OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
President Joe Biden is being criticized from the left and right as officials warn a crush of some 700,000 migrants are set to rush the southwest border and cross illegally into the U.S. when Title 42 ends.
“Border Patrol shared with us their intelligence that there are approximately 700,000, as of three weeks ago, in the shelters in Mexico waiting to come into the United States,” Jonathan Lines, supervisor on Arizona’s Yuma County Board of Supervisors, said last week.
He added that border officials had reported a five-fold increase in migrants crossing the Darién Gap, the land route connecting South and Central America, the Washington Free Beacon noted.
On May 11, Title 42, a pandemic-related regulation that permits authorities to promptly reject migrants at the border, will expire. Following its expiration, the Biden administration intends to broaden the catch-and-release system, which will likely see hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants allowed into the country with instructions to appear at an immigration hearing years in the future. Most never show up.
Lines further added that currently, 40 percent of illegal migrants that cross in Yuma are immediately turned away due to Title 42.
Biden, meanwhile, ordered around 1,500 active military troops to the border but their duty won’t be to defend the country. Rather, they will be assigned processing duties to free up Border Patrol and customs agents for enforcement duties, such as they’ll be allowed to perform.
When then-President Donald Trump sent U.S. troops to the border in 2018, now-Vice President Kamala Harris called the decision “political” and “inappropriate.” It should be noted that Biden appointed Harris ‘border czar’ in March 2021, about a month after he took office, with instructions to deal with what had already become a migrant crisis — which escalated after Biden, on his first day, reversed a slew of Trump-era border security policies.
“We are in a situation where 1500 people at the border, they’re not there to enforce the law, they’re there to free up the border agents that need to be on the border, and we’re having another thousand people coming in, they are asylum judges to make judges, to move things along,” Biden told MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle in an interview that was posted on Friday.
“I’ve asked this Congress for help in terms of what they need at the border. They need more agents, they need more people to clear people,” he added.
The crisis has been attributed to a number of factors, including the Biden administration’s decision to end the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, which required asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases were being processed. Additionally, the administration’s decision to halt the construction of Trump’sborder wall has been criticized for exacerbating the crisis by creating a perception of a more open border.
Also, in an attempt to address the crisis, the administration earlier announced new measures to increase security at the border and reduce the number of individuals crossing unlawfully between ports of entry, while expanding and expediting legal pathways for orderly migration. None have helped, however, as record numbers of migants continue to cross illegally while the Mexico-based cartels push through similar record amounts of deadly drugs.
Republicans have routinely pressed Biden to do more to address the problem, to no avail.
“Instead of addressing the problem, they’re sending people down there to help with the processing so we can get more people into the country,” Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) told “Fox & Friends Sunday” host Rachel Campos-Duffy.
“I think this works hand in hand with what they’ve been doing all along. Don’t think for a minute this is not intentional. The Democrats had control of the Senate, the House, and the White House for two years. They could have done it on their own terms. They didn’t do anything,” he added.