This may mark a terminal stage of President Joe Biden’s time in the Oval Office.
On Thursday, the Biden administration finally dropped Title 42, a public health policy implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the Trump administration that allowed for the quick deportation of illegal immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The policy has been kicked around like a football for a while now but what’s happening this week is significant. It signals to future illegal border crossers that there is virtually no obstacle to their breaking U.S. law, entering the country, and ultimately being allowed to stay because the Biden administration is intent on not enforcing immigration laws.
You don’t enforce the laws, and the people will come.
We have seen other low points during the Biden tenure. This is, after all, the participation trophy of presidencies. Biden is expected to do little more than show up at public events and mumble a few incoherent sentences before his next trip to the ice cream shop, while the deep state runs the country. Lately, he’s struggled even to do that.
Nevertheless, the DEFCON 1 border catastrophe we appear to be on the eve of witnessing goes along with the president’s other troubles, including his all-time low approval ratings of 36%.
According to that Washington Post-ABC News survey, 68% of Americans say they think Biden is too old for another term as president.
Crises appear to be piling up. The war in Ukraine continues, China is more belligerent than ever, inflation is destroying the wealth of the average American, and we appear to be in the beginning stages of serious banking turmoil. There’s even a congressional probe into bribery accusations aimed at Biden and his family.
Some media outlets have portrayed what’s now developing at the southern border as the beginning of a border crisis.
“At 11:59 pm on Thursday, May 11, one emergency will officially end and another may begin,” writes Brian Bennett at Time magazine. “That’s when the Biden administration has scheduled the end of the COVID-19 health emergency, which also means the expiration of a pandemic-era practice that began under the Trump administration of immediately expelling people trying to cross the border without allowing them to request asylum.”
The border crisis isn’t just about to begin; it began when Biden became president. Almost immediately after Biden was sworn in, he took steps to signal—through rhetoric and executive orders—that it was open season at the southern border.
“We’re going to work to undo the moral and national shame of the previous administration,” Biden said when he signed executive orders undoing Trump policies that stemmed illegal immigration.
Among the most important policies that Biden fought to undo was the “Remain in Mexico” rule mandating that asylum-seekers stay on the other side of the border as they awaited a decision on their claims. This both deterred bogus asylum-seekers and created a more orderly situation at the border.
After a long legal battle, the policy effectively was done away with. Republicans in Congress want to bring Remain in Mexico back, but Democrats largely are uninterested.
Instead of border security, the Biden administration promised to target the “root causes” of illegal immigration. That hasn’t worked out.
An estimated 2.76 million illegal border crossings occurred in fiscal year 2022, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, shattering the previous record by over 1 million. The previous record was set the year before, at 1.72 million illegal border crossings. It’s looking like 2023 will be worse.
Congrats to Biden for setting records in lawlessness in every year of his presidency. A historic presidency, truly.
What’s happening now isn’t the crisis. It’s merely the secondary explosion following a massive chemical fire of a crisis that’s been building for years.
Axios and other outlets reported that 150,000 migrants were headed toward the border in preparation for Thursday’s lifting of Title 42. Border Patrol agents have been arresting over 10,000 illegal immigrants a day in the week before Title 42 goes, setting single-day apprehension records.
These numbers almost certainly will go up, maybe significantly, in the days ahead. How will the government deal with those arrivals?
According to CBS News reporter Camilo Montoya-Galvez, over 27,000 illegal border crossers were in Border Patrol custody as of Tuesday, “despite the agency only having a holding capacity for several thousand.”
Videos from the border are genuinely unbelievable.
NEW: Our Fox drone over another enormous group of migrants who crossed illegally into Brownsville yesterday evening. As of yesterday, CBP sources tell us Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley sector was already running at 140% capacity in its facilities, and T42 hasn’t dropped yet. pic.twitter.com/GME9W5dEbV— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) May 10, 2023
It’s unlikely the Biden administration can or even will try to meet this challenge. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has spent the past few yearsinsisting the border is “secure,” despite record border crossings.
Don’t expect Biden’s border czar, Vice President Kamala Harris, to do much of anything. She’s barely even been to the border and it’s doubtful she wants to be seen wading through her administration’s failure.
Where’s the president? Whistling past the few reporters who’d question his policies.
The White House this morning: President Biden didn’t take any questions from reporters. pic.twitter.com/qasvfagnHU— Emel Akan (@mlakan) May 10, 2023
Oh, but good news. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre recently claimed that illegal immigration is down by 90%.
“We actually deal with the immigration system in a humane way, in a way that actually deals with what we’re seeing at the border,” Jean-Pierre said May 1. “And that’s why you’ve seen the parolee program be so successful. When it comes to illegal immigration, you’ve seen it come down by more than 90%.”
Oh great, problem solved!
Some in the left-wing press actually tried to “contextualize” that whopper by the president’s main spokeswoman.
As much as this administration has gotten away with what’s happened at the border, this feels like a turning point. The 2024 presidential race is starting. Americans are going to feel the shock waves of the immigration problem, whether they live on the border or not.
Remember, all it took was about 50 illegal immigrants being flown into liberal Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts to get a massive media response.
What’s going to happen at the border in upcoming months is going to be bad, real bad. And even the clever dissemblers who’ve tried to put lipstick on this pig aren’t going to be able to wiggle out of explaining it.
Reproduced with permission. Original here. By Jarrett Stepman, a columnist for The Daily Signal. He is also the author of the book “The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America’s Past.”