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Biden Might Have Sabotaged His First Term Before He Even Took Office

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Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Before President Joe Biden took the oath of office Jan. 20, he announced he would be taking bold action in his first days to reverse his predecessor’s immigration policies. Biden’s promises seem to have laid the groundwork for a crisis at the southern border — much like the mishandled immigration crisis in the Obama years.

Biden promised he’d undo former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies by various means, such as a 100-day deportation moratorium, reported Fox News. As Biden was preparing to take the oath of office, a migrant caravan started making its way north towards the U.S.-Mexico border from Honduras. Migrants are citing the change in administration and Biden’s policies as the impetus for coming, something experts and officials warned the public would happen if Biden were elected.

Similarly, Republicans claimed that the Obama administration’s immigration policies gave rise to the influx of unaccompanied minors when the United States faced a crisis at the southern border in 2014. The Obama administration’s lax immigration policies led to mismanagement of the 2014 crisis, and helped set the stage for Trump’s victory in 2016 with immigration as his key issue. (RELATED: How President Biden Will Begin To Undo Trump’s Immigration Legacy)

During Trump’s administration, the United States built nearly 450 miles of wall along the southern U.S. border. Biden pledged to put an end to the border wall during his presidential campaign. “There will not be another foot of wall constructed under my administration,” Biden said, according to Fox News.

And that’s not the only Trump-era immigration policy Biden swore to scrap. Biden said he wants to end the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain-in-Mexico” policy, Fox News reported. Other Biden promises regarding immigration include the previously-mentioned 100-day deportation moratorium and significantly increasing the refugee cap.

Before Biden was elected, border officials were also warning the public that a reversal in immigration policy could create another crisis. “When that happens we’ll quickly overrun our capacity to hold those people and we’ll be back in the situation where we have to release people if the laws don’t change,” Yuma Sector Border Patrol Chief Tony Porvaznik told Fox News.

A migrant caravan is making the trek from the economically-devastated Honduras to the United States, at times violently clashing with security forces in countries on the way to the southern border according to reports on the matter. Migrants interviewed by various news networks have cited the change in administration as the impetus for heading north.

One migrant told a reporter that the goal of the caravan was “to get to the U.S. because they’re having a new president,” reported Fox News. “He’s [Biden] gonna help all of us,” the man continued. “He’s giving us 100 days to get to the U.S.” to “get a better life for our kids and family.”

Former Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan claimed that Biden should have been aware of the consequences of his policies.

“I said if Biden became president, this would happen,” Homan told Fox News. “The things he said, the promises that he made … like ending the remain in Mexico program, and getting rid of private detention, putting a moratorium on deportations, stopping ICE from doing worksite enforcement operations, offering free healthcare. When you throw those kinds of enticements out, who’s not going to come to the greatest country on Earth?”

Once Biden was inaugurated, he signed 15 executive orders and two executive actions his first day in office, The Wall Street Journal reported. One of the new president’s executive orders rescinded Trump’s emergency declaration to procure funds for the border wall, according to the Journal. Another aimed to “Preserv[e] and Fortif[y]” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.

Biden also delivered a larger immigration bill to Congress to provide an eight-year path to citizenship to illegal immigrants, as reported by Vox.

Some, like Senior National Security Fellow Todd Bensman of the Center for Immigration Studies, believe Biden’s policies and rhetoric are to blame for the impending crisis.

“It’s pretty clear. It’s the incoming administration of Joe Biden almost entirely,” Bensman told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The promises that he made during the campaign and the promise that he is going to present an amnesty bill [today], end deportations and reverse everything that Trump ever did,” he added.

If past is prologue, the Obama administration’s handling of the migrant crisis in 2014 might give Americans a window into how Biden’s immigration policies could play into its future.

The number of unaccompanied minors apprehended by U.S. authorities nearly doubled from 38,759 to 68,541 in fiscal year 2013 and 2014, respectively, as reported by FactCheck.org. Many of these children were sent by their parents to the United States because of poor conditions in Northern Triangle countries (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras), NPR reported. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 required that a Central American migrant child must be given a hearing before deportation, a process that could take years, according to NPR. In the meantime, 90% of those children would stay with relatives already in the U.S., according to the Migration Policy Institute.

Other policies like DACA can incentivize migrants to try and get to the United States, even if they were not eligible for the program, as noted by The Heritage Foundation.

Migrants were then stuck in overcrowded and unsanitary border facilities, reported the Los Angeles Times. The crisis led Obama to call for $3.7 billion in emergency funding for the crisis, NPR reported.

“Word has gotten out around the world about President Obama’s lax immigration enforcement policies, and it has encouraged more individuals to come to the United States illegally, many of whom are children from Central America,” then-Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte said of the administration policies’ culpability in the crisis, according to NPR.