PHIPPEN: What States Can Do About Our Open Border

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Carolyn Phippen Contributor
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There’s no debate that our border is open, with thousands of people flooding into our country every day.

Fed up with Biden’s do-nothing border policies, Arizona Democrat Gov. Katie Hobbs deployed her own state’s National Guard to assist with the border migrant influx. She slammed Biden in a recent statement saying, “I am taking action where the federal government won’t,” as the Arizona National Guard aids overwhelmed border patrol agents along our southern border. 

Unfortunately, border states are not the only ones impacted. Since Utah borders Arizona, our state, along with many others, is left to deal with the aftermath of illegal immigrants funneling in drugs, sex trafficking victims, and other criminal enterprises. 

So what can states do? 

First, we can send our National Guard down to the border to help until Biden and his administration come to their senses. Being a conservative, I rarely agree with governors like Hobbs, but she is right to send help to do the work that our federal government is refusing to do. 

I visited the border this spring in McAllen, Texas. I spoke with exhausted, overworked border agents, and because of the vast number of traffic, 90 percent of the work they’re doing right now is humanitarian. This means that instead of guarding our border and keeping out the bad guys, our border agents are spending the majority of their time helping sexually abused and trafficked women and children, changing diapers, delivering babies, cooking food, and other tasks necessary to meet the most basic needs of the massive wave of migrants flooding into our country. Meanwhile, the border remains virtually open for drug and human trafficking activities to flourish, further exacerbating these devastations. 

Everyone in the area will tell you that the cartels have full operational control of the border. If they can do it, why can’t we? Americans are perfectly capable of controlling the entry of floods of illegal aliens and putting an end to the clearly horrific criminal activities incentivized by Joe Biden’s refusal to enforce our laws. 

During my trip to the border, we visited a water treatment facility along the Rio Grande. They’ve had to put up a grate that goes down into the water to keep the dead bodies from being sucked into their machinery. In the months since installing the grate, they’d had 20 bodies wash up, none of them dead from drowning. If you try to get across without paying the cartels, they make sure you don’t get across successfully. It’s a nasty business, but Biden and his administration still refuse to do anything about it except offer lip service. 

Second, we can undo laws, policies, and regulations in states that protect illegal immigrants from being held accountable. There are 11 “sanctuary states” which shield immigrants from being deported and allow them to skirt immigration enforcement. Unfortunately, my home state of Utah is responsible for some of these harmful policies. 

For instance, in 2019 the Utah legislature passed a bill making it easier for illegal immigrants to break the law without consequences. This means that Utah law no longer categorizes lesser convictions — like shoplifting — as aggravated felonies, so illegal immigrants who commit them cannot be automatically deported. 

In addition, Utah offers driving privilege cards for illegal immigrants, allowing them to drive legally even without the right to be living in the country. Our state also allows illegal aliens who attend and graduate from a Utah high school to receive in-state college tuition. Other benefits include taxpayer-funded health insurance to non-citizens, in some cases. 

Some will try to make the case that all of these accommodations are compassionate, but every single one of them incentivizes illegal behavior at the cost of U.S. citizens, who foot the bill and suffer the consequences. 

Third, we must elect people to go to Washington who will stop voting to fund other nations’ wars until our own border and nation is secure. The U.S. has sent over $111 billion to Ukraine for weapons, equipment, and humanitarian assistance. Biden recently requested Congress send supplemental funds. He asked for $11 billion for border security and migrant matters, which doesn’t even entirely go to the border. In that same request, Biden asked for an additional $100 billion for Ukraine and Israel. 

Clearly, Biden’s priorities lie with helping secure other countries’ borders, with very little interest in our own. Americans must start voting for candidates who will put Americans’ needs first. There is no country as compassionate or generous as the United States, but we will cease to be able to meet the needs of others if we are not, first and foremost, meeting the needs of our own nation. 

Carolyn Phippen is a candidate for U.S. Senate in Utah. She is a wife and a mother of five boys, a former staffer to Sen. Mike Lee, and a resident of Draper, Utah. 

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.