Op-Ed: Ending Title 42 proves Biden’s border disaster could have been avoided
This article originally appeared in Fox News on May 12, 2023
The most anticipated day for the Biden administration’s border security crisis is upon us, and all eyes are on the southern border for all the wrong reasons. On May 11, the Title 42 public health emergency ended and, with it, the lone vestige of border enforcement coming out of this administration in the form of the approximately 50,000 illegal aliens per month that have been expelled at the border.
For 27 months, the American people have witnessed a humanitarian and security crisis at the border on a scale never experienced in our nation’s history. Unfortunately, this is not hyperbole. This is the reality. The situation is on the verge of getting worse because, starting tomorrow, migrants will face no consequences for crossing the border unlawfully under the Biden Administration’s policies. The Biden administration knows it and so do the cartels and the migrants themselves.
Beginning on Friday, all illegal aliens apprehended at the southern border will be put into Title 8 immigration proceedings and will be subject to "expedited removal." Though the Biden administration makes this sound like an effective enforcement policy, it is merely an optical misdirection.
What the administration is not telling the American people is that there is a glaring loophole in expedited removal that the cartels coach aliens to exploit — the ability to claim asylum regardless of how dubious the claim.
For the past two years, the administration has tried to convince the American people that they have no choice but to allow these illegal aliens into American communities, even though only 10-15% of them will ultimately qualify for asylum years later once they finally go before an immigration judge.
But there is a sensible alternative, as we demonstrated through the establishment of the Remain in Mexico policy during the Trump administration. It is possible to provide genuine humanitarian protections to those who qualify without the mass release of illegal aliens into American communities who will predictably never qualify for asylum under our laws.
The success of Remain in Mexico speaks for itself. Fewer illegal aliens were making fraudulent asylum claims when they were required to wait south of the border until their immigration court date.
However, the sleight of hand from the Biden administration does not end there. The last-minute scramble to send 1,500 National Guard troops to the border is a sign of desperation and shows the administration has failed to adequately prepare for the inevitable end of the COVID-19 public health authority.
The new asylum rule announced on May 10 is also an enforcement deception. The administration claims that the rule will impose harsh new penalties on illegal aliens, and the legacy media decry it as a revival of a Trump administration regulation, but the facts do not support these claims.
The new "presumption of ineligibility" for asylum sounds tough, but the failure to prevent fraudulent claims from being made in the first place severely limits its impact. The rule is also filled with loopholes that will perpetuate the trafficking of vulnerable migrant children and continue the horrific practice of adults "recycling" kids to form fake families for the purpose of being allowed into American communities.
The most absurd exception might be a claim that the smart phone app, known as CBP One, that the administration is using for illegal aliens to schedule appointments to be waived into the U.S. was unavailable to the migrants — claims that would be difficult to vet.
Another verbal misdirect Americans often hear from this administration is that they are "working within significant constraints." They claim that they can spend their way out of this crisis if Congress would appropriate more funding and change immigration laws. As we have repeatedly pointed out, the disaster at the border is due to ineffective policies.
That’s why we are in El Paso as Title 42 ends: to hear from everyday Americans who are impacted by this crisis, to talk with Border Patrol agents who have lost confidence in the DHS Secretary, to work with Texas law enforcement officers to provide a state level response and to document firsthand the border crisis that was intentionally created by the Biden administration’s policies.
So where do we go from here? Here are several suggestions that have been proven effective. First, the administration must change the enforcement posture at the border. It must adequately deploy Border Patrol agents to the border to enforce the law, rather than only authorize them to man processing centers.
Solving this issue requires deterrence – not just to uphold the rule of law, but also to protect vulnerable migrants from the cartels who are using the Biden administration’s lax policies to entice them to cross illegally.
The cartels are not looking out for migrants’ interests. They are engaging in systematic human trafficking, abuse and worse. This must end. Similarly, the administration must end their ill-advised and illegal use of parole to allow large numbers of visa-less aliens into the country.
Critically, the administration needs to take ownership of its border policy failures and be honest with the American people. The president, vice president, DHS secretary, White House press secretary and others continue to lie and downplay the crisis at the border.
They believe the American people will not notice. However, they have lost credibility on this issue with the vast majority of the American people. Recent polling says that 84% of American voters believe it is important to secure the border, but only 27% think the Biden administration is seriously trying to secure the border and reduce illegal immigration.
Against this backdrop, the House of Representatives is set to pass H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act. This bill offers serious solutions that would secure the border, including reestablishing the Trump administration’s highly successful Remain in Mexico policy, raising the credible fear standard to eliminate the persistent abuse of the asylum system, restoring parole to its originally intended narrow use, and mandating E-Verify to ensure a legal workforce and cut off the jobs magnet that encourages illegal immigration.
Based on our experience, H.R. 2 is a step in the right direction and puts American interests first. To no one’s surprise, the White House issued a statement of opposition that claims that a "successful border management strategy must include robust enforcement at the border of illegal crossings, deterrence to discourage illegal immigration, and legal pathways to ensure that those in need of protection are not turned away to face death or serious harm." We agree, and that is precisely what H.R. 2 would accomplish.
Our advice to the Biden administration is straightforward: stop politicizing the border, start enforcing the laws already on the books and embrace H.R. 2 and the additional authorities Congress will give them to secure the border.
Read this op-ed in Fox News