Biden Unveils Election-Year Border Actions, Blames GOP for Crisis He Inherited

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President Joe Biden entered the East Room of the White House on Tuesday, blamed Republicans for initiating the border crisis that unfolded during his administration, unveiled new executive actions he could have introduced at any point in the past three and a half years, and then left without addressing why he was acting now, in an election year, rather than sooner.

It was typical behavior from an 81-year-old who seems to have either forgotten his earlier immigration policies or is denying their repercussions.

The reality is this: The southern border was under control when Donald Trump was in office, with only 73,994 migrants arrested for crossing illegally in the month before Biden took over the presidency. On his first day in office, Biden ended Trump’s effective “Remain in Mexico” policy and paused deportations. The influx of illegal migrants promptly surged to over 100,000 the following month.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas then released a new enforcement directive, making it Biden administration policy to not deport illegal immigrants whose only violation was being in the country unlawfully. This led to an even greater increase in illegal crossings, reaching 173,277 per month, a figure higher than any during Trump’s term and a benchmark Biden has been unable to maintain since.

Biden’s policies triggered the border crisis that is straining schools and hospitals nationwide, and voters are aware of it. Before his presidency, voters had a slight preference for Biden over Trump on immigration by 1 point. Now, voters favor Trump over Biden by 27 points. It’s Biden’s most poorly rated issue, even surpassing inflation and the economy.

Biden hopes to convince voters when he says, “I’ve come here today to do what the Republicans in Congress refused to do … take the necessary steps to secure our border.”

The issue is, everything Biden announced could have been implemented at any point before now. The border crisis did not start “four months ago,” as Biden claimed. It began when he took office and will persist until he leaves.

As he refused to take questions following his speech, there remains much uncertainty about his new immigration policy. Biden mentioned he was acting to “bar migrants who cross our southern border unlawfully from receiving asylum,” but this doesn’t clarify what will happen to those detained by Border Patrol.

If they are from Mexico, they will be sent back, which is consistent with current law. But what about those from countries that do not accept deported migrants from the U.S.? Will they be detained or released? Neither Biden nor the White House provided answers. As CBS News pointed out, the White House “did not say Mexico had agreed to take them back, raising the possibility that some migrants will still be released with court notices.”

Denying migrants who cross the border illegally asylum status may be the new policy, but if they are still released into the country regardless of their asylum status, the issue remains unresolved.

While Biden criticizes Republicans in Congress, the core issue at the southern border is with Mexico. Trump addressed this by compelling Mexico to take migrants back through his Migrant Protection Protocols program. Biden has chosen not to prioritize the return of migrants. Consequently, our nation continues to suffer.

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