“Entry into a country by welfare cases, criminals, terrorists, enemy agents, or socialists and others sympathetic to tyrannical systems of government is never appropriate,” said Charles Steele, chairman of economics, business, and accounting, associate professor of economics, and Herman A. and Suzanne S. Dettwiler chair in economics.
The southern border is projected to see as many as two million illegal immigrants by the end of 2021, the largest surge of migrants to the U.S. in 20 years, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
“Illegal aliens are coming across the border,” Steele said. “They are not vetted, and include people of doubtful ability to provide for themselves, as well as members of criminal gangs such as MS-13. The crisis is also used by Hezbollah and other enemies to slip agents into America. Illegal entry includes violating the property rights of Americans who own property along the border, and often endangering them.”
According to a statement released by the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday, the Biden administration’s priority is to “secure borders.”
“The situation we are currently facing at the southwest border is a difficult one. We are tackling it,” the statement read. “We are keeping our borders secure, enforcing our laws, and staying true to our values and principles.”
Since taking office in January, immigration reform has been at the top of the Biden administration’s list. But according to Thomas West, professor of politics, Biden’s approach is contrary to a healthy immigration policy.
“Trump tried to stop illegal immigration by building a fence, rapid deportation to Mexico for border crossers claiming asylum, and making deals with countries to our south to incentivize the end of illegal immigration,” West said. “Biden is reversing these policies. The consequence is a big increase in border crossings, many of them children not accompanied by parents.”
Biden has promised his Democratic base a more humane approach to illegal immagration, neglecting citizens in the process, Steele said.
“Documents obtained by Project Veritas from Customs and Border Patrol show that the surge contains unusually high numbers of people with criminal records, including a five-year high for number of sex offenders,” Steele said. “That’s just one way illegal immigration endangers the United States.”
Bruno Cortes, Ph.D. student and lecturer in politics, said that Biden’s promise of amnesty ultimately caused the border crisis.
“The events on the border are not a humanitarian crisis but a political one,” Cortes said. “What’s at stake is whether or not laws apply to citizens and foreigners alike. Biden believes that the law should only apply to the former; Trump, to both.”
According to Steele, the Biden administration is permitting unrestricted travel for self-selected people from other countries.
“There are also people from Iran, Syria, Somalia, and other hostile countries coming across the border. Groups such as Hezbollah can use illegal immigration as a vehicle to infiltrate the United States, and almost certainly are doing this,” Steele said. “Meanwhile, American citizens are told to quarantine and threatened with the possibility of ‘vaccine passports.’”
Biden issued five immigration policies on his Inauguration Day alone, halting border wall construction, ordering a 100-day moratorium on deportations, rebuilding the DREAM act, and terminating former President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
According to West, Biden’s reversal of the previous administration’s policy is concerning.
“Democracy means consent of the governed,” West said. “But immigration policy is increasingly made up by the president, the bureaucracy, and the courts. The solution? Restore and strengthen the Trump policies.”
Migrants from Mexico and the Northern Triangle have been entering the Southern border on caravans containing hundreds, Fort Bliss in Texas has been established as an overflow site to accommodate 500 unaccompanied minors, immigration facilities are nearing, if not already surpassing capacity, and the DHS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have spent more than $86 million housing illegal immigrants in hotel rooms near the border, according to ICE. Amidst all of this, the Biden administration has outlined its “vision of a multi-pronged approach toward managing migration throughout North and Central America that reflects the Nation’s highest values.”
“These surges are not spontaneous. The surges are in part organized by leftist groups and there’s some reason to think they often have support from progressive policy circles in the U.S.,” Steele said. “During the Obama administration, preparations for particular surges were made well in advance with preparations. Judicial Watch used the Freedom of Information Act to access documents showing that Health and Human Services had contracted with churches and other family service providers in advance of surges. And don’t forget that Biden and every other Democrat who participated in the first primary debate openly endorsed free health care for every person who crossed the border.”
Just a third of Americans approve of the way Biden has handled the immigration influx, with well over 50% claiming disapproval, according to a poll released by NPR/Marist on Tuesday. Biden can redeem himself by enforcing current law, Steele said.
“People often say ‘the system is broken’ and call for news laws, but the legal framework isn’t broken, it’s ignored,” Steele said. “It’s ignored because various people with power benefit from the chaos politically and economically.”