecedented steps to fill the gaps – including deploying Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and over 10,000 Texas National Guard soldiers, jailing illegal immigrants who are charged with trespassing, and becoming the first state ever to build a wall to secure the border.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the change Friday, calling the rule “no longer necessary.”

“After considering current public health conditions and an increased availability of tools to fight COVID-19 (such as highly effective vaccines and therapeutics), the CDC Director has determined that an Order suspending the right to introduce migrants into the United States is no longer necessary,” the agency said in a statement. “With CDC’s assistance and guidance, DHS has and will implement additional COVID-19 mitigation procedures. These measures, along with the current public health landscape where 97.1% of the U.S. population lives in a county identified as having “low” COVID-19 Community Level, will sufficiently mitigate the COVID-19 risk for U.S. communities.”

*****

This article was published by The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

Border Crisis Is About to Get a Lot Worse

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

In 2021, the migrant surge at the southern border hit its highest point in two decades.

But as bad as things are currently, the situation at the border may get even worse.

President Donald Trump’s administration created the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order Title 42 to allow immediate deportation of illegal immigrants coming from countries where there was a widespread communicable disease.

It was a commonsense measure to protect public health during a time of pandemic. Even the Biden administration kept the rule in place.

That could soon change.

Pressure from activists and the reduction of COVID-19 restrictions has, according to multiple reports, led the administration to reconsider Title 42.

It’s noteworthy that the same activist groups and politicians that insisted on the most restrictive COVID-19 policies at home have been most vocal about ending a rule that would allow border officials to do the bare minimum to preserve the health and safety of Americans during a pandemic.

Ending Title 42 could have serious consequences at a time when the overall picture at the border is grim.

Even before President Joe Biden took office it was clear that he would take a different approach to the border than his predecessor. Once in office, he worked quickly to ensure it would be more difficult to arrest, detain, and deport illegal immigrants.

In the months after Biden became president, illegal border crossings soared.

The administration and its media allies initially dismissed this as a temporary, “seasonal” problem.

It wasn’t.

The number of July border arrests, in a hot month that typically sees lower border crossing numbers, went over 200,000. This is the highest number seen in any single month in over 21 years.

The trend hasn’t abated in 2022. In February, there were 164,973 encounters between Border Patrol and illegal immigrants at the southern border. This is a threefold increase from February 2020 and marks a yearlong streak of over 150,000 border apprehensions per month.

As the New York Post noted, there have been over 2 million border encounters since Biden became president and an estimated half-million additional illegal border crossers who’ve avoided Border Patrol.

What we have at the border is already an epic crisis that requires a serious rethinking of policies and rhetoric coming from the White House. Biden, you may remember, maligned Border Patrol in September by accusing agents of abusing migrants.

The story of agents “whipping” migrants was debunked, but Biden never apologized. It is now six months into the official investigation and no report has been released.

So not only is Border Patrol besieged by the very serious task of dealing with a historic migrant surge, it’s also been thrown under the bus from the top.

It’s in the context of this environment that the administration is set to make the border control problem significantly more challenging.

Even two Democratic senators from Arizona, a border state at the forefront of the crisis, insisted that Title 42 remain in place.

Democratic Arizona Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly sent a letter to Biden expressing their concern. They wrote:

Given the impacts that changes to Title 42 could have on border communities, border security, and migrants, we urge your administration not to make any changes to Title 42 implementation until you are completely ready to execute and coordinate a comprehensive plan that ensures a secure, orderly, and humane process at the border.

Former acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan blasted the idea of removing Title 42 as one that “defies logic and common sense.”

In an interview with The National Desk, he explained how it would overload an already taxed system.

“The facilities are already dangerously overcrowded,” Morgan said. “And when we start seeing those numbers, which we’ve already started to see flow in, it’s going to be crushing. There’s going to be nothing for them to be able to do except release individuals as fast as possible. Many of these individuals we’re not going to know anything about. We are not going to know who they are. It’s simply going to endanger America, and it’s going to cost lives.”

The border crisis is getting worse, not better. One of the primary jobs of the federal government is to maintain the border and uphold the laws that the American people have put in place to do so.

What we have now is a border that in a short amount of time has become a sieve and an administration apparently unwilling to change course or stand up to the most extreme left-wing activists.

It’s the same tack we’ve seen from Democrats and the “defund the police” movement. Again and again, they cave to the most extreme voices on the left and the country pays the consequences.

*****

This article was published in The Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.