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MATT HALL AND ARIC NESBITT: Biden’s Border Crisis Is Causing Crime And Chaos In America’s Heartland

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America’s borders are not secure. Millions of people enter our country illegally, leading to chaos because overwhelmed communities lack resources to accommodate so many people at once. The crisis also opens the door to crime, as dangerous people sneak into the country and avoid vetting by immigration officials.

President Joe Biden’s failure at the federal level has made immigration an issue for every state in the union. That’s why we recently visited Eagle Pass, Texas, to see what Texas is doing to secure the border on their own — and to gather ideas for what we can do in Michigan.

We’re laser-focused on this crisis because Biden’s dereliction of duty is harming Michigan communities. In Grand Rapids, an illegal alien confessed to the brutal murder of Ruby Garcia in March, and another illegal alien was recently sentenced for a murder he committed last year in the same city. Yet another illegal alien was recently arrested for breaking into a Southwest Michigan home and sexually assaulting two young girls. Members of international gangs are breaking into Michigan homes and profiting off stolen goods.

As Biden refuses to take the immigration crisis seriously, states are stepping up and filling the void. At the border, we met with National Guard troops and Texas public safety officers who are patrolling the Rio Grande, erecting barriers, and performing search and rescue operations. They’re deterring illegal crossings and saving lives.

It’s time for Michigan to follow Texas’ lead and take action. The Michigan National Guard should aid Texas with Operation Lone Star.

But our Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer seems totally uninterested in helping out. Instead, her policies will only make the immigration crisis worse. Last year, she unveiled the “Newcomer Rental Subsidy” program, which offers illegal aliens taxpayer-funded rent assistance.

The heroes guarding the border noted that Biden’s dismantling of President Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy has caused the crisis to explode. Remain in Mexico kept illegal aliens in Mexico until after federal officials determined if they were legally eligible to come to the United States, but Biden has undone that policy and invited more abuses of the broken asylum process.

Without Remain in Mexico, anyone entering illegally who isn’t identified as a hardened criminal is released into our country. Thousands of military-age men from China, Russia and other hostile nations are crossing our southern border and using this loophole to their advantage. It can take as long as 10 years before they even have a hearing, and they just disappear into the country and never even show up to court.

Asylum is intended for people fleeing the most dangerous situations, and misuse of this process is a serious problem. Rather than go to a port of entry, millions cross the border illegally, claim asylum after they get caught, and then stay in the United States. In fact, 97% of asylum claims in fiscal year 2023 were filed defensively by illegal aliens trying to dodge deportation. Illegal aliens can exploit asylum claims to become eligible for state programs. In addition to the rent subsidy program, Whitmer wants $8 million in the state budget to pay attorneys helping these same illegal aliens who are delaying deportation.

We’re opposed to any state funding that incentivizes illegal aliens to stay in Michigan. Instead of spending $8 million on legal aid for illegal aliens, the state could invest those resources to deploy the Guard to the border to help confront the crisis at its source.

Sanctuary cities and counties in Michigan also enable illegal immigration by refusing to cooperate with immigration officials. That’s why we are demanding a vote in the Michigan Legislature on our plan to ban these dangerous sanctuary policies.

Illegal drugs flowing across the southern border and flooding the black market are another major concern. As Michigan sheriffs have observed, this trafficking has driven prices down and proliferated deadly drugs in our communities, often to unsuspecting young people who don’t realize they bought a pill laced with a fatal dose of fentanyl. In Michigan, we’re striving to toughen penalties on those who make and distribute fentanyl, criminals responsible for numerous deaths.

Michigan communities are suffering from the crime and chaos unleashed by Biden’s border crisis, and officials at all levels of government owe it to the people we serve to do our part to secure the border and protect public safety.

State Rep. Matt Hall, R-Richland Township, serves as Michigan’s House Republican Leader and represents the 42nd House District. State Sen. Aric Nesbitt, R-Porter Township, serves as Michigan’s Senate Republican Leader and represents the 20th Senate District.

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

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