Joe Biden can’t avoid reality anymore. As a candidate for president in 2020, Biden railed against Donald Trump’s “inhumane” immigration and border policies. He promised that when he became president, illegal immigrants would be welcomed into the United States, asylum seekers would be given shelter, and the U.S. would take its place as the number one destination for immigrants — legal and illegal — from around the world.
It was a beautiful vision — until reality caught up with it.
Those Trump “inhumane” policies were the only thing keeping the United States from being overrun with poor, desperate people. So Biden has reluctantly been required to keep many of those policies in place.
Biden keeps denying it, but the illegal aliens and asylum seekers are crowding our border at Biden’s express invitation. And his own people know it and are furiously backtracking to get the border crisis under control before the electoral damage is too much to undo.
Former administration officials and immigration lawyers say Biden’s hands may be tied in certain cases — that the government may not necessarily agree with the specific policy but that the Justice Department may have to defend Trump-era policy because of requirements in law and the time needed to review all the cases. But the Biden administration’s approach is, nevertheless, testing the patience of immigration activists and attorneys who say the president and his team have been far too passive in undoing Trump’s far-reaching and restrictive immigration policies in court.
Those same advocates were screaming for Biden to lift the Title 42 restrictions on immigration in July. Title 42 gives the federal government broad latitude to deny entry to people during a public health emergency. It virtually closed the border to asylum seekers while allowing for immediate expulsion of illegal aliens.
If Biden had lifted Title 42 in July, it would have been a total disaster. The number of arrests for illegal entry into the United States has been skyrocketing since then and without Title 42, the crisis at the border would have been unmanageable.
In addition to maintaining Title 42, Biden has just been ordered by the Supreme Court to reestablish Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy that kept asylum seekers in Mexico while their claims were being litigated. Prior to the Trump administration, asylum seekers were allowed to live in the U.S. while their claims were being heard. Many never showed up for their court hearings.
Nevertheless, Biden administration aides breathed a sigh of relief that the Supreme Court “forced” them to reestablish a very effective policy.
Concern had already been building inside the Biden administration that the speed of its immigration changes may have encouraged migrants to stream toward the United States, current and former officials said.
In fact, some Biden officials were already talking about reviving Mr. Trump’s policy in a limited way to deter migration, said the officials, who have worked on immigration policy but were not authorized to speak publicly about the administration’s internal debates on the issue. Then the Supreme Court order came, providing the Biden administration with the political cover to adopt the policy in some form without provoking as much ire from Democrats who reviled Mr. Trump’s border policies.
President Obama’s Customs and Border Protection commissioner, Alan Bersin, told the Times, “This desire to reverse Trump’s policies and to do so quickly has landed the Biden administration in this predicament, which was not unpredictable and is very sad to watch.”
It’s very sad because, as Bersin notes, not only was this crisis at the border avoidable, it was handled with incompetence and negligence. Joe Biden allowed his radical open-borders supporters to get control of the messaging on immigration policies and virtually opened the door to hundreds of thousands of migrants, telling them to enter the U.S. — legally or illegally.
Why should anyone be surprised at the result?