You’d like to think that Congress would pull the plug on any federal program that makes a bad situation demonstrably worse. But who are we kidding?
Consider President Biden’s open-border policies. At the end of August, with one month still to go in the fiscal year, Customs and Border Protection reported a year-to-date total of more than 2.1 million encounters with people attempting to enter illegally along the southern border.
It’s a historically high number, well above the fiscal 2021 total of 1.7 million. It proves one thing: open-border policies beget more illegal immigration. They also beget more suffering and tragedy.
Mr. Biden’s catch-and-release policies have lured hundreds to their deaths. In the last year alone, well over 700 died trying to enter illegally—another all-time high. The average number of unaccompanied children remains sky-high—averaging 562 per day in July and 422 per day in August.
While thousands of these vulnerable children remain in federal custody, thousands more have simply disappeared. In March, the Department of Health and Human Services informed Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs that they had “lost track” of nearly 20,000 unaccompanied alien children.
Lax border security has also opened the floodgates to crime and drug trafficking. A 2021 report from the Department of Justice shows that well over 40% of criminals prosecuted in federal courts in 2018 were illegal aliens, charged with crimes ranging from drug trafficking to kidnapping to murder.
Encounters with convicted criminals trying to enter the country illegally have skyrocketed under the Biden administration. Who knows how many deaths, such as the recent hit-and-run killing of a Florida sheriff’s deputy, could have been avoided if Mr. Biden had not dismantled the Trump-era border policies that had stemmed the tide of illegal immigration.
Meanwhile, drug trafficking has cut a wide swath of death throughout the nation. The Centers for Disease Control reports that drug overdoses killed 107,622 Americans last year, two-thirds of them linked to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Virtually all fentanyl in the U.S. is smuggled via the southern border by the Sinaloa cartel and the Jalisco New Generation cartel.
Death. Crime. Missing children. So much for the White House’s claim that its immigration “reforms” have built a more “orderly, secure, and well-managed border.”
Clearly, our country would be far better off if lawmakers were to defund the administration’s broken border policies and direct that immigration funds be used to actually enforce our laws both at the border and in the interior. Tragically, Congress seems set to give even the administration even more money to continue its disastrous policies and operations.
The current continuing resolution allocates almost $1.8 billion for the Health and Human Services Department’s “Refugee and Entrant Assistance” fund. This will entice more parents to send their children, unaccompanied, across the border and into the inept arms of a department that’s already lost track of 20,000 children in its charge.
The administration’s fecklessness with handling immigrants now extends beyond the southern border. Border governors have relocated more than 10,000 illegal aliens north to sanctuary cities. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called the left’s bluff by flying 50 Venezuelan illegal aliens to Martha’s Vineyard. The tactic worked. The absent mainstream media reported on the Martha’s Vineyard 50, exposing the Biden administration’s 18 months of transporting illegal aliens throughout the U.S. The result? The 50 were “deported” from the island in less than 48 hours to a nearby military base and away from the cameras, demonstrating the left’s rank hypocrisy.
Instead of offering his own Martha’s Vineyard mansion to shelter the 50 aliens, former President Barack Obama, at San Diego’s L’Attitude conference, labeled Republicans as racist on immigration.
As the out-of-touch elites continue to push for unlimited illegal immigration, they seemingly do not care about the ever-growing national security threat that is worsening. In addition to the 900,000 “got-aways” who have entered the U.S. through Mr. Biden’s open border, the administration allowed tens of thousands of Afghan evacuees to enter the country completely unvetted.
According to a report by its own inspector general, the Department of Homeland Security paroled 72,550 Afghan evacuees, even though adjudicators lacked crucial data to confidently allow them access to the U.S.
This dereliction of duty spurred Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley to issue a statement of outrage: “Yet again, another independent watchdog confirms that the vetting of those admitted to the United States in the wake of President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan has been completely insufficient. These failures raise serious concerns about public safety and national security.”
Politician or not, Mr. Grassley’s indignation should be shared by all.
Mr. Biden’s second fiscal year is closing with mounting border security failures. The next Congress needs to immediately defund his administration’s open-border operations and get America back on a secure path.
This piece originally appeared in The Washington Times