AMAC Exclusive – By Aaron Kliegman
As the U.S. faces a crisis of nightmarish proportions on its southern border, the Biden administration nonetheless seems to think it is doing a terrific job. Last Tuesday, Biden’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, said as much during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Asked by Senator Lindsey Graham how he would grade himself on immigration, Secretary Mayorkas responded, “I’m a tough grader on myself, and I give myself an ‘A’ for effort, investment in mission, and support of our workforce.”
“Rebuilding a broken immigration system and rebuilding a dismantled one takes time,” he said, “and we’re on the road to success.”
The numbers tell a very different story.
According to official data released last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered 164,303 illegal migrants at the southern border in October. This means the number of migrants apprehended at the border in October skyrocketed by 128% from the same time last year—and those are just the ones who got caught.
These latest figures are part of a historic surge in illegal border crossings under the Biden administration. Over all 12 months of 2020, during which President Donald Trump was in office, there were about 550,000 illegal migrants encountered by CBP—and most were rapidly sent home. Since President Joe Biden entered office, there have been well over 1.6 million encounters—and most are being released into the United States. To make matters worse, tens of thousands of these illegal aliens are convicted criminals, and many have previously been apprehended at the border.
The data is undeniable: Illegal immigration has gotten much worse under the Biden administration. And unfortunately for President Biden, the American people don’t grade on “effort,” something that is abundantly clear in survey data.
According to a Gallup poll conducted this month, only 31% of Americans approve of the way Biden is handling immigration. A Harvard CAPS/Harris poll conducted last month also found that a mere 35% of registered voters said they approve of the Biden administration’s immigration policies.
Even more troubling for Biden, the Harvard/Harris poll found that a majority of Americans think that Biden is encouraging illegal immigration; that Biden is creating an open border, not just trying to enforce the immigration laws more humanely; and that illegal immigration is a serious issue which must be addressed immediately.
In short, the administration is failing the American people’s test. Mayorkas may give himself an A for effort, but the country is giving him and his colleagues an F.
Of course, Mayorkas isn’t the only top Biden official trying to create a false narrative that portrays the administration’s immigration policy as successful. Vice President Kamala Harris, who Biden tasked with handling immigration, echoed Mayorkas in an interview last Thursday, saying the administration is heading in the right direction but needs time to rebuild a broken system it inherited.
“We can’t just flip a switch and make it better,” Harris said. “The reality is that we inherited a system, an immigration system that was deeply broken, and it’s requiring us to actually put it back together in terms of creating a fair process that is effective and efficient.”
What’s so striking about Harris and Mayorkas’s comments is how the data so obviously and objectively proves them wrong. The system implemented under President Trump was working.
One of the most significant factors in the success of Trump’s border efforts was his Remain in Mexico policy, officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols. Under the protocols, asylum seekers from Central America had to stay in Mexico during their immigration proceedings. This proved to be an effective solution to the rampant abuses of America’s asylum system.
The Trump administration also made agreements with many Central American countries — including Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador — to curtail asylum fraud. These countries were required to take back migrants who had sought asylum in the U.S. without first seeking protection in a safe third country through which they had passed on their way to the U.S.
Under widely accepted international standards, asylum seekers fleeing persecution are supposed to stop in the first country they reach where they will not be subjected to such persecution.
Biden ripped up these policies immediately upon entering the White House, thereby reopening the floodgates of illegal migration from Central America and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, he and Democrats in Congress are currently working to push through the Build Back Better Act, which just passed the House last week. The current version of the bill includes numerous immigration provisions that would, among other things, provide mass amnesty and allow illegal immigrants to receive taxpayer-funded government benefits and even child tax credits.
Add to this Biden’s promise of $450,000 for migrants separated from their families after illegally crossing the U.S. border, and the result is an immigration policy that only incentivizes more illegal crossings, not fewer.
All this raises an alarming question: Do Biden, Harris, Mayorkas, and the rest of the current administration realize the effects of their policies, and that the American people consider them a dismal failure? Or, perhaps more concerningly, do they just not care?
Either way, while administration officials are safe in their high-rise D.C. apartments, Americans who live in border towns and law enforcement officials throughout the country are left to contend with what has already become an unmitigated disaster. One way or another, with the midterm elections now less than a year away, Biden and Congressional Democrats will have to answer for the destruction their policies have already caused.