MEHLMAN: After The Afghan Debacle, Border Chaos And Mass Amnesty Are No Longer Options

(Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)

Ira Mehlman Ira Mehlman is the media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
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The disgraceful denouement to America’s 20-year investment of lives and treasure in Afghanistan is one of those watershed events that changes everything. In the end, we left with our tail between our legs, unable to complete the evacuation of our own people, much less other foreign nationals and Afghans whom we promised to protect. And that does not even speak of the fate of millions of people who are now doomed to live under a brutal, theocratic regime whose stated goal is to return the country to the Dark Ages.

The Afghanistan debacle is only the latest, and most damaging, policy failure on the part of an administration that is seemingly caught off-guard by the sun rising in the east. The Biden administration does not seem to grasp the connection between ideologically-driven actions and statements, and consequences.

In addition to ignoring repeated warnings about the dangers posed by their haphazard withdrawal from Afghanistan (where they clearly were not prepared for “all contingencies”), there are numerous examples of the administration’s inability to recognize cause-and-effect. To cite just a few:

  • In its brief time in office, the Biden administration has canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, only to plead with OPEC to increase oil output as gas prices soared, hitting working class Americans the hardest.
  • They have cast their lot with fringe radicals who depict police and enforcement of laws as racist, only to see violent crime skyrocket, with a disproportional share of victims being minorities.
  • They terminated virtually all forms of immigration and border enforcement, and promised amnesty to just about everyone who is here illegally.  This triggered a full-blown border crisis that even the architect of that policy, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, now admits is “unsustainable.”

The administration’s reckless obliviousness has been aided (and sometimes driven) by a razor-thin, but unified Democratic majority in Congress. Before adjourning for  August recess, the Senate forced through  a $3.5 trillion budget resolution, laden with woke social policy instructions for a budget reconciliation bill down the line.. The House will come back in town to vote on it this week, taking yet another step in an effort to torch longstanding chamber rules.

Among the woke “human infrastructure” priorities, the outline of which was approved with zero support from Republicans, is a framework for a massive illegal alien amnesty that would legalize an estimated 10 million people. If the Senate Parliamentarian allows it to be included in the final bill, it would be as damaging to the domestic interests of the United States as the Biden administration’s miscalculations in Afghanistan have been to our global interests.

As surely as the administration’s assault on border and immigration enforcement is the direct cause of the historic surge of people pouring across our border illegally (during a global pandemic, no less), a wholesale amnesty, that the administration is equally ill-prepared to manage, would inevitably lead to even greater waves of illegal immigration.

In the wake of the Afghanistan debacle, further stressing our borders (that Mayorkas concedes we are on the verge of losing control of) now poses a vastly greater threat to national security. Within hours of the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul, the Pentagon issued an ominous warning that Afghanistan will once again become a base of operations for terrorist groups aiming to strike America. Additionally, more than 5,000 prisoners, including Taliban and al-Qaida fighters, who had been held at the U.S. air base in Bagram, have been set free, many of whom likely have their hearts set on taking retribution against Americans.

In light of the Pentagon’s dire assessment, securing our borders, rather than adding to the existing chaos, must be President Biden’s and Congress’ number one priority when it comes to immigration policy. The nation cannot afford to have Congress and the president yield to the political agenda of a radical fringe, and again ignore the warnings of our top military and intelligence officers. The stakes are simply too high.

A sobered Democratic congressional leadership, many of whom are now scrambling to distance themselves from President Biden’s foreign policy failure, must not only put an end to a reckless effort to use budget reconciliation to enact an ill-advised amnesty, but rejoin the bipartisan public consensus that our borders must be secured.

Ira Mehlman is media director at Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).