If one policy decision defined the first 100 days of the Biden presidency, it has been the reckless and radical decision to end the Trump Border Security measures, precipitating a crisis of nearly unprecedented scale. As illegal crossings continue to skyrocket, four Texas counties have just issued local disaster declarations over the situation at the border–and many more are expected to follow in the near future.
Kinney, Goliad, La Salle, and Atascosa counties in Texas all recently issued disaster declarations with nearly identical language, citing concerns for the “health, life, and property” of their residents, who are “under imminent threat of disaster from the human trafficking occurring on our border with Mexico.” Absent any support from the Biden administration, local officials in Texas and elsewhere say they had to take action to keep their communities safe. Kinney County Judge Tully Shahan said, “We felt like we had to do something, and we want to protect our citizens.” The Kinney County disaster declaration cites incidents of “residents of Kinney County being assaulted, threatened with violence, and robbed, while also sustaining vast amounts of property damage,” calling the surge of undocumented migrants a “continual violation of our sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
With more than 1,000 illegal aliens evading capture each day, border patrol agents are struggling to stem the tide at crossing points, and the crisis has been creeping further into the interior of the country. Goliad County is located 200 miles north of the border, but human traffickers and drug dealers still use the area as a staging ground for smuggling operations. Goliad County Sheriff Roy Boyd describes how “what happens is [smugglers] bring them [migrants] up from the border to somewhere in this area. They’ll drop them off at a temporary holding site and then someone from Houston comes and picks them up and then takes them to Houston, where they’re distributed across the United States.” Boyd’s account reflects an all-too common reality throughout the border region, underscoring how the effects of mass illegal migration are quickly being felt throughout the country.
Despite the dire situation, the Biden administration thus far has shown no willingness to provide more support for border security or immigration enforcement, or to even admit that there is a problem at the border. When left-wing hecklers called on the President to “End detention now” and “Abolish ICE!” at a drive-in rally in Georgia last Thursday, Biden responded “I agree with you. I’m working on it, man. Give me another five days.”
During his first Joint Address before Congress just one day before that incident, Biden only mentioned the word “border” twice – both times avoiding any direct mention of the actual situation at the border and not using the term “crisis.”
Biden’s comments last week (or lack thereof) undoubtedly came as a devastating blow to law enforcement in places like Kinney County, where the sheriff’s office only has six deputies to cover 1,400 square miles. With jails overflowing, some counties are being forced to release migrants after filing charges, a situation which Lavaca County Judge Mark Myers called “not a sustainable future.”
Biden’s border czar, Vice President Kamala Harris, still hasn’t been to the border either, and she has no plans to go in the immediate future. The White House has attempted to clarify that Harris’ role is only to address the “root causes” of illegal immigration, which it says include crime and poverty in Central America. While Harris has had several phone calls with leaders of countries like Mexico and Guatemala, she hasn’t actually traveled to any Central American countries to assess the situation for herself. The blatant inaction on the part of the Biden administration makes clear that, as long as Democrats in Congress and the liberal media fail to hold the Biden administration accountable, any federal support appears unlikely for border communities.
In the coming weeks and months, more counties and states are likely to issue their own disaster declarations as they are forced to fend for themselves against what has become an all-out flood of illegal immigration from the southern border. Goliad County Judge Mike Bennett says he expects at least 200 of Texas’s 254 counties to officially declare the border crisis a disaster, and many local leaders are calling on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to deploy additional state law enforcement personnel to address the crisis.
Judging by the messaging coming out of the White House, Abbott would be wise to take matters into his own hands. If Texas has to wait for Kamala Harris to end poverty in Central America in order to solve the border crisis, it may be waiting very long indeed.