The 2020 presidential election may feel like a distant memory, but a statement made by then-candidate Joe Biden during that time, which he has repeated in various forms over the years, has resurfaced due to the current President's contradiction of his purportedly sincere moral convictions. In the summer of 2020, Biden made his stance on border barriers unequivocally clear, asserting, "There will not be another foot of wall constructed during my administration, No. 1." He further elaborated, "I will ensure border protection, but it will rely on advanced technology, and the focus will be on ports of entry, where most of the problems occur," as reported by National Public Radio.
However, President Biden has failed to uphold his promise of providing "border protection," and his proposed use of "high-tech capacity" has proven ineffective in curbing the recent surge of 7,000 illegal immigrant crossings per day, as well as a record-breaking number of apprehensions and "got-aways," which make it seem as though the southern U.S. border is wide open. Notably, Biden's 2020 emphasis on ports of entry likely stemmed from the absence of illegal entries between these points during the Trump administration, a contrast to the current situation.
Fast forward to today, and the situation at ports of entry pales in comparison to the thousands of illegal immigrants crossing the Rio Grande, breaching border walls from California to Texas, and attempting to scale barriers. Big-city Democrats in places like New York and Chicago have finally recognized the border crisis and are imploring the Biden administration for assistance, prompting limited actions that directly contradict Biden's earlier promises.
As reported by the Associated Press, the Biden administration has now waived 26 federal laws in South Texas to allow for the construction of a border wall. This marks the administration's first use of executive power, a tactic frequently employed during the Trump presidency. The Department of Homeland Security provided few details regarding the construction in Starr County, Texas, a region in the Border Patrol sector experiencing a significant increase in illegal entries. According to government data, the Rio Grande Valley Sector, comprising 21 counties, has recorded approximately 245,000 illegal entries in this fiscal year alone.
The DHS secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, stated in the notice that there is an "acute and immediate need" to build physical barriers and roads near the U.S. border to prevent unlawful entries in the project areas. One might wish that someone had forewarned the Biden administration about the consequences of their open-border policies. Their actions, such as suing Texas over the use of buoys to deter Rio Grande crossings and cutting razor wire along the Texas border, seem to contradict this newfound urgency.
From the outset, the Biden administration's border policy has been incoherent and disastrous. The resulting chaos has become intolerable in border communities and cities across the nation. It appears that someone in Biden's inner circle has finally recognized the necessity of a physical barrier as part of border security. However, without comprehensive policy reforms, the surge of illegal immigrants causing this crisis will not subside. The wall, as acknowledged by Trump, was just one aspect of an overarching border security strategy, which also included the "Remain in Mexico" policy and other measures that prevented the current turmoil. As long as Biden continues his current policies of apprehending and quickly releasing illegal immigrants into the U.S. with distant court appearances and limited tracking, the situation will not significantly improve. Additionally, the Biden administration's practice of assisting unlawful entrants in disappearing into the interior further exacerbates the problem, as witnessed by this writer on a recent flight from Arizona filled with illegal aliens destined for Denver, Philadelphia, and D.C.
These individuals, along with the millions of illegal immigrants who have already entered the U.S., including a record number of "got-aways," have exploited the nation's security, and the true extent of the danger posed by these individuals remains unclear. This is another pressing issue that Biden must address if he wishes to demonstrate any commitment to national security. While Biden's fellow Democrats are likely to oppose his new plan to construct a border wall, it represents the first sign, albeit a tentative one, that his stance on illegal immigration may be wavering. Nevertheless, without significant policy changes, this gesture is destined to be another hollow attempt to appear proactive while lacking a genuine plan to halt the influx of illegal immigrants.