The Biden-made border crisis
There is a crisis at our southern border, and President Biden’s immigration policies are responsible. Biden has halted border wall construction, released illegal immigrants into our communities, and promised amnesty for millions more. These are disastrous policies that have contributed to the surge in illegal immigration, the spread of COVID-19, and the humanitarian crisis at the border.
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On Day One, Biden halted construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, despite proof that walls work. The wall funnels migrants toward points of entry where U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents can more easily stop illegal immigrants, as well as human and drug traffickers. Walls are an essential part of securing our border, but Biden and Democrats refuse to admit it, prioritizing political rhetoric over realistic results.
Next, Biden proposed mass amnesty for at least 11 million illegal immigrants, further exacerbating the crisis at our border. The promise of amnesty has lured more people to cross our borders illegally. These policies encourage illegal immigration because there are no foreseen consequences, only rewards. Just look at the large group of migrants traveling to our southern border wearing T-shirts that read, “Biden, please let us in.”
With these poor policies ruling the day, the crisis at the border was inevitable, but little did we know we would reach a breaking point so soon.
The number of illegal immigrants crossing and apprehended at our border has skyrocketed. CBP reported that since Inauguration Day, illegal border crossings have climbed to approximately 5 times what they were prior to Jan. 20, 2021. Border apprehensions have doubled in January 2021 compared to January 2020. These are the highest numbers in a decade.
The number of children crossing our border illegally is particularly harrowing, with the number of unaccompanied children crossing in February reaching the highest in our nation’s history. Due to these rising numbers, the Biden administration is being forced to put children into migrant detention shelters at 100% capacity, flying in the face of COVID-19 protocols and putting many at risk of contracting or spreading the virus.
Children’s facilities are not the only ones nearing capacity; many other facilities are filling up due to the surge at the border. Illegal immigrants are now being released into border communities, even if they wind up being dangerous criminals or having COVID-19, through the controversial practice of catch and release.
Despite cries from local officials to stop the onslaught of illegal immigrants into border communities, the releases keep coming. Just ask Douglas Nicholls, mayor of Yuma, Arizona, who has expressed concerns about illegal immigrants being released into Yuma and other border communities. These communities cannot support these large influxes of illegal immigrants, and their health is put at risk as untested individuals are released.
Biden’s open border policies are deeply misguided. His immigration strategy harms our border communities, and incentivizing illegal immigration will continue to overwhelm our immigration system. Biden must reverse course and implement policies that strengthen our border security if he wants to end this crisis.
Debbie Lesko represents Arizona’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.