President Biden should have seen this coming months ago, when he began describing his plans for a mass amnesty coupled with removal of all of the successful impediments to illegal immigration put in place by the Trump administration.
As Biden’s campaign rhetoric zeroed in on a radical immigration agenda last year, caravans began forming in Latin America and apprehensions of illegal migrants began to explode. Sources inside the U.S. Border Patrol, who spoke on condition of anonymity, noted that apprehension numbers, when comparing fiscal year 2020 to early FY 2021, exploded all along the Texas-Mexico border. In the Rio Grande Valley, they increased 108 percent; in Del Rio, they increased nearly 200 percent, and in Laredo, they grew by 140 percent.
Then, in late December, a group of about 100 Cuban illegal immigrants stormed the port of entry in El Paso shouting, “Biden, Biden, Biden!” But the incoming administration still didn’t “get” what they were creating. In immigration policy, what’s actually more important than reality is perception. And, once in office, the Biden-Harris team has continued to manufacture the perception — through open-borders rhetoric and numerous executive orders — that for those who want to come to the United States illegally, the time to come is now.
A caravan of as many as 9,000 illegal aliens has formed in Honduras and is pressing northward with the hope of reaching the U.S. Despite the fact that many acknowledge that they are coming for work, most will likely ask for asylum when reaching the border, hoping that, as tens of thousands of their countrymen before them, they will be caught and then released into the interior of the U.S. Most never follow up on their asylum claims and attempt to disappear.
More disturbing is a recent Fox and Friends segment in which international journalist Lara Logan noted that “several hundred thousand” migrants are poised to come to the U.S. border shortly. In addition to the Honduran caravan, her sources inside Latin America reveal that roughly 93,000 individuals are waiting to cross into the United States with Mexico-issued travel permits allowing them to reach the border. They are joined by some 77,000 others who have been returned to Mexico after apprehension and are awaiting the opportunity to come back.
Logan also heard from sources that there are thousands of people in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala who were told to pack their bags to start their journey after Biden’s inauguration. More concerning, several thousand “Special Interest Aliens” — those believed to have a “nexus to terrorism” — are waiting in Panama to come north.
Adding to the risks posed by potential border chaos is the deadly coronavirus that already has taken the lives of more than 400,000 Americans. President Biden’s reckless, politically-motivated actions on immigration will create a “super spreader” event of monumental proportions. Many migrants traveling northward in groups fail to wear face coverings — or fail to wear them properly to deter the spread of the virus — and spend months traveling across Mexico, a country that recently posted a spike in COVID-19 infections.
Ironically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that anyone entering the U.S. from abroad must show proof of having tested negative for the virus in the past three days. Exactly how that policy will work when hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens rush to our borders remains to be seen.
Further complicating the matter is, once these migrants enter the U.S., how do we protect Border Patrol agents from contracting the virus? With the Biden promise to end contracts with private facilities to house illegal immigrants, where will any detainees be held? How will local border communities react to a sudden, massive influx of people possibly exposed to the virus?
There are lots of questions — and few answers — for this impending crisis that will have been manufactured by President Biden.
Thankfully, it’s not too late. The president could (notwithstanding his recent executive orders on immigration) make it clear that until the COVID-19 crisis is behind us and most of the U.S. population has been vaccinated, our borders will remain sealed. He could pump the brakes on the mass amnesty bill — the magnet drawing the masses northward — that the Democrats are eager to drop until the current health and unemployment crisis is behind us.
That would be a real act of American unity, while showing that his primary concern is our national interest, not kowtowing to the demands of the open-borders wing of his party.
David Ray is director of communications at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).