After more than two years since this country began experiencing its worst border crisis ever, the Biden administration refuses to shoulder any responsibility or even acknowledge the severity of the situation.
Instead of solving the problem, President Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas have found new methods to undermine the intent of Congress, while continually prioritizing and processing those who have entered unlawfully over those who follow the law.
Where is the outrage from the powerful employers and interest groups for legal immigration? They are directly and adversely affected by border crisis but have remained silent for too long.
As Title 42 is set to expire, the White House has taken an even more egregious approach to the problem. While the nation remains plagued with countless unlawful mass parole programs, Mr. Mayorkas is realigning DHS personnel to address the needs of the unlawful population entering at the southwestern border.
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New reports indicate that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has been ordered to shift its staffing to meet the higher demands at the border. Regulatory efforts by the administration make clear that this move is only a matter of supply and demand resource allocation.
This move is not intended to control the border; it is aimed at more quickly processing illegal aliens into the United States. As the administration has continually ignored statutory mandates to detain aliens claiming credible fear, this move is nothing more than a veiled attempt to keep the pipeline unclogged for the free-flowing open border.
Since the earliest days of the Biden administration, policies and regulations have been designed to ease procedural “burdens” in context to credible fear and asylum. This personnel shift will support those efforts and ensure that those claiming fear, regardless of the veracity of the claim, will witness a streamlined process. They will be welcomed, interviewed rapidly, and given work authorization—the No. 1 goal of most of those coming here illegally.
Despite Mr. Mayorkas’ characterization of his unlawful mass parole programs and asylum rubber-stamping as “lawful pathways,” it is clear that true legal immigration and the integrity of our legal immigration processes do not matter to this administration. Those who have complied with the law and are awaiting adjudications of lawful applications are now shelved, as immigration authorities direct the government’s resources toward those who disregard our laws and those who make baseless protection claims along the southwestern border.
And the pending application caseload will only worsen. Almost 9 million applications await adjudication, including more than 700,000 asylum applications. To add insult to injury, the Biden administration refuses to charge a fee for asylum applications.
That means those lawful applicants seeking a green card or a change in their non-immigrant status are not only forced to wait longer to have their cases decided, but also have to subsidize the asylum applications that are frequently fraudulent and should not be in the pipeline to begin with.
House Republicans have known since before the 118th Congress gaveled in that strong action is required to end the crisis. That must be resolved before our lawful immigration system can be reformed into a simpler one. It is in the interest of employers, sponsors, and lawful immigration advocacy groups to encourage Congress and the White House to end the border crisis and prevent future illegal immigration so lawful applications can be timely adjudicated in the short term and our lawful immigration system can be improved in the long term.
The House majority is fulfilling a key part of its “Commitment to America” and is taking serious steps to end the border crisis with the Secure the Border Act.
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If enacted, the bill would secure our border by preventing mass parole abuse, raising the standard for credible fear and preventing asylum fraud, restoring the Remain in Mexico policy, ending disparate treatment of unaccompanied alien children, restricting funds to nongovernmental organizations engaged in processing and transporting illegal aliens, and providing needed support and resources for operational infrastructure along the border.
Further, the bill would make E-Verify, the pilot employment authorization verification program, permanent and mandatory to comply with the law and prevent the most common reason for illegal immigration: jobs.
The bill would also help lawful immigration applicants by preventing frivolous asylum applications and requiring an asylum application fee.
Rather than simply demand more lawful visas, employer and lawful immigration advocacy groups should have skin in the game. They are hurt by this border crisis, the prioritization of illegal aliens, and the shuffling of resources away from lawful application adjudications. They should step up and vocally support the good policies that will be considered in the House this week.
Unless and until this border fire is extinguished and our agents regain operational control, lawful applicants will continue to wait longer for their decisions. And that is exactly the wrong approach to America’s immigration system.
This piece originally appeared in The Washington Times