Apparently, the Biden administration is trying to figure out how to legalize more than 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. Step one is to never call them "illegal" even though they're violating our federal immigration laws. Open borders advocates call them "undocumented workers."
President Biden has signed executive orders canceling most of ex-President Trump's border enforcement policies. Those orders stopped construction on Trump's signature border wall and blocked deportation of illegal immigrants for 100 days. Those actions send an unmistakable message to tens of thousands of mostly illiterate, unskilled Central Americans streaming north toward our southern border with Mexico: "Come one, come all. Our borders are open."
These are the people poet Emma Lazarus wrote about in the 19th century: "Your tired, your poor… the wretched refuse of your teeming shore," exactly the kind of immigrants we don't need in 21st century America.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a motion in federal court asking for a restraining order to stop the Biden administration from temporarily halting deportations of illegal immigrants. "Our state defends the largest section of the southern border in our nation," Paxton said. "Failure to properly enforce the law will directly and immediately endanger our citizens and law enforcement personnel."
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American, said Biden's executive order "will prevent the removal of illegal immigrants… with serious criminal records convicted of violent crimes such as rape, sexual assault, and other aggravated felonies," including drug and human trafficking.
Biden proposes an eight-year path to citizenship for more than 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Reilly, an African-American, wrote than Biden's proposal calls for "amnesty now and more border security at some unspecified future date. This is like a boxer leading with his chin."
"Mr. Biden was elected with a mandate to tackle COVID-19 and revive the economy," Reilly wrote. "If and when he turns his focus to immigration, history suggests that a massive amnesty scheme probably isn't the best place to start." He's referring to former President Reagan's massive 1986 amnesty program, which invited millions of illegal immigrants into the U.S. We're still paying the price for that disastrous policy miscalculation.
Meanwhile, migrant caravans continue to head north toward the California and Texas borders with Mexico. Former Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan told the Washington Examiner that more than 3,000 illegal border crossers are showing up at our southern border every day, including some 300 minor children. This is one the first challenges that Biden's recently confirmed Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, must face.
Biden has implemented a family reunification policy for minor children apprehended at the border. I can't quarrel with that policy except to note that many of those children are rent-a-kids sent north by illegal immigrant smugglers and drug cartels. Family reunification is a great idea that's very difficult to implement, as Mayorkas will discover.
McAllen, Texas, Mayor Jim Darling told the Examiner that "the Obama-era policy of 'catch-and-release' is back," adding that "illegal immigrants crossing with children are being paroled into the U.S." This is when we remember that Biden was Obama's vice president.
One Biden immigration policy I agree with is to protect 645,000 "Dreamers," young people who are illegal through no fault of their own because they were smuggled into the U.S. by their illegal immigrant parents. A Biden executive order protects them from deportation. I support that policy decision.
Unfortunately, much-needed comprehensive immigration reform will now be more difficult to achieve because of Biden's ill-advised executive orders.
Guy W. Farmer, a retired diplomat, is the Appeal's senior political columnist.