National Security

Biden Abdicating Responsibility For Border Crisis After Creating It From Day One, Former Border 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 has been blaming Congress for inaction in solving the border crisis after taking actions at the executive level that are largely the reason for the continued record migrant surge, several former border officials told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

On his first day in office, President Joe Biden began his tenure in the White House signing executive orders limiting immigration enforcement. Since then, federal authorities along the southern border have seen record flows of illegal immigration, including fiscal year 2022, which was the highest year on record with more than 2.2 million encounters of migrants crossing illegally. (RELATED: Feds Raise Concerns Over New Pathway Fueling Migrant Crisis)

“There is enough authorities that either the President or Secretary Mayorkas has to fix this crisis today. I don’t know that they would be able to solve it completely, but it would go a long way to driving the numbers down. They’re not using that authority, they haven’t used it for three years now. It appears they have no intention of using it. So this idea that they keep calling on Congress to pass new laws to give them new authorities is I think it’s a little bit of a red herring and a joke,” Chad Wolf, former acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary under the Trump administration, told the DCNF.

“Congress did not create this crisis, the Biden administration created this crisis and they have the ability to solve it,” Wolf said.

In recent weeks, Border Patrol has seen new daily records of migrants crossing the southern border illegally. All the while, the Biden administration continues to put the onus on Congress to address the issue.

In Thursday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Spokesman John Kirby blamed Congress for sitting on border security funding amid stalled talks tying the issue to Ukraine military aid.

That same day, House Speaker Mike Johnson sent a letter to Biden asking him to take executive action to secure the southern border by not releasing illegal immigrants into the interior of the country, broker deals with countries south of the border and restart construction of the border wall.

EAGLE PASS, TEXAS – DECEMBER 20: Immigrants wait to be processed at a U.S. Border Patrol transit center after they crossed the border from Mexico on December 20, 2023 in Eagle Pass, Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

On Jan. 20, 2021, Biden signed an order to limit Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) authorities in making arrests and deportations. That same day, Biden took executive action to end construction of the Trump administration’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Additionally, on its first day in office, the Biden administration enacted a 100-day moratorium on all deportations, a move that a federal judge struck down days later.

The executive actions and policies Biden has enacted at the executive level are “driving” the record surge at the border, Mark Morgan, former acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner under the Trump administration, told the DCNF.

“The same issues that they have with Congress were the same exact issues President Trump had all four years. So when they took over, they inherited the same issues with Congress and the law that we had in a Trump administration. Yet, under the Trump administration, we had a 40 year low of illegal immigration. By February 2020, we had reduced illegal immigration by 85%,” Morgan said.

“It was a combination of executive orders and policy,” Morgan said of Trump’s actions, citing a safe third country agreement forcing Central American countries to accept certain U.S.-bound migrants, and the Migrant Protection Protocols that turned certain illegal migrants over to Mexico to await their court dates.

Former Chief Patrol Agent of the Yuma sector in Arizona Chris Clem concurred with both Wolf and Morgan, telling the DCNF that the White House is “gaslighting” by saying the issue falls on Congress.

“This administration can stop the chaos today or tomorrow by saying ‘we will execute these programs that are in place,’ Migrant protection protocol, codified, it’s in statute they can do that, he could turn on the contracts to shut down and build the wall, they can shut down the ports of entry and hold Mexico accountable until they fix things. All of this is driven by policy and the president of the United States can control it and can direct it immediately,” Clem said.

The Trump administration made major changes that were followed by a slow in illegal immigration at the southern border, a former DHS official, who requested anonymity due to the nature of their current work, told the DCNF.

“We didn’t need Congress to step in when President Trump was in office. We had a secure border, for the most part. I mean, we did a pretty good job with different tools,” the former official said.

“The notion that you would stop enforcing the law for the first 100 days immediately sent a message around the world that the border would be open, and we weren’t going to catch people. He was providing safe harbor through non detention and non enforcement,” the former official said.

The White House and Department of Homeland Security did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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