Heritage Foundation Announces New Border Security and Immigration Center

Heritage Foundation Announces New Border Security and Immigration Center

Apr 5, 2022 5 min read

WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation today announced the creation of its new Border Security and Immigration Center.    

The creation of the center comes as the Biden administration’s historic border crisis continues to crush America’s southern border and overwhelm the men and women of federal law enforcement. Administration officials expect to record more than one million encounters at the border this fiscal year in a matter of days, barely halfway through the year. Under President Biden’s watch, more than 750,000 illegal aliens have been released into the interior of the United States, while more than 600,000 ‘got-aways’ have evaded law enforcement altogether and now reside in the U.S. 

And last week, the Biden administration announced that it will allow Title 42 to expire. This vital public health authority limits the introduction of COVID-19 into the U.S., and its elimination will lead to an unprecedented surge of illegal immigration, particularly among single adult males.  

In short, ending the Title 42 public health authority is Biden’s latest backdoor attempt to complete his open-borders scheme. Heritage’s Border Security and Immigration Center will fight back against this agenda on all fronts, while working to reform our outdated, America-last legal immigration system, as well. 

Illegal immigration has been exacerbated by the Biden administration’s open-borders policies, but has been a decades-long problem thanks to the failings of both political parties in Washington. Meanwhile, America’s legal immigration system is a confusing, chaotic bureaucracy that makes little sense and is not built on principles or objectives to put American interests first. The Border Security and Immigration Center will be laser-focused on workable solutions in both arenas. It will also deal with other pressing homeland security and intelligence issues, particularly in cyberspace. 

The Border Security and Immigration Center will be led by Lora Ries, who most recently served as a senior research fellow for homeland security and director of Heritage’s Center for Technology Policy. She is also the former acting deputy chief of staff for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts released the following statement announcing the center:  

“A nation without borders is no nation at all. Enforcing our immigrations laws is essential to safeguarding the American way of life and preserving our nation’s sovereignty. That’s why Heritage is investing even more in our work on border security, immigration, and the rule of law in the coming months. We are launching the new Border Security and Immigration Center to hold the Biden Administration accountable, help end the border crisis, and establish the conservative roadmap to fix our broken immigration system once and for all. As an adopted Texan, I’ve seen the consequences of the border crisis first-hand, and under my leadership, Heritage is going to be the loudest voice here in our nation’s capital, behind enemy lines, working to secure our borders and end the crisis.” 

Ries also released the following statement on the announcement of the center: 

“The Biden administration has created the worst immigration crisis not just in our lifetimes, but in American history. This crisis has exposed both the left’s open-borders extremism, and how so many of our leaders in Washington have failed to take immigration policy seriously for decades. This neglect has created the very conditions that the Biden administration has exploited to spark an open-borders crisis and fundamentally change the American electorate via mass illegal immigration. 


“The legal immigration side is no better off, thanks to reliance on policies written for an entirely different world and time, and a refugee and asylum system intentionally overwhelmed by the Biden border crisis and abused for years. If we are to survive as a country, we must address these systemic failures, and give policymakers at the federal and state level a roadmap for restoring what Joe Biden, and so many other bureaucrats and elites, have broken—American sovereignty.” 

The center will be staffed by the following policy experts: 

  • Lora Ries, director and former acting DHS deputy chief of staff 

  • Mark Morgan, visiting fellow and former acting commissioner U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 

  • Tom Homan, visiting fellow and former acting director, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 

  • Joseph Edlow, visiting fellow and former acting director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 

  • Simon Hankinson, senior research fellow   

  • Dustin Carmack, research fellow in technology policy 

  • Erin Dwinell, senior research associate 

Last week, Heritage unveiled its seven strategic policy priorities that will form the roadmap for conservatives in the coming years. Securing America’s borders and reducing crime is one of these top priorities. For more on the historic Biden border crisis, visit thebidenbordercrisis.com. 

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