If the November midterm elections return Congress to Republican control, the new GOP leadership should take swift action to staunch the flood of illegal immigration loosed by President Joe Biden’s open border policies.
To protect the public and preserve our national sovereignty, it’s essential that the executive branch resume enforcing immigration law. That has not happened under Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. A first step for the new Congress should be to demand his resignation. If he refuses, Congress should impeach him. However, more will need to be done to reverse what are unquestionably the worst U.S. border and immigration policies of modern times. The best blueprint for doing that was put together by a coalition of border security and immigration experts and published in an open letter two months ago.
How did we get here?
After 9/11, then-President George W. Bush used concerns about border security to force immigration back on the agenda. Unfortunately, he picked a lazy middle path, offering to tighten down the border and increase enforcement in exchange for a mass amnesty for illegal aliens already present in the United States. That compromise pleased neither liberals nor conservatives. Similar amnesty-is-the-answer compromises had been tried several times before — most famously in the Reagan era. Each failed badly.
Former President Barack Obama took a variety of executive actions to extend amnesty. Once again, these moves, such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, only opened the nation to more illegal immigration. Former President Donald Trump flipped the script. He proved that under existing law, without the promise of amnesty, an administration could move decisively to crack down on illegal border crossings and enforce immigration law.
Biden has demonstrated the opposite. By not enforcing the law, the administration has induced a tsunami of illegal immigration. This has created massive problems for citizens and communities throughout the country. Amnesty is not the answer, and the Biden administration’s policy is irresponsible and unsustainable.
It's up to Congress to step in and do the right thing.
Members should take their cues from state and local officials who have acted to staunch the flow of illegal immigrants and protect their communities. These officials have some authority and capacity to address the problem. That said, they need better partners in Washington. There's little question that voters want Washington to act. Poll after poll reveals that border security and crime are among their top concerns.
Unless the next Congress acts, Biden’s term is likely to end with the illegal immigrant population twice what it was when he entered the Oval Office.
Congress must reform the asylum process to eliminate abuse. It should codify the "Remain in Mexico" policy, finish the border wall system, and reempower Immigration and Customs Enforcement to conduct interior enforcement. It must also close the loopholes used by the Biden administration to grant employment status unilaterally to illegal immigrants and remove other barriers to unlawful presence in the U.S.
Surely, that is not too much to ask.
This piece originally appeared in the Washington Examiner