Faced with myriad crises – most notably, dealing with the COVID pandemic and its economic and fiscal fallout – newly inaugurated President Joe Biden wasted no time in exacerbating those crises and inducing an immigration and border crisis.
On his first half-day in office, President Biden signed a series of executive orders that are certain to create a new rush to the border and unconstitutionally negate an entire body of federal statutes by refusing to enforce any immigration laws. Additionally, his administration’s first legislative priority is a massive illegal alien amnesty bill for upwards of 14 million people, some of whom may have been here for less than three weeks prior to the president taking the oath of office.
In a flurry of executive orders and policy directives, the new president indicated that his administration will pursue radical open borders and mass amnesty immigration policies, even if that means jeopardizing the health, security, and other interests of the American people. Back in December, the then president-elect acknowledged the grave risks associated with a wholesale reversal of existing immigration enforcement.
“The last thing we need is to say we’re going to stop immediately the, you know, the access to asylum the way it’s being run now and end up with 2 million people on our border,” Biden said at the time. Based on his actions on his first day on the job, a new border crisis is apparently the first thing he believes the nation needs right now. And he is determined to bring it about regardless of health concerns, the welfare of American workers, or the fiscal capacity of governments at all levels to deal with massive numbers of new arrivals.
In what amounts to an audacious (and likely unconstitutional) negation of an entire body of immigration enforcement statutes, enacted by Congress and signed into law by previous presidents, Biden declared that none of these laws will be enforced for at least the first 100 days of his administration. That means that no one, including criminal aliens, will be removed from the country and no new enforcement actions will be initiated during this period.
The zero-removal policy, coupled with another presidential directive suspending the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) that requires would-be asylum seekers to remain in Mexico until their claims receive an initial hearing, the new administration’s actions amount to an open invitation to anyone who wants to come to the United States illegally.
Even before Mr. Biden assumed office, caravans of Central American migrants began forming in anticipation of new policies. Now that Biden has put pen to paper, we can only expect that these caravans will grow exponentially. How are we going to screen the 2 million people Biden suggested might show up for COVID (the American public’s top priority) or criminal backgrounds? Good question. Perhaps someone from the administration will get around to answering it.
Further signaling a radical bent on immigration, the very first bill the new administration unveiled is a massive and expedited amnesty for every illegal alien who entered the country prior to Jan. 1, 2021 (apparently three weeks is the time it takes to establish “deep roots” in this country), and large increases in both family- and employment-based immigration, even as millions of COVID-displaced American workers struggle to find jobs.
Unlike previous amnesty bills, which at least made half-hearted efforts to assure the American public that the next wave of illegal immigration would not quickly ensue, the bill the Biden administration is sending to Congress includes no enforcement measures. None. Rather, the legislation alludes vaguely to “addressing the root causes” of mass migration – a lofty way of saying that U.S. immigration policies will forever be held hostage to corrupt and incompetent governments around the world.
The American people turned to Joe Biden to be the steady hand at the helm to guide the nation through some unprecedented crises, and to unify a nation that is deeply divided. They did not elect him to create new crises. Yet, if his first day in office was any indication, what we are likely to get is a massive new crisis along our southern border – one that will make the already formidable task of addressing COVID, unemployment and government deficits all the more difficult to address.
Ira Mehlman is media director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)