National Security

Biden Admin’s Border Proposals For Ukraine Funding Won’t Fix Illegal Immigration Crisis, Former Officials Say

(Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

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Jennie Taer Investigative Reporter
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The Biden administration’s negotiations to strike a deal with Congress to fund border security and Ukraine military aid will likely not deter illegal immigration to the U.S., several current and former officials told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

In ongoing talks with senators, the Biden administration hopes bringing back a Title 42-type measure to quickly expel certain migrants who cross the border illegally will bring about consensus between Republicans who want border security and Democrats who want funding for Ukraine. Several former top U.S. officials, along with two rank-and-file current Border Patrol agents, believe the border crisis will continue to persist even if a deal is reached.

The Biden administration’s reported proposal to bring back a Title 42-like policy to deny asylum screenings and immediately turn migrants back after crossing illegally won’t change much at the southern border, former Chief Patrol Agent of the Yuma sector in Arizona Chris Clem told the DCNF.

“They’re just going to come across illegally and be got aways,” Clem said. “If they push this title 42 thing and negotiate and all this kind of stuff, and Mexico says you can’t force non Mexican citizens into our country.”

The Trump administration invoked Title 42, a public health measure, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The federal government used the policy to make roughly 2.8 million expulsions between March 2020 and May 11, according to the Washington Office on Latin America.

While Title 42 was in place, the rate of migrants trying to enter the U.S. illegally more than once in a year more than doubled “in large part due to the lack of penalties for those expelled if they attempted entry again,” according to the Congressional Research Service.

In April, which was the last month of Title 42, repeat encounters accounted for 23% of overall encounters, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

“You still have millions pouring over the border, and the ones you Title 42’d, well they walk one mile away from … Lukeville, Arizona, and cross where there is no Border Patrol and they are free. It’s all a show built on lies,” J.J. Carrell, who served as a deputy patrol agent in charge, told the DCNF.

It is not likely that there will be an agreement before the holidays, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Sunday. (RELATED: Biden Admin Mum On Kamala Harris’ Latest Accomplishments As ‘Border Czar’ As Illegal Immigration Surges)

“We’ve got lots of issues to work through, in which there are many different ways to try and address and solve problems,” independent Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema told reporters Sunday evening, according to The Wall Street Journal. “We have to choose the one that works the best and that allows us to earn the votes of both houses [of Congress] and both parties.”

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

LUKEVILLE, ARIZONA – DECEMBER 07: Immigrants line up at a remote U.S. Border Patrol processing center after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on December 07, 2023 in Lukeville, Arizona. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Two current Border Patrol agents, who requested anonymity because they’re not authorized to speak publicly, told the DCNF that Title 42 will only encourage migrants to keep trying to cross into the U.S. without facing consequences.

“It’s not a hard deportation so they always just came back,” one agent said

“We were and still are outnumbered and overwhelmed by the numbers that are crossing,” a second agent said.

Mark Morgan, former acting CBP commissioner, believes any proposals from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas regarding border security shouldn’t be considered, he told the DCNF.

Morgan cited Mayorkas’ tenure under the Biden administration during record levels of illegal immigration. Fiscal year 2022, for example, marked the country’s highest year of illegal immigration on record with more than 2.2 million migrant encounters by Border Patrol at the southern border.

Border Patrol encounters of illegal migrants at the southern border the following fiscal year also surpassed 2 million, according to federal data.

“While we have members of Congress calling for his impeachment, rightfully so, we have others asking for his advice. That’s like the fire department asking the arsonist for his input on how to put out the raging fire he ignited,” Morgan said.

“Rather than seek the help from the arsonist, it’s time Senate Republicans stopped negotiating against themselves and move forward with what they ready voted for and agreed was the path forward towards meaningful border security policies – HR2,” Morgan said, referring to the House Republicans’ proposal to enhance border security by finishing former President Donald Trump’s wall, defund nongovernmental organizations helping migrants and enforce stricter asylum restrictions.

DHS, the White House and Republican Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford, who is part of the ongoing negotiations, didn’t immediately responded to the DCNF’s requests for comments.

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