Having spent years incentivizing illegal immigration, undermining enforcement, and demonizing ICE agents, Democrats are poised to campaign in the midterms as the guardians of border security. President Joe Biden surprised viewers earlier this year during his first State of the Union address, when he told the assembled members of Congress and the Supreme Court: “If we are to advance liberty and justice, we need to secure our border and fix the immigration system.” Now, it appears that the new immigration messaging has filtered down through the party’s ranks. Roll Call ran a story last Tuesday titled “Democrats emphasize border security as midterms loom.” It notes that Democrats in swing districts — such as Rep. Abigail Spanberger in Virginia’s seventh district or Rep. Elissa Slotkin in Michigan’s eighth district — now say they support increased border surveillance, either through technology (Slotkin) or by hiring more Border Patrol agents (Spanberger).
While the messaging has shifted, the substance of Biden’s open borders policies remains the same. One Border Patrol agent dismissed Biden’s newfound focus on immigration enforcement as “pandering 101.” Former acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, who is now a CEO at the America First Policy Institute, called Biden’s border talk “lip service” and reminded his readers that “the President may have forgotten he has authority to fix the crisis NOW.”
The president has certainly had the authority to deepen the crisis. It is indisputable that, under the Biden administration’s watch, the U.S. border with Mexico has become progressively less controlled. The number of encounters at the southern border in February increased 63% compared to last year, which was a record-breaking year. The number of illegal border crossings last month more than doubled the number of illegal crossings during February 2019 under President Donald Trump. Nor does that reveal the full scope of the lawless influx. The number of “encounters” at the border does not include “gotaways” — illegal aliens who successfully evaded Border Patrol agents. The Department of Homeland Security said it counted 220,000 more people in this category between last October and this February.
All in all, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reported 2.5 million border encounters during the Biden presidency. Of course, that includes 1.7 million known illicit crossings in 2021, the largest number of illegal immigrants to enter the United States in a single year in U.S. history.
But the number of illegal immigrants entering the country represents only half of the problem. As the number of unlawful border crossings hit a record high during the last fiscal year, deportations fell by 30% — and they could be even lower this year.
“Not only on our Southern border are we seeing record numbers of [illegal immigrants] coming in, inside the country” there are “record low numbers actually being deported,” said Senator James Lankford (R-OK) during a powerful presentation in the Senate. This combination of Democratic policies makes him think the border chaos is purposeful — that is to say, intentional. “This is by design. This is not accidental,” Senator Lankford said. “The policies that have been put in place at the border are to encourage people to cross the border knowing full well they won’t actually be deported.”
This is by design. This is not accidental.
The policies that have been put in place at the border are to encourage people to cross the border knowing full well they won’t actually be deported. pic.twitter.com/j0AZChbbqk
— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) March 16, 2022
This map shows all of the countries whose nationals have illegally crossed our southwest border—it’s literally every country in the world. pic.twitter.com/ROdiVOI5WD
— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) March 17, 2022
Anyone could be forgiven for drawing the same conclusions. From halting construction of the Border wall on day one, to vowing to make Border Patrol agents falsely accused of whipping Haitian illegal aliens “pay” for their imaginary crime, to deploying the Clauswitz-like strategist Kamala Harris to negotiate over our border crisis, Biden has blown holes in America’s border security.
Lankford is not the only one to say Democrats deliberately encourage illegal immigration: So have the Obama-Biden coalition’s closest allies. Eliseo Medina let the cat out of the bag in 2009. At the time, he was International Secretary-Treasurer of the Obama administration’s favorite labor union, the SEIU, as well as the honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America. Medina told a far-Left conference:
If we reform the immigration laws – it puts 12 million people on the path to citizenship and eventually voters. Can you imagine if you had even the same ratio, two out of three [Hispanics voting for Democrats], if we get 8 million new voters that care about our issue and will be voting, we will create a governing coalition for the long-term, not just for an election cycle?
The weak policies Democrats enact to solidify their hold on power, Senator Lankford pointed out, have contributed to the global scope of America’s illegal immigration problem. “Last year, we had individuals from literally every country in the world illegally cross our southern border,” said Lankford. “That includes China. That includes North Korea. That includes Iran. It includes them all.”
Even the Biden administration tacitly admits an uncontrolled border poses a national security threat in a new ICE report released on March 11, which says, “Just over two thirds of” those deported “were classified as threats to either border security or to public safety.” The reality of our lightly guarded border essentially means that Americans must wait to be victimized by terrorists, gang members, and criminals before the Biden administration will consider acting. In effect, the Biden administration is gambling American citizens’ lives on its assessment that 93% of illegal immigrants will do our people no harm.
The situation will only get worse when the Biden administration follows through with its plan to end its use of Title 42, a public health measure that has allowed Border Patrol agents to expel more than half of the undocumented people encountered at the border. “After a Texas-based federal judge ruled earlier [this] month that unaccompanied minors are not exempt from Title 42, the Biden administration announced its plan to ignore the ruling, saying it would terminate Title 42 as it pertains to unaccompanied minors,” reported San Antonio’s NBC affiliate. Even Biden administration officials acknowledge this decision will likely trigger a “mass migration event,” the left-wing website Axios reported. Yet that reality seems not to have slowed the adoption of this policy in the least. After all, Biden has to balance the needs of a handful of center-Left Democrats with his party’s ascendant, progressive wing, led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who posted the pithy slogan, “abolish ICE.”
The result is the worst kind of compromise: a deceptive campaign slogan chained to policies that wrench open our border, allowing millions from around the world to pour in, accompanied by copious amounts of deadly drugs and international criminal organizations. Now, the Democrats seek to pivot before the midterms. But as the saying goes, “The best predictor of future performance is past performance.” And as Senator Lankford said, that performance would lead reasonable people to believe the intended outcome is chaos, failure, and an escalating risk of American deaths.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.