America’s elected officials have a sacred duty to protect the wellbeing of those they serve. On his first day in office, however, President Biden made it clear that his priorities are not the safety and security of the American people, but rather the safety and security of his own political profile.
In stark contrast to President Trump’s “America First” program, within his first few hours in office, President Biden chose to send a glaring signal to the world that the United States rewards lawbreakers by prioritizing millions of illegal residents.
Immediately after his inauguration, President Biden sent a framework for the “The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021” to Congress which would give illegal immigrants an immediate pathway to permanent citizenship if they were present in the U.S. prior to 2021. Perhaps even more offensively, the bill would also allow the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to waive the 2021 presence requirement for those deported on or after January 20, 2017.
This means that if an illegal alien was deported during the Trump Administration, they too could be eligible for a pathway to citizenship. A few of Biden’s first executive orders also bolstered the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by calling for the “preservation and fortification” of the program, and effectively extended the Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for certain groups.
Biden’s immediate mockery of our immigration system was joined by an attack on border security and enforcement with a barrage of executive orders that can only be described as a thoughtless threat to the safety and security of both American citizens and migrants seeking to come here. Through executive action, Biden put a stop to the border wall construction.
These changes include rolling back Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation protocols and even halting deportations for 100 days, with one internal email sent to ICE officers reportedly directing to “release them all, immediately. No sponsor available is not acceptable any longer.”
The Biden DHS also suspended the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program that was allowing the U.S. to work with Mexico to keep migrants from illegally crossing the border while awaiting immigration proceedings.
Perhaps having a thoughtless immigration system is a strategic move for Biden and his party, as he also issued an executive order that provides for counting illegal immigrants in the census. This policy is a slap in the face to every taxpayer and American citizen who deserves full representation in Congress.
This unconstitutional policy will encourage certain states to bolster illegal immigration – the more illegal immigrants, the more representatives that state holds in Congress.
Notably, the Biden Administration has left in place one effective policy, the Trump Administration’s use of 42 U.S. Code § 265. It is a public health law, upon which Biden is now relying to ensure the southern border is not immediately rushed.
Make no mistake, though, Biden’s loose immigration and border security platform will not only allow for the perpetuation of the system’s worst flaws, it will encourage them in the name of political gain. President Biden has sent a clear signal to cartels and human smugglers that protecting Americans, migrants, and the rule of law is not his priority.
Having strong border security and enforcing our immigration laws should not be a partisan issue.
Indeed, Senator Joe Biden voted for the “Secure Fence Act of 2006” and had previously supported the building of a southern barrier. So what has changed in the past 15 years? The problems at our southern border certainly haven’t.
In the fiscal year 1972, when Joe Biden was elected to the Senate, there were roughly 321,326 illegal southern border apprehensions. Fast forward to fiscal year 2007, when the Secure Fence Act was signed into law, there were 858,638 illegal alien apprehensions at our southern border, and most recently in fiscal year 2019, there were 851,508.
Every year we also see tens of thousands of migrants traveling from Mexico as well as Central and South America in the form of “caravans” traveling on foot with the goal of reaching the U.S. For migrants, it’s safer to travel in mass groups, but caravans, along with more discrete groups often led by cartels, have posed a recurring problem for the United States for decades.
In recent years, we saw caravans amassing roughly 10,000 people, including thousands of young women and children who are most vulnerable to the evils of coyotes and traffickers. Not all caravans are foot travelers. In Mexico, the “The Beast,” a train known for carrying hundreds of migrants towards our southern border, is best known for its dangerous conditions – leading to many deaths and limbs lost along the track.
Today, there are rumors that cartels are expanding operations as they take advantage of lax enforcement by the Biden Administration.
While Democrats and their media allies attacked it for years, the Trump Administration’s “America first” program was really an effort to ensure that our immigration laws were followed after decades of neglect and abuse by Washington politicians. Affording amnesty to those illegally present in the United States while throwing open our border and crippling interior enforcement is not only a recipe for an unprecedented crisis, it sends a signal that America’s immigration laws were simply made to be broken.
Under the Biden administration, the rest of the world is put first, and Americans, last.
Rep. Chip Roy represents the 21st District of Texas
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.