As the border conditions worsen, concerned Americans wonder where and when the crisis will end.
If left unchecked, President Biden’s existing come-one, come-all policy will allow about 1.2 million illegal immigrants to settle in the U.S. within the first full year of his administration. The 1.2 million projected annual figure is based on February’s 100,000 unlawful entrants that Customs and Border Protection apprehended, and assumes that the monthly total will remain the same, if not increase, during the traditional summer migratory peak.
More than 3,250 unaccompanied minors have been detained at the Southwest border, triple late February’s total. Over 1,360 of the children have been detained longer than the legal 72 hours, the maximum wait period before a minor must be transferred from CBP to the Department of Health and Human Services. In all, about 13,000 unaccompanied minors are in custody. Human smuggling rings, raking in huge cash payments for their illicit services, transport the minors from Mexico’s interior to the border where the children are dropped off, and left to fend for themselves as best they can.
No compassionate American, including Biden’s voters, supports the border tragedy. But, in an effort to obscure the crisis, the Biden administration has placed a gag order on border officials to prevent them from talking to the media. Greater public awareness would result if border officials could share first-hand accounts. Border and sector chiefs have been denied traditional ride-alongs that provide reporters with a first-hand view of conditions; only anonymous sources speaking on the condition that they would remain unidentified dared to release limited information.
But while the Biden administration’s willful blindness about the border is difficult to comprehend, a few things are clear. Biden didn’t campaign on border lawlessness, at least not directly. And voters didn’t elect Biden to throw open the border. Welcoming thousands of more desperate individuals during an era when millions of Americans are unemployed, and while 34 million live in poverty - 10.5 percent of the 2019 U.S. population - is unfathomable. Migrants from Africa and Asia have entered the U.S. unlawfully, and paid exorbitant fees to human trafficking cartels to be smuggled to the border illegally. The World Bank estimates that this year 150 million people will try to exist on less than $1.90 daily. Certainly, they too aspire to the generous American way that Biden promises.
Because Biden won’t travel to the border, hasn’t given a press conference, and rarely appears in public, 47 percent of likely U.S. voters believe that, according to a Rasmussen poll, he is a puppet president and allows others to make behind-the-scenes decisions for him. Capitol Hill insiders have identified as the true movers and shakers Vice President Kamala Harris, who governmenttracker.us ranked as the most liberal Senator ahead of Vermont’s Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts’ Elizabeth Warren, and Obama holdover Susan Rice, the former National Security Director and current While House Domestic Policy Director.
Biden’s border muddle has deepened so quickly that even Democrats are concerned. Long-time Democratic strategist Doug Schoen, a critic of President Trump and an advisor to President Bill Clinton, said that the border is in “full-on crisis mode” and that the manner in which the Biden administration has handled immigration will end up “as a tragedy for all of us.” And Henry Cuellar, a U.S. Representative from the front-line 27th Texas District that includes McAllen and Nuevo Laredo, is the latest Democrat to criticize the White House. As Cuellar bluntly put it, because of the consequences for Texas and other border states, “You just can’t say, ‘Yeah, yeah, let everybody in.’”
No one knows the Biden/Harris/Rice end game. But what’s certain is that whoever gets into the U.S. will be only the iceberg’s tip. Once in, no migrant will ever be sent home. Eventually, the migrants will petition other family members from international locations. And parents will soon join the unaccompanied minors.
Today’s avoidable border crisis will have a long-lasting overcrowding effect on an already crowded nation, a consequence that’s unlikely to benefit most Americans.
Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org