Joe Biden’s illegal immigration crisis is real, and it is growing by leaps and bounds.
In 2023, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, there were 3.1 million attempted border crossings at the U.S. southern border, and 600,000 of those people entered undetected. That is an estimate by CBP. Those would be the known getaways.
We have no idea how many unknown gateways there are, yet we know illegal immigrants came because there is camera coverage of large swaths of the American border.
But we don’t always have Border Patrol agents who are sitting on every single camera all the time. The way it works is, border cameras are, essentially, loaded onto giant pylons, and four of them are pointed in all directions. But a Border Patrol agent who’s in charge of 20 cameras may not see some people when they rush into the country while he’s on a bathroom break.
According to a New York Times chart, you had a minimum of 2.4 million people who crossed the U.S. on the border in 2023. Now, understand, by way of contrast, that during the entirety of the Trump administration, the number of border encounters during the Trump administration was 1.6 million.
None of those 2.4 million people are going away. Once people are brought into the United States and they’re given a date to show up later, the vast majority of them never do — because why would they? They’ve been integrated into American society. They’re receiving whatever benefits they can.
They just stay. That is what Joe Biden has done. There were executive orders in place under Donald Trump that prevented a lot of this, not only including Title 42, but also most prominently the Remain in Mexico program (the Migrant Protection Protocols). This program denoted that if someone showed up at the border and said, “I fear to go back to my home country,” the Trump administration said, “OK, wait in Mexico; we’ll figure it out. We have to process you. You need to wait in Mexico, which means you’re not going to be released into the interior because there is a good chance you will have to show up for your court case and then you would be rejected. In the meantime, you can’t just disappear in Chicago or New York or Atlanta or Denver or wherever.”
But Biden got rid of that immediately.
So many illegal immigrants are now arriving on the east coast of New York where they’re being stored on football fields. And when there’s bad weather, they have to be moved somewhere. So in Brooklyn, a school was legitimately shut down. The students were told to learn from home because the school facilities had to be used to house illegal immigrants.
It is the responsibility of the American government to protect America’s borders. A country without borders is obviously not a country.
I recently went down to the border. The situation on the border is a full-scale disaster area. Border Patrol agents are being told not to actually police the border. They’re essentially acting as a ferry service for illegal immigrants, which is why we now have the amazing spectacle of illegal immigrants crossing the border and then sitting around while complaining the Border Patrol isn’t showing up fast enough.
If Biden wanted to end the border crisis tomorrow, he could probably do so with a couple of executive orders. He’s not doing any of that.
The immediate need is to close the border and then figure out what the hell to do with the people here. The need is to tighten up what it means to be a person who should receive asylum.
As Steven Rattner notes in the New York Times, “We also may need to further limit the use of humanitarian parole, a problem expanded by the Biden administration that allows more migrants from places like Venezuela and Nicaragua to temporarily enter the country and apply for relief. As heartbreaking as it may be, we simply cannot take every refugee from every failed state.”