Axios: There may be a border policy overhaul in the works

Source: Hot Air

I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up only to be dashed again, including my own, but there may be some new interest in the border by the Biden administration. Title 42 is being taken from the border security tool box and the administration seems to be realizing what this means. Axios is reporting that various departments in the Biden administration are working together to develop a multi-prong approach to handling the unprecedented number of illegal immigrants crossing the border.

The Biden border crisis is real and it is intentional. I have said that over and over again for two years. There is no other explanation for the humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border. On his very first day in office, Biden not only shut down all he could of the fossil fuel industry, he also opened up the southern border. He froze deportations, welcomed every illegal alien in the country by saying his agenda includes blanket amnesty for all, and he has failed to provide adequate personnel and resources to secure the border. It is as though he governs with spite – spite against the previous administration’s successful policies and agreements that dramatically slowed illegal immigration. Biden’s goal seems to be to constantly prove he is the not-Trump president and it has been a disaster.

Now it is being reported that a couple of ideas on the table during discussions are quite Trump-like. That’s encouraging. According to Axios, in order to counter the ending of Title 42 at the border, the administration is talking about “barring some asylum seekers and surging prosecutions of illegal border crossings.” It’s a start. However, there is some question as to how serious Team Biden is if the source of the leak to Axios is claiming that the Biden administration has already made progress at the border – progress for whom? – and blames the broken immigration system and Republicans for not willing to work to reform it. Partisan finger-pointing is a sign of weakness in an argument, offering real solutions will prove whether or not DHS and Biden are finally serious about securing the border. Multiple departments are coming together to discuss possibilities.

Top officials from the White House National Security Council, Department of Homeland Security, State Department and Justice Department have been involved in the discussions. Some of the potential actions would require cooperation from multiple agencies, according to two U.S. sources familiar with internal discussions.

The ending of Title 42 was always going to be a catalyst for increased chaos at the border. The previous administration put Title 42 in place at the recommendation of the CDC in order to be able to immediately expel illegal immigrants in order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. The dirty little secret is that though Biden and Mayorkas and others have complained about the injustice of using Title 42, the Biden administration pretty much kept the policy in place because it is an effective tool. The policy has gone through the legal system and we are at the point where a federal judge ruled that Title 42 must end on December 21. DHS is panicking because this will further encourage illegal immigration.

Mayorkas knows he will be on the hot seat when Republicans take back the House in January. He will be investigated for his leadership at DHS and there is even talk of possible impeachment. He is carrying out Biden’s orders, of course, but he’ll be held responsible for what has happened. Final plans are not complete but there have been meetings as recently as Monday.

Actions to expand legal pathways for migrants and asylum seekers and crack down on people who do not enter the U.S. at legal entry points were discussed in detail as recently as a Cabinet-head level meeting on Monday, according to the two sources familiar.

“As we prepare to transition to the next phase of our work to manage the border in a safe, orderly, and humane way, the Department of Homeland Security will continue to double down on these proven strategies,” a Biden official told Axios, listing various efforts by the administration to tackle irregular migration.

One proposal would bar from asylum single adults who illegally cross the border and have not first applied for legal pathways offered by the U.S. or protection in other countries they traveled through. They would instead be placed in the expedited removal process.

There would be exceptions for extreme circumstances, although the specifics of those exceptions are unclear.

Another proposal calls for a surge in criminal prosecutions for single adults who have done nothing other than illegally cross the border — with a focus on those who evade Border Patrol. One source, however, said this would be a tough sell for the Justice Department.

Yes, those are “proven strategies” and that is why the previous administration was using them with much success. Good heavens, it’s only common sense to expel those who do not enter our country through a legal port of entry and not to reward those who run from law enforcement by allowing them to remain on this side of the border.

The administration is also considering raising the number of Venezuelans eligible to receive humanitarian parole, a new program started last month. Biden capped it at 24,000. The program is unique to Venezuelans and became necessary as Venezuelans became the largest groups of migrants crossing the border. They are automatically expelled to wait on the Mexican side of the border until they are allowed in to claim asylum.

The number of Venezuelans attempting to cross the border has dropped significantly since its implementation, according to DHS officials.

Officials are looking to expand the program to Nicaraguans, who like Venezuelans are often difficult to return to their home country due to frosty government relations. Any expansion would greatly depend on cooperation with Mexico or other countries to host people the U.S. kicks back.

Officials are also eyeing an increase of refugee resettlements from the Western Hemisphere as another legal pathway for migrants to pursue before they can access the asylum process at the border.

Lastly, the administration wants to use an app owned and managed by Customs and Border Protection to allow migrants to schedule a meeting at a legal entry point ahead of time, according to one source with direct knowledge of the idea.

As I said, if the administration actually reverses course and begins to implement effective policies, it’s a good start. Frankly, the mess that has already developed on the border will hamper implementing any changes. Overcrowding at detention centers, a lack of personnel and Border Patrol agents to deal with those crossing the border, and a basic lack of resources won’t quickly be resolved. With an increase of migrants expected after December 21, it will get worse before it gets better. Color me skeptical that this administration will be able to handle what they already have proven they cannot.