Tag Archive for: Biden’sOpenBorder

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.

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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.”

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

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.

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This article was published by The Center Square 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.

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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.”

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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.

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

Did You Ever in Your Wildest Dreams Think They Could Mess Up Things This Much This Fast?

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Whenever I have lunch or dinner with someone – especially with recent events — I ask a very straightforward question. “In your wildest dreams did you ever believe they would muck things up this bad, this fast?” I use more vivid language, but I am against using such language in a public forum so I will leave it to your imagination. Sit back and think about the question yourself and derive your own answer.

In a little over a year, the Biden Administration has opened our border to an estimated two million illegal aliens who have been spread throughout the country with very little hope of ever tracking them; shut down a significant amount of our home grown energy production by killing a major pipeline deal costing 3,900 full-time equivalent jobs and pausing oil production on all federal government land which is 25% of national production; taken sanctions off Nordstream 2 to continue the flow of Russian gas to Europe; had a radical withdrawal from Afghanistan that is roundly considered a disaster for the United States; engineered policies that lead to inflation levels not seen in over 40 years which caused a severe depression; and has the world involved in a war in Europe which is destroying a sovereign nation and killing hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent people. In addition, there is an explosion of crime throughout the country that Biden has not caused, but his party has, and he has done little to combat it.

But Biden has solutions. Real solutions.

One of the countermeasures to pressure the Russians to stop their war on Ukraine is to stop the import of Russian oil. Over the last seven months in 2021, we imported 670,000 barrels of oil daily from Russia. Though 73% of that was in process products, we could have easily replaced this production with one policy decision. Had Biden not stopped the Keystone pipeline, we would have a flow of 850,000 barrels a day from friendly neighbor Canada. Biden decided to tell our Canadian neighbor’s “tough luck” and we now have our adversarial supplier – Putin.

Telling the world that America is going to turn on the spigot, produce oil, and gas that will supply us and our allies what we need for energy independence would be a logical and effective solution. We are down an estimated million-plus barrel a day. A simple announcement clearing the regulations for that to occur would crash the price of oil as pricing is based on future expectations.

Uncle Joe has a better idea. Why don’t we engage the Venezuelans and the Iranians to replace the oil and gas from Russia? Nothing like replacing supplies from one murderous despot with two murderous despots. Biden tried to engage the Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia, but they will not even talk to Biden because he is negotiating with the Iranians – who are hated by the Arab countries of the Middle East.

Biden reopened negotiations with Iran even while it was on the verge of collapse because American imposed sanctions decimated its cash supplies leaving it on the edge of bankruptcy. Not only is Biden at the table with Iran, but part of the negotiations is – you guessed it — the Russians. Do you think the Russians believe we really want to crush their invasion over here while negotiating with them over there? The Saudis are looking at turning to the Chinese since this American administration antagonizes them at every turn.

You just cannot make this stuff up. If your head is spinning, it is completely expected at this point.

Makes you thankful for small things. Thank God North Korea has a completely dysfunctional economy or Biden would be asking them for some help.

Biden also has a solution for inflation.

President Biden, the very definition of a career politician, tries to find others to blame for his own failings. He angrily states “I am sick of this stuff. We have to talk about it. The American people think the reason for inflation is the government spending more money. That is simply not true. Make no mistake, inflation is largely the fault of Putin. Democrats did not cause this problem. Vladimir Putin did.”

Uncle Joe is right. Adding more than $3 trillion into the economy with made-up money had nothing to do with inflation. Biden missed the class where supply and demand were explained. When there are more dollars chasing fewer products, that does not cause inflation – it is Putin. When people get free money and produce nothing that does not cause inflation – it is Putin. When the federal reserve injects additional money into the economy and holds interest at historically low rates, that does not cause inflation – it is Putin.

We have not even touched on the ridiculously lax border. That would take a whole other column.

Fourteen months into the Biden presidency and you come to your own conclusion. Did you ever in your wildest dreams think that he could muck this up so badly so quickly? We thought it might be bad. We can only pray for the next 34 months.

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This article was published in Flash Report and is reproduced with permission from the author.

Catastrophe in Progress: The Biden Presidency

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Almost all of America’s past presidents have had blunders occur on their watch.  For Jimmy Carter, it was skyrocketing inflation and the Iran hostage situation.  (Few people recall that when the “students” took over the United States Embassy in Tehran, it was the second seizure, not the first — yet Carter had done nothing to either reinforce the Embassy with Marines or else evacuate everyone).  For Bill Clinton, it was “I didn’t inhale” and Monica Lewinsky (“I did not have sex with that woman”).  Even the great Ronald Reagan, after he had been shot by John Hinckley, Jr., told Nancy “Honey, I forgot to duck.”

 The Biden Administration, however, is in a class by itself.  In the mere space of less than 15 months, it has already outdone all the others by a huge margin.  It’s been one mindless blunder after another, not merely on one front (foreign policy, for example) but on all of them.  Let’s look at the sorry record on this.

Failure to Defend the Border

The Biden Administration has allowed two million illegals to cross our southern border.  Many of them have been surreptitiously flown at no charge to cities and towns across the United States, with planes landing in the middle of the night so the locals won’t know what’s happening.  Your taxes are paying for this.  If an illegal wants to fly a commercial on his or her own dime, he or she can use his arrest warrant as a form of identification.  Truly, you can’t make this stuff up.  The Mexican Drug Cartels are having a field day smuggling illegal drugs across the border along with trafficking human beings.  It wouldn’t be surprising to learn that the Sinaloa Cartel has given Joe Biden its “Most Friendly and Helpful Gringo Award” for 2021-2022.

Afghanistan

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if you are going to withdraw both military personnel and civilians from a war-torn area, the civilians should go first.  Quite obviously, the military can stand by to protect the civilians if matters go awry.  If the military is withdrawn first, the civilians are left defenseless.  Yet the Biden Administration, in a mind-boggling display of incompetence, chose to evacuate the military first, with the result that hundreds of Americans are still stranded behind enemy lines.

Compounding this blunder, the Biden Administration left about $70 billion worth of military equipment behind in Afghanistan for the Taliban to use as it sees fit.  When the question is asked who benefited the most from Biden’s first year in office, the answer is clear:  the Taliban. Joe Biden has met all the requisite tests to qualify as the Taliban’s “Man of the Year.”

Bidenflation

Under Biden, consumer price inflation is now the worst in almost half a century.  We are now back to Jimmy Carter’s levels of inflation.  Enough said.

Destruction of the Oil and Gas Industry

When Biden was sworn in, the United States was energy independent and a net exporter of oil and natural gas for the first time in around 70 years.  At the instigation of fanatical Watermelon Greens (green on the outside, red on the inside), Biden set about to destroy America’s energy independence and its oil and gas industry by canceling oil and gas leases and by promulgating oppressive regulations expressly designed to cripple the industry.  Before too long, (1) America was no longer energy independent, and (2) prices at the gasoline pump began rising.  The Greenies, sadists that they are, rubbed their hands in glee as Joe Sixpack found it more and more expensive to fill up his SUV.  Let Joe Sixpack suffer, they argued — he should be riding public transportation anyway.

The Ukraine Invasion

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was no surprise attack.  It was known for months that he was massing troops on Russia’s border with Ukraine.  The dolts running the Biden Administration had a golden opportunity to move Javelins, Stingers, maybe even fighter jets into Ukraine while Russia was standing pat.  If the armament transfer had been robust enough, Putin may have thought twice about trying to invade.  Instead, little or nothing was done until the war began.

The foregoing are largely instances of incompetence and poor planning.  More sinister are the Biden Administration’s efforts to quell free speech and deprive Americans of their First and Second Amendment rights.  An example in point is the targeting of parents of schoolchildren by the U.S. Department of Justice.  If you show up at a school board meeting to protest the mask requirements for your children or the tyrannical vaccine mandates (a clear and especially vicious form of child abuse — let the prosecutions begin after the Republicans re-take Congress and the White House), you may find yourself being investigated.  Additionally, there is the persecution of peaceful January 6 protestors and the issuance of a get-out-of-jail-free card to jackbooted thugs wearing a uniform and a badge who murdered January 6 protestors in cold blood.  Note that this too can be remedied after the voters send the Democrats packing — there is no statute of limitations for murder.

We can go on and on, but you get the point.  Joe Biden has shown by his actions and his Administration’s actions that he is far and away the worst President in our country’s history — and he still has almost another three years to wreak yet more havoc.

But there is hope.  If Republicans retake the House in November 2022, there would be nothing stopping the House from impeaching both Biden and Harris, thereby putting a Republican Speaker of the House in the White House if a two-thirds majority to convict can be assembled in the Senate.  Yeah, it’s a long shot, but if things get even worse between now and 2023 (which seems assured, given the way Biden is running the country), it’s not totally impossible.

Poll: Majority of Americans Unhappy with Current Immigration Levels

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

The majority of Americans are unhappy with the current immigration policy under President Joe Biden.

Gallup released new polling data Monday showing that 58% of surveyed Americans are dissatisfied with the current level of immigration, compared to 34% who are satisfied.

“This marks an eight-percentage-point increase in dissatisfaction since last year and a return to the 2019-2020 range,” Gallup said.

The poll also found that since Biden took office, dissatisfied Americans are more likely to favor less immigration.

“Last year, those dissatisfied were about equally as likely to favor an increase as a decrease, but now the predominant view among the dissatisfied is for less immigration,” Gallup said. The proportion who want less immigration has nearly doubled from 19% in 2021 and is well above where it was in 2019 (23%) and 2020 (25%). At the same time, calls for more immigration into the country have dropped.”

The poll comes as illegal border crossings have significantly increased under Biden. U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports that they are arresting about 3,000 people per day attempting to enter the country illegally, which does not count those entrants who go unnoticed.

“While CBP continues to experience an increase in attempted monthly border crossings as seen since last April, the uptick seems to be occurring in a small fraction of locations across the southwest border, which is consistent with trends in years past,” said CBP Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner Troy Miller.

Gallup collected the data Jan. 3 through the 16th and found dissatisfied Independents are much more likely to favor decreased immigration levels.

“The vast majority of Republicans are dissatisfied with immigration and would like to see it decreased (69%), while 15% do not express a preference and 3% favor it being increased,” Gallup said. “While a majority of Democrats are satisfied with immigration, those who are dissatisfied are about evenly divided in their preferences for each of the three options. Dissatisfied independents are more than three times as likely to say they would like it to be decreased rather than increased.”

Another Gallup poll in November found that only 31% of Americans favor Biden’s handling of immigration with 66% disapproving of the work he has done on the issue.

“Approval of Biden’s handling of immigration was first tracked by Gallup in August, and it has fallen 10 points, to 31%, since then,” Gallup said. “That change is owed mostly to a 15-point decline among Democrats, to 61%, while Republicans’ (5%) and independents (32%) ratings are essentially steady.”

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

Arizona Attorney General’s Office Calls U.S.-Mexico Border Situation an Invasion

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office says that the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border qualifies as an “invasion” under the U.S. Constitution and that the state has a right to defend itself.

The ruling was made after state representative Jake Hoffman, R-Queens Creek, requested an opinion from the Attorney General’s office asking if the federal government was failing to uphold Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution (the invasion clause). He also wanted to know if it constituted a state being invaded under Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution (the state self-defense clause).

Hoffman made the request in October.

Brnovich wrote that Hoffman’s assertions were correct.

“The federal government’s failure to secure the border and protect Arizona from invasion is dangerous and unprecedented,” Brnovich’s ruling reads. “Thankfully, the Founders foresaw that states might need to protect themselves from invasion and made clear in the Constitution that states retain the sovereign power to defend themselves within their own territory. As discussed above, ‘actually invaded’ and ‘invasion’ in the State Self-Defense and Invasion Clauses is not limited to hostile foreign states but includes hostile non-state actors.

“The violence and lawlessness at the border caused by transnational cartels and gangs satisfies the definition of an ‘invasion’ under the U.S. Constitution, and Arizona, therefore, has the power to defend itself from this invasion under the Governor’s authority as Commander-in-Chief. An actual invasion permits the State to engage in defensive actions within its own territory at or near its border.”

Hoffman was happy with the ruling. He said that he wants the state’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, to respond by taking further action to protect the border.

“I’m glad to see that Attorney General Brnovich today agreed with my assessment that the crisis occurring on our southern border constitutes an invasion and a total failure by the Biden administration to fulfill its constitutional obligation to protect the people of Arizona,” Hoffman said in a press release. “This groundbreaking legal opinion further reinforces what I, and my colleagues at the state Capitol, have been calling for, that Arizona, under Article I, Section 10 of the United States Constitution, has the authority to step up and protect itself from this invasion.

“The human smuggling, cartel drugs and violence, sex trafficking, and other illicit activity must end. I call on Governor Ducey to utilize the Article I, Section 10 powers afforded to Arizona by the U.S. Constitution to end the invasion and secure our border.”

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