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May 16, 2023

In Brief: Only an Actual Border Can Stop Illegal Immigration

Title 42 was never going to fix the problems with illegal crossings of the U.S. southern border.

We’ve written at length for years about problems with border security and immigration. The good news is that the American Dream is still appealing. The bad news is that one political party — ahem, Democrats — has decided that borders are immoral. The result is a humanitarian disaster. Political analyst John Daniel Davidson says the problem is far bigger than Title 42 ending last week.

Whatever your view of immigration, there can be no doubt that the Biden administration’s border policies have been an abject failure. This is especially true of Title 42, the pandemic-era public health order that for the last three years, under both the Trump and Biden administrations, allowed border officials to expel illegal immigrants quickly back to Mexico.

Title 42 came to an end on Thursday when the Covid public health emergency officially ended, and its ending has coincided with what can only be described as absolute chaos along the U.S.-Mexico border this past week.

Border Patrol agents are now arresting more than 10,000 illegal immigrants every day. If you have no context for that figure, consider that in March 2019, at the onset of the last border crisis, Border Patrol was arresting 4,000 illegal immigrants a day. At the time, President Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said, “I know that 1,000 [apprehensions] overwhelms the system and I cannot begin to imagine what 4,000 a day looks like.”

What 10,000 a day looks like is a humanitarian catastrophe.

Davidson warns of tent cities and a collapsing border, even as Team Biden mounts what he calls “a slap-dash propaganda campaign to make it look like the administration is doing something about the crisis.” Catch-and-release and a backlog of asylum cases mean the border is essentially open. He then argues:

What all of this reveals is that our entire corpus of immigration law is woefully defective and has been for many years. It’s this defective underlying body of law that made bureaucratic expedients like Title 42 necessary to control the border. If we don’t fix the law, though, we’ll never be able to fix the border — no matter how many Title 42-like policies a future GOP president might institute.

Recall that Title 42 was invoked during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic as a tactic to slow the spread of the disease. In that context, it made sense. The last thing you want in a pandemic is uncontrolled mass illegal immigration.

But it soon became clear that ending Title 42 would risk unleashing complete chaos at the border. For as much as the Biden admin denounced Trump’s border policies, he kept Title 42 in place for years as a way to manage the flow of illegal immigration long after the pandemic justification for it was obsolete.

Now that Title 42 is finally ending, we see the federal government’s immigration bureaucracy grinding into action once again to manage a situation our defective laws cannot handle. Whatever the outcome of Biden’s plan, it amounts to government by administrative fiat, demonstrating the ongoing corruption of the rule of law in America and the triumph of the administrative state.

Thus, Davidson concludes:

In the end, the only thing that will end the ongoing border crisis is to fix our asylum and immigration laws so they can’t be exploited by illegal immigrants making bogus asylum claims. Programs like Title 42, or even the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico policy, are stop-gaps at best. To secure the border, we’re going to need laws that mandate a secure border, which means closing the asylum loopholes, immediately deporting those who cross illegally, and building a really high wall.

Read the whole thing here.

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