Fourteen months ago, ten candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination stood on a debate stage, hands raised high.
After the debate moderator asked them collectively whether they would offer free healthcare to illegal immigrants, in a race to prove their progressive credentials, ten hands shot into the sky — though some candidates surely were tempted to raise two hands as an indicator of their zeal for the idea.
Among those raising their hands were now-President Joe Biden and now-Vice President Kamala Harris.
That night, Democratic candidates for president sent a clear message to the rest of the world — particularly those considering crossing our border illegally. As long as there was a Democrat in the White House, America would become a land where those who flouted our immigration laws would not be turned away, but instead offered a litany of “free” services, be it education, healthcare, or housing.
In the months that followed that debate, then-candidate Joe Biden spoke repeatedly of “restoring humanity” to our immigration system, promising to offer a pathway to citizenship for the more than 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country.
Upon taking office, Biden — seemingly intent on making the prospect of circumventing established immigration laws as attractive as possible — promised that migrants at the southern border would not be separated from their families. He also signed an executive order rescinding the “Remain In Mexico” policy for migrants, which had “required that those seeking asylum wait outside the United States while their claims are processed.”
Other executive actions from Biden included “ordering the review and potential reversal of the Trump administration’s deterrent policies along the Mexico border and the barriers they created to legal immigration,” while his Department of Homeland Security Secretary promised the United States will “not expel children” who enter the country alone.
We’re two months into Biden’s first term, and what’s been the result of all this rhetoric? An unprecedented crisis at the Southern Border.
Record numbers of unaccompanied children are flooding our border, overwhelming our CBP facilities, with more illegal border crossings reported this month than at any time in the last two decades.
There are two possible explanations for the timing of this record surge at the border.
The first is that this is simply the result of chance. After years of steady decline, illegal border crossings just happened to spike weeks after Joe Biden took office.
The second, and more obvious explanation, is that offering citizenship and healthcare to those living here illegally has removed the incentive from many potential immigrants to come here legally.
Why wade through complicated legal processes if you know the country whose laws you’re attempting to break will ultimately bend over backwards to accommodate your presence, even offering you a pathway to citizenship?
Biden has provided an added sense of urgency for illegal immigrants, who now know that if they can make it into the country soon enough, they’ll be in line to receive one of the Democrat’s many immigration-related promises.
The current administration calls this shift in immigration policy one based on “morality.” What could be moral about tacitly encouraging thousands of people to embark on an illegal, often deadly journey, where 1 in 3 women are sexually abused?
Is it moral to pass policies which undoubtedly encourage migrant parents to send their children alone across the border — often with murderous human traffickers?
Biden’s “hand raise” was more than a woke, virtue signaling gesture. It was an invitation — and a deadly one at that.
If you ask the Biden administration, there is no crisis at all. Which is ironic, given the fact that in 2011, when Biden was Vice President, the Obama administration said a crisis should only be declared at the border once 1,000 illegal crossings were recorded per day. This month, we’re at 6,000.
The reason they refuse to call this a crisis is clear: they know they’re culpable. Until Joe Biden realizes the message his rhetoric sends to the rest of the world, and refrains from incentivizing further illegal crossings, this crisis will continue.
I don’t suggest you hold your breath.
Cabot Phillips is Managing Editor of The Daily Wire’s Readers Pass. Follow him on Twitter at @cabot_phillips.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.