During her Thursday press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted administration officials are “doing everything we can to deal with” the still-increasing surge of migrants at the southwest border.
That’s not true, and Jean-Pierre knows it: President Biden’s not doing the one thing the law requires — detaining illegal entrants.
The reason they’re coming is they know Biden’s going to release them, allowing most to live and work here forever.
The law’s extremely straightforward, requiring the Department of Homeland Security to hold all inadmissible “applicants for admission” (including and especially illicit border crossers) until they’re either granted asylum or removed.
Biden’s ignored that congressional mandate since day one.
Worse, even as migrant apprehensions hit new records at the US-Mexico line, Biden’s asked Congress to cut funding for alien detention beds for the past two fiscal years.
It refused to do so last year, while its response this year is yet to be seen.
He’s also blithely ignored the clear connection between his migrant-release policies and the border crisis from the beginning, asserting during a March 2021 press conference, “Nothing has changed” at the border between his administration and Donald Trump’s.
He claimed a then-nascent surge was unremarkable: “It happens every single, solitary year.” That was ignorance, indifference or misdirection (and likely a combination of the three).
The administration continues to argue its migrant surge is being driven by “hemispheric conditions” such as “food insecurity” and “climate change,” even after federal Judge Kent Wetherell held in March that while such “geopolitical factors” have contributed to the surge, officials’ contentions “that the crisis at the border is not largely of their own making because of their more lenient detention policies is divorced from reality.”
To paraphrase Chico Marx: “Who ya gonna believe — Jean-Pierre or your own eyes?”
Worse, however, are her attempts to blame the crisis on congressional Republicans’ refusal to consider “a comprehensive piece of legislation” Biden proposed the day he took office “to try to deal with” what she described as our “broken immigration system.”
That proposal is little more than a massive amnesty for nearly every illegal alien here, and worse it would open the door for those deported under Trump to reenter.
Even the Democrats who controlled Congress during Biden’s first two years refused to consider it, and when an amnesty’s too rich for Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, you know it’s bad.
As for the purportedly “broken” immigration system, it worked fine for decades before Biden came along.
The immigration court asylum backlog has increased by more than a third since Trump’s last full fiscal year and would be much worse if Biden’s DHS hadn’t deliberately tanked nearly 92,000 cases in FY 2022.
If Biden cared about the border disaster he created, he’d be working with congressional Republicans to fix it, not sending his press secretary to peddle blatant untruths and deflect the blame for what’s happening.
And yet most in the media continue to spoon-feed the White House line to their audiences.
Plainly, both they and the administration like what’s happening at the border, with millions of illegal entrants already cut loose into the country and thousands more coming every day, just fine.
Andrew Arthur is the Center for Immigration Studies’ resident fellow in law and policy.