- - Tuesday, August 17, 2021

I wrote in July of 2020 that if Joe Biden became president, we would lose control of our borders. All the work the Trump administration did in giving us the most secure border in my lifetime would be replaced with an anti-borders agenda that would cause this nation and its people great suffering. As much as I hoped my prediction would be wrong, it has become more accurate than I ever could have imagined.  

The fact is that we are seeing unprecedented illegal crossings at our southern border, with over 1.1 million encounters already. That does not count the nearly 300,000 got-aways that were not apprehended and made their way into our communities. The number of those under 18 years of age that have entered illegally under Mr. Biden is the most ever recorded since the existence of the United States Border Patrol. The cost of these policies in crime, the spread of infectious diseases, the job market, wage stagnation, and other bad outcomes is almost incalculable.    

Every American who thinks we should have a secure border, enforce our immigration laws and protect our nation’s sovereignty should be thankful that we have a few organizations out there fighting for those ideals. We need someone to take our concerns to courts of law to fight for our nation and the laws enacted by Congress to protect us but are currently being trampled upon by the Biden administration.



One such organization is the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI). I joined them as a senior fellow two years ago because I was aware of the great work they did for this country and how they helped me when I was the acting director of ICE.

IRLI is a nonprofit legal organization dedicated to achieving responsible immigration policies that serve our national interest. Their mission has always been clear and concise, “An America that prioritizes the best interests of its citizens including secure borders, a fair labor market, and sensible immigration levels”.

The attorneys at IRLI have been working over the past eight months to hold the Biden administration accountable to the rule of law. They have been extremely successful despite being out-funded and outmanned by organizations like the ACLU and others, who are vigorously supported by wealthy anti-borders elites in places like Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and corporate America. Despite being David and fighting Goliath, IRLI is making significant progress and consistently scoring victories for the American people.

This was seen most recently last week in a major victory when a Texas federal district court ordered the resumption of the key Trump immigration policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico to wait for their asylum hearings in that country rather than in the United States. In so ruling, the court agreed with a friend-of-the-court brief IRLI had filed in the case.

In July, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District of Texas issued an opinion that effectively struck down Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which has stood since President Obama enacted it via the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy memorandum. IRLI had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case on behalf of two members of Congress. Such briefs are often influential on the decisions of the court. IRLI showed that DACA is unlawful in several respects, a position that was validated by Judge Hanen’s decision.

While the list of victories spans many years, there are other recent examples. IRLI is serving as outside counsel for the State of Texas in its lawsuit against Biden’s abandonment of immigration-related public-health protocols. Through the brief Texas recently filed, IRLI showed that COVID-19 very much remains a serious threat from immigrants coming across our southern border and from other COVID-prevalent areas.

On numerous issues—ranging from policies prohibiting immigration officers from taking enforcement actions against removable aliens to attempts to weaken the finality of final orders of removal, to striking down Biden’s 100-day moratorium on deporting aliens with orders of removal—IRLI has fought the good fight to defend the rights of the American people in the immigration debate when few others will.

In a world where so much is unclear, it is now obvious that the current administration does not care about the interests of the American people when it comes to immigration. IRLI does care, and their commitment to defending our interests is why I am proud to be a part of their team.

• Tom Homan is a senior fellow at the Immigration Reform Law Institute and the former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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