Editor’s note: When it comes to immigration — illegal or otherwise — the American people have a right to be concerned. Liberty Nation author Kelli Ballard examines contentious issues related to today’s hottest topic.
Is there a crisis at the border? The answer depends on the person asked. Are there more unaccompanied children and migrants crossing into the U.S. than just a few months ago? Definitely. And that is not in doubt – no matter whose opinion is taken. President Joe Biden, while admitting there are more aliens trying to get into the U.S. than usual, still has no plans to visit the border areas where people are being held. So, what is happening at the border and what is being done with the 500 or so children trying to cross the border each day?
Upon taking his seat in the Oval Office, Biden wasn’t shy or stingy with his pen, signing executive orders almost as fast as they could be placed on his desk. Immigration control suffered much under the execution block, and, as it turns out, the president was warned against taking such actions before he was sworn in. Officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reportedly alerted Biden’s transition team that doing away with the Trump administration’s border policies would have “catastrophic consequences,” Stephen Miller, the former president’s top adviser on immigration, said. Miller took to Twitter with his complaint, writing, “Biden’s transition team was warned by career DHS officials that terminating our proven border security measures would lead to catastrophic consequences … They ignored those warnings and voluntarily unleashed chaos.” He continued:
“By 2020—defeating a flood of meritless years-long litigation—we had in place the most effective, rock-solid, profound border security measures ever realized. Biden inherited an unbeatable system. He then immediately shredded it & created this rapidly-escalating emergency.”
Miller suggested that Biden’s catch-and-release method is dangerous. “Illegal migrants from all over the world, in ever-growing numbers, will descend on the border until the Trump policy of Detain-and-Remove is restored,” he said.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas concurred that the U.S. is seeing a surge of immigrants. “We are on a pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years,” he said in a statement.
No Room for the Children
According to BuzzFeed News, as of this past weekend, there were 4,200 unaccompanied immigrant children in Border Patrol custody. That’s up from 3,700 on March 11, just days before. Of those children, almost 3,000 were over the three-day limit for the time allowed in Border Patrol custody.
In Donna, TX, a tent facility is currently holding more than 1,000 children, including teenagers and some kids as young as four. Attorneys visiting the area said some of those youngsters have been held as many as eight days, in crowded areas, and without showers.
Leecia Welch is the senior director of child welfare for the National Center for Youth Law. She interviewed 20 detained children at the facility and all of them had been in custody for at least five days. She claimed that they were only allowed to go outside every few days, and then for only about 20 minutes. “A lot of the children said to me that they hadn’t seen ‘el cielo,’ the sky,” she said. “That the only time they saw the sun at all was when they took showers,” which could be once a week in some instances. The minors have been sleeping on mats on the floor – when available – or on the bare floor or benches when there were not enough mats.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) expressed his disapproval with the president’s immigration control, or lack thereof, saying the administration’s “reckless open door policies have created a humanitarian crisis for unaccompanied minors coming across the border.” He added, “[Biden’s] policies are risking the health and safety of Texans and putting children at risk from cartels and human traffickers.”
Open Borders – During a Pandemic?
Border state officials have expressed their concerns about the process of releasing immigrants into the U.S. They claim some are slipping through the system without being tested for COVID-19 and that others are testing positive for the virus but are not forced to quarantine. While Americans are struggling to hold onto businesses and return their children to in-person education, as well as continuing to practice social distancing, one has to wonder how it can be justified to keep Americans in lockdown while opening borders to illegal immigrants during a pandemic.
Still, with thousands more unaccompanied children crossing into the U.S. – up to 500 a day – and the surge of migrants of all ages trying to get in, the president refuses to acknowledge this as a crisis. Without visiting any of the facilities and seemingly ignoring reports – from both sides of the aisle – about the massive influx of illegal immigrants, Biden appears to have put the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, or rather, the promotion of it, as a top priority. What will it take to declare the immigration situation exactly what it is – a crisis?
Read more from Kelli Ballard.