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MIRANDA MELVIN: Under Biden We Are Facing The Worst Border Crisis In The History Of Our Country

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Miranda Melvin Contributor
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In just one day, over 16 million people watched a video of migrants rushing past the Texas National Guard in El Paso, Texas. This video exemplified the absolute chaos at the southern border. It also exemplified the disparity between President Biden’s rhetoric regarding border security –during recent speeches, such as his SOTU address – and the actual reality on the ground.

Regardless of whatever President Biden says now during a campaign year, none of it can undo the damage caused from the early days of his administration. Before he even assumed the office, Biden promised to cease all border wall constructionstop deportations for one-hundred days, and create a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. By merely trying to enact this agenda, Biden sent a message for migrants to stream across the border.

Let’s start with the 100-day moratorium on deportations. While it technically only applied to people already in the United States, Biden spun it to imply to his base that he would cease all deportations for one hundred days for everybody except felons. Translation: cross the border and there will be no consequences.

Although the moratorium was struck down by the courts, the damage was already done. Word spread that the southern border was open and illegal entries soared from about 400,000 in FY 2020 to 1.7 million the following fiscal year. Sure, President Trump was in office during the first four months of FY 2021, and those months did see an uncharacteristically high average of almost 72,000 monthly apprehensions. But for Biden’s eight months in office that year, there were, on average, 172,000 apprehensions! And, of course, things only got worse from there.

During his SOTU address, Biden also claimed to have introduced a bill on day one to secure the border. In reality, the bill would’ve legalized nearly the entire undocumented population in exchange for providing very minor nods to border security—such as new technology and penalties for smugglers. Paired with such a widespread amnesty program, Biden must have known that these border security provisions wouldn’t be nearly strong enough for the bill to pass.

In response to Biden’s border crisis, Americans for Prosperity, where I work as their Federal Strategies Director, has partnered with retired Border Patrol Chief Chris Clem in launching the Four Pillars of Border Security and Visa Reform. These Four Pillars lay out common sense solutions to border security – such as, among other things, increasing security personnel and erecting barriers in strategic locations.

Biden’s flagship bill contained no such provisions. In fact, Biden famously fulfilled yet another partisan promise and halted all border wall construction on Day 1. But as retired Border Patrol Chief Clem said, we “must finish building the wall where it makes operational sense.”

And where does it make sense to build a wall? In urban areas where border crossers can blend in or escape into the country’s interior within seconds. There, a wall, or better yet, parallel walls, could be the difference between an apprehension and one of the approximately 1.8 million gotaways we have seen since Biden took office.

But on this matter, Biden made no strategic analysis and simply cancelled all construction on day one. He repeatedly claimed that walls aren’t effective. But in 2006, he voted to build 700 miles of border wall, arguing that it was necessary to keep out drugs. This jives with Border Patrol’s stance that a wall is meant to impede bad actors, many of whom are drug smugglers. So, has Biden’s position changed? Or did the politics change?

In sum, Biden’s immigration policies were a result of his pandering to the far left. He apparently didn’t anticipate that migrants were also listening. Now, as election year rolls around, Biden is attempting to rebrand himself as being tough on the border.

If only Biden sought to find bipartisan consensus and cared about border security on day one, we might not be where we are today. But we are, and under Joe Biden we are facing the worst border crisis in the history of our country. AFP believes we need to secure the border now. A secure border is essential not only for national security and upholding the rule of law, but to safeguard the rights of American citizens.

Miranda Melvin is Federal Strategies Manager for Americans For Prosperity.

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

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