The southern border will remain in a state of emergency unless and until the Biden administration gets serious about enforcing our immigration laws.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday temporarily blocked the Biden administration from ending Title 42 in a 5-4 ruling. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and Clarence Thomas voted to block the termination of Title 42.
Justice Neil Gorsuch notably dissented, siding with the court’s liberal justices, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Title 42 is a health policy implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was invoked by then-President Donald Trump, enabling the quick deportation of illegal immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The policy has been getting yanked back and forth in the courts.
USA Today called the decision “a blow to the Biden administration’s ability to set the nation’s immigration policy,” but that doesn’t really describe the situation.
The administration has used Title 42 as a sort of political football. It maintains the policy when convenient, then announces it will drop it to appease open-borders activists. The law will remain on the books for the time being, but it’s clear the administration won’t employ it aggressively, nor will it take other serious steps to get illegal immigration under control.
The Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll illustrated on Twitter how the administration is increasingly reducing the use of Title 42, even though the policy remains on the books.
11/20: 71,929 border encounters, 88% denied entry though Title 42.— Conn Carroll (@conncarroll) December 27, 2022
11/21: 174,845 border encounters, 51% denied entry through Title 42.
11/22: 233,740 border encounters, 29% denied entry through Title 42.https://t.co/qyoDeDFzEE
These numbers also indicate how the crisis is escalating. There are now tens of thousands of people massed around border checkpoints. The Department of Homeland Security predicted that 12,000 to 14,000 people a day could attempt unlawful border crossings every day if Title 42 were dropped. Even half that number would be staggering.
What’s been made clear, from the moment President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, is that this administration isn’t serious about border enforcement. On Day One, he dropped the Remain in Mexico policy that forced asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while awaiting resolution for their claims.
Like Title 42, that policy remains stuck in an ongoing legal battle. The policy prevented a pileup of people coming over the border and deterred bogus asylum claims.
Administration lackeys, such as Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, say over and over that that the border is “secure” while border-crossing records are broken repeatedly. Meanwhile, enforcement policies and enforcement officers are put through the ringer.
Here’s the kind of nonsensical spin White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre spews when questioned on these issues.
KJP: We have no choice, a court order says we have to lift Title 42 in the middle of a border crisis!— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) December 19, 2022
REPORTER: “But the administration sought to lift it.”
KJP: “But it’s a court order.”
REPORTER: “Started by you guys.”
Human traffickers and those trying to enter the U.S. illegally know—regardless of official policies—that the Biden administration isn’t serious about immigration law enforcement, and they act accordingly. Seemingly every day, they find a new way to abuse the system, a far easier task given this administration’s attitude.
Congress has been MIA on the border issue, too. No surprise there.
While the Senate was busy ramming through the last-minute, lame-duck omnibus spending bill, it failed to secure a long-term Title 42 policy. The massive, pork-laden spending bill did little to shore up border security. Instead, it funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to bail out big, blue sanctuary cities.
Here’s the real scam, according to The Wall Street Journal: The money is to be doled out by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“Awards will supposedly be determined through a competitive process, but [Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.] has one recipient in mind,” The Journal’s editorial board wrote. “Politico reports that his hometown of New York will likely get a ‘substantial share’ of the cash. Expect other Democratic strongholds to join the queue.”
Not only have Biden and congressional Democrats fueled a historic border crisis, they’ve also bailed out their friends and allies to avoid the consequences. Border states and cities are completely overwhelmed, but help isn’t on the way.
Remember, too, that 18 Republicans in the Senate and nine Republicans in the House voted for the omnibus. So, thank Senate Republicans—who could have stopped this nonsense—for bailing out sanctuary cities.
That said, it’s good that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the retention of Title 42, pending a hearing in February on the appeal of 19 Republican states seeking to keep it in place. That means that at least some illegal border crossers will be deported. However, it’s clear that the administration has no intention of vigorously using it, and so, our southern border effectively will remain a sieve.
Reproduced with permission. Original here.
Jarrett Stepman is a columnist for The Daily Signal.