- - Thursday, December 17, 2020

“No one is illegal” is about to become more than a trendy T-shirt slogan. President-elect Joe Biden’s pledge to create “a fair and humane immigration system” means the addled phrase is due to become blunt fact. Americans alarmed by past immigrant surges should gird themselves for more because, ready or not, here they come, again.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reports the apprehension of 70,000 immigrants along the Southwest border in November, an increase of 64% over the same period in 2019. “If the current policies in place are revoked as critics have promised they would do the 2,300 a day will become a full-blown crisis overnight as we stand by and watch the numbers go even higher,” Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan told reporters Monday.

Thousands of U.S.-bound asylum-seekers are preparing themselves for the journey. In particular, Cubans who have fled the communist island in the past are joining caravans in Chile, Guyana, Paraguay and other South American nations to trek toward the U.S. southern border, according to the Miami Herald.

Prospective migrants can only be heartened by the impending Biden inauguration and anticipate that the changing of the guard will bring relaxed immigration policies. “Within 100 days,” says Mr. Biden, “I’m going to send to the United States Congress a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people.”

The figure the president-elect cites is little more than a guesstimate repeated for a decade or more; the actual number of individuals secreted within U.S. communities is likely much higher. The Biden commitment to amnesty is expected to serve as a powerful magnet for dissatisfied citizens of hemispheric neighbors to join the northbound migration.

The cross-border flow slowed during the ongoing pandemic when Trump administration authorized border officials to remove uninvited entrants to limit the coronavirus spread. No more. The current daily average of unaccompanied minors has reached 150, double the number of just several weeks ago. This publication reported Tuesday that although 11% test positive for COVID-19, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan has ordered authorities to still bring the kids to federally run housing, virus or not.

Though disturbing, none of this should be surprising. Even prior to the Biden victory, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) threat assessment published in October forecast a migrant surge in 2021: “DHS anticipates that the number of apprehensions at the border will significantly climb post-pandemic, with the potential for another surge as those who were previously prevented from seeking entry into the United States arrive at the border and as poor economic conditions around the world fuel migration.”

Slogans like “No one is illegal” state the obvious. It is not human beings, after all, but the things they do that run afoul of the law. Once the Biden welcome mat is in place, “illegal immigrant” will likely have little meaning. Neither will “American citizen.”

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