Customs and Border Protection isn’t returning or detaining illegal migrant crossers, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement isn’t removing immigrants from the interior, including convicted, released criminals.
The inevitable result: a huge U.S. population surge that will help create a chaotic society that will struggle to keep up with deteriorating conditions. From the sudden, unanticipated population growth, there will be maximum strain on K-12 education, health care, public safety and other social services that can barely provide for existing residents.
Under the Biden administration, which comically ordered CBP and ICE to stop using the terms illegal alien and assimilation in favor of “more inclusive language” like “noncitizen” and “civic integration,” border agents’ tasks consist mostly of turning over unaccompanied minors to Health and Human Services, or catching but then releasing adults into the interior. Should released immigrants run afoul of the law once in the U.S. interior, the Biden administration has ordered ICE to turn a blind eye.
Privately, ICE officials told Washington Post reporter Nick Miroff that their jobs have essentially been abolished because the administration severely limited their ability to arrest and deport illegal immigrants. In April, ICE deported 2,962 immigrants, a 20 percent decline from March, and the first time since the agency began keeping records that the monthly total dropped below 3,000.
In the administration’s most defiant federal law violation, Biden mandated that ICE detainers only be issued to incarcerated immigrants that he as president thinks should be deported. Biden’s order disregards the removal grounds that the law lists, except possibly for suspected terrorists or others who may pose a public security threat. Florida, Texas and Louisiana filed lawsuits against the Biden administration for its illegal enforcement restrictions that endanger the public at large. Released criminals can imperil society. The Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that the recidivism rates for state prisoners are 68 percent within three years, 79 percent within six years, and 83 percent within nine years.
Alleging that the White House is responsible for putting the public at risk, the Florida suit argues that “the Biden administration does not believe that being in the U.S. in violation of the immigration laws and committing serious crimes is sufficient reason to remove someone from the country.” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody charged the Biden administration with “thumbing its nose” at its legal obligation to deport criminal immigrants. Instead, Moore continued, the administration’s ICE retainer cancelation policy has put convicted sex offenders, heroin traffickers and home invaders back on the street, and among unsuspecting Floridians.
In his opinion column published in The Hill, Nolan Rappaport, a former House Judiciary Committee executive branch immigration law specialist and one-time Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims immigration counsel, expressed concern about Biden’s rejection of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s removal grounds. Rappaport wrote that Biden has completely replaced existing removal laws with priority categories, a violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers principle. Congress, Rappaport correctly concluded, writes the nation’s laws — not the president.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration cannot keep track of the unaccompanied migrants that have successfully entered mainstream America. Two weeks ago, about 150 young migrants ages 7-12 arrived in Erie, Pa., approximately 1,800 miles from McAllen, Texas, a focal point of the border crisis. Republican Rep. Mike Kelly, whose district includes Erie, went to investigate the young migrants’ housing facility, and found that 28 children had COVID-19. The following day, the site was abandoned; the children and the staff were gone. Kelly tried to get more information from the Department of Health and Human Services, but couldn’t get answers.
Biden and his immigration advisors refer to their border magnanimity as humane. But Kelly said that, referring to the Erie facility’s abrupt shut down, Biden’s approach is aimless. And because residents have been unwittingly exposed to COVID, the health of Kelly’s 16th Congressional district’s 705,687 constituents is jeopardized.
The administration shows no sign of making meaningful improvements to address the border chaos or its dangerous revisions regarding retainers. The administration remains indifferent. So far, the best indication that the administration may be vaguely aware of the border crisis is a virtual meeting that Vice President Kamala Harris held with Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. But they avoided tough talk, and only discussed nebulous ideas like the need to “create a sense of home” in Northern Triangle countries.
Former Acting CBP commissioner Mark Morgan estimates that between 3,000 and 3,500 illegal immigrants enter the U.S. daily. Given those totals, much more than a vapid Harris phone call is needed to stem the illegal migrant surge.
Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.