Trump-era Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials scrutinized President Joe Biden’s plan to deploy 1,500 troops to the southern border, saying the measure is “pathetically weak,” “too late” and that it will lead to even more illegal migration.
The troop order is a “pathetically weak show of non-force that will do nothing in light of Joe Biden’s open border policies, which are only getting more ‘open’ with the takedown of Title 42,” Former Deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told the Daily Caller on Tuesday.
The Pentagon is deploying the troops amid an expected migrant surge following the termination of Title 42 — a Trump-era COVID-19 policy — on May 11. The southern border has already experienced record-breaking numbers of migrant encounters during the Biden administration, and Biden DHS officials have expressed warnings about what’s to come. (RELATED: Biden Requests More Than $50 Million For ‘Unexpected Urgent’ Needs Of Migrants, Refugees)
Biden’s 1,500 troops will mostly handle “administrative tasks” and will not be interacting with migrants, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday.
Former acting secretary of the DHS Chad Wolf denounced Biden’s “scramble” to send troops, arguing the order “shows that the administration still does not have a coherent strategy more than 27 months into the humanitarian and security crisis their policies created.”
Acting Deputy Chief of Staff for the DHS under Trump, Lora Ries, told the Daily Caller that Biden’s decision to send troops to the southern border coincides with a “new optics problem” for the administration, and that the order comes “too little, too late for Americans.”
“The administration only makes a ‘showing’ of enforcement when it suffers an optics problem – think 15,000 Haitians under the Del Rio, [Texas], bridge, the aliens transported to Martha’s Vineyard, and when there is a focus on high numbers of border apprehensions. After over 6.5 million illegal apprehensions and more than 1.4 million known got-aways, however, Biden’s call for 1,500 troops at the border is too little, too late for Americans, sadly,” Ries continued.
Former President Donald Trump deployed thousands of U.S. troops to the border during his administration to bolster support amid an incoming caravan of would-be illegal migrants. In 2018, then-Senator Kamala Harris criticized Trump for sending troops as an “inappropriate use of the country’s limited resources” and a “demonstration for the TV cameras.”
Biden’s troops should be deployed to “block all crossings between ports of entry,” Cuccinelli said. “After all, the first job of our military is to stop America from being invaded. Unfortunately, Joe Biden has invited this invasion and is receiving it with open arms.”
“This announcement is clearly designed to ‘demonstrate’ to the American people that this Administration is doing something; yet in reality, this move will help facilitate more processing of illegal aliens into the country,” Wolf added.
The Biden administration rebuked the criticisms of the Trump-era DHS officials.
“Anyone who ripped children out of their mothers’ arms or spent billions of taxpayer dollars on a useless wall that they couldn’t even finish in four years – let alone get Mexico to pay for it — doesn’t have much credibility to offer comment here,” a Biden administration official told the Caller.
The Trump DHS officials hit back, with Cuccinelli saying the administration offered a “petulant response of a child who knows they have done wrong.”
“Walls work when they are backed up with good policies and men and women prepared to bar entry to this country or to quickly return those invading our country back to Mexico. Joe Biden has intentionally made the walls useless by blocking the Border Patrol from doing their job while opening our borders,” Cuccinelli said.
Ries argued if the Biden administration “really cared about children, it would prevent their dangerous and illegal immigration, not exploit them for political power.”
“The Biden Administration has enticed parents to separate from their children and send a historic 371,000 unaccompanied alien children across the border – so far, then loses tens of thousands of them and turns others over to sex traffickers and child labor abuse,” Ries added.
“The facts speak themselves – the legacy of this administration will be the historic human trafficking of vulnerable migrants from all over the globe, the loss of over 80,000 children to unvetted sponsors, the complete loss of confidence of the Border Patrol workforce, and the killing of a generation of Americans thru the fentanyl that is pouring across on open, unsecure border,” Wolf said.