Over the last couple of years, the Biden administration’s destructive policies regarding our nation’s border security and immigration laws have placed a huge burden on states and their residents to patch the cracks in the system. But the states can only do so much. The real solution needs to come from Congress.
This past December marked the highest border encounters in U.S. history. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that 251,487 immigrants tried to cross the border illegally. They also confirmed that at least 1.2 million illegal immigrants “got away” since President Biden assumed office in 2021. The actions (or inactions) of the Biden administration are reckless. Former acting ICE Director Tom Homan said:
Joe Biden is the first president in my lifetime to intentionally un-secure the border. By way of more than 90 executive orders, he undid the successful Trump-era policies that brought illegal immigration to a 40-year low and gave us the most secure border of our lifetimes. This president and his team were warned what would happen if they got rid of those policies. They did it anyway, and you’re looking at the consequences.
At the beginning of January, Biden announced that the U.S. would begin turning away immigrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela who travel through Mexico to cross the border illegally. However, he will allow 30,000 people from these countries to enter the U.S. legally per month. This would result in 360,000 immigrants per year gaining work benefits who would have otherwise come to America illegally. This process is unfair and senseless.
The states echo the same sentiments. Twenty state Attorneys General have joined a lawsuit to sue the Biden administration for their actions. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall stated:
Every state, including Alabama, has become a border state due to the disastrous and misguided immigration policies of the Biden Administration. The open borders agenda has created a humanitarian crisis that is affecting millions of Americans every day.
This unlawful amnesty program will prove to be an open invitation for hundreds of thousands of migrants to continue entering into the U.S. illegally every year and will only make the immigration crisis significantly worse, costing Alabama taxpayers millions and wreaking havoc on the criminal justice system.
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are ready to make changes as well. The House Oversight Committee announced plans to investigate the border crisis. Chair James Comer (R-KY) invited four border patrol Chiefs to testify in front of the committee during the week of February 6th and sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas requesting all documentation and communication regarding this issue.
While the House’s investigation is underway, Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) has introduced a bill to stop the flow of illegal immigration until the border is secure. The Border Safety and Security Act (H.R. 29) mandates the suspension of immigrants if the Department of Homeland Security cannot properly detain them and allows state Attorneys General to sue DHS if the laws are not enforced. While the bill has garnered fifty-eight cosponsors so far, the left and some squishy Republicans are fighting against it which is souring the appetite of the House leadership to bring it to the floor for a vote.
Meanwhile, the Senate is working on a bipartisan immigration bill that contains amnesty measures. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) tried to push a framework of immigration reform during the Lame Duck session last year that would beef up border security by spending $25 billion but allowing a pathway to citizenship for those participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. This would undermine any progress on border security. No bill has been introduced yet, but the talks are ongoing.
Last year, Eagle Forum joined a coalition letter to Congress outlining the specific needs and solutions to the border crisis. The House and Senate must begin drafting legislation to implement these reforms. If the President can cause this much destruction in two years, Congress must act swiftly to stop the crisis from worsening even more.