- - Saturday, May 1, 2021

When the scourge of COVID-19 spread around the world last year, most leaders treated it as the national security threat that it is. Here in the United States, it represented the biggest threat to our way of life since the 9/11 attacks. Our nation adopted something akin to a war footing, a position that is just now starting to change incrementally. 

Against this backdrop, the Biden administration decided this was the perfect time to swing America’s doors wide open and absorb masses of people from impoverished countries. Not only is this inexplicable move in defiance of common sense, it puts millions of Americans at risk. 

This is one of the reasons my organization, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), recently filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern Division of Texas against Joe Biden and a number of federal agencies on behalf of the State of Texas. As we explain in our complaint, President Biden’s border policies are in violation of federal law, and they are causing catastrophic damage to Texas. 

In October of last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its “Order Suspending the Right To Introduce Certain Persons From Countries Where a Quarantinable Communicable Disease Exists.” It determined that “introduction of aliens, regardless of their country of origin, migrating through Canada and Mexico into the United States creates a serious danger of the introduction of COVID-19 into the United States, and the danger is so increased by the introduction of such aliens that a temporary suspension is necessary to protect the public health.”

Given the wrath of the pandemic, it sounds like a sensible order. Joe Biden disagrees and, by executive fiat, decided that we should follow the opposite course. That, combined with his shockingly reckless call for migrants to “surge the border,” has resulted in a massive humanitarian crisis. Texas, more than most states, is paying dearly for these actions.



The results of this brand of leadership are there to see, in the detention centers filled to over 16 times their capacity, children stacked on top of one another, and buses dispersing migrants throughout the United States daily. Given what we know about COVID, this sounds like the ultimate super-spreader event. But as our government tells us to limit family gatherings and wear a mask daily, we are not supposed to point out the glaring hypocrisy of this administration’s border policies and the associated health risks.

Then there is the damage caused directly to Texas. Ken Paxton, the state’s attorney general, said that, COVID-19 aside, illegal immigration costs his state more than $850 million each year.  

Factoring in the pandemic, the damage grows exponentially. The October CDC order stated that “several cities and states, including several located at or near U.S. borders, continue to experience widespread, sustained community transmission that has strained their health care and public health systems.” Texas has a finite amount of resources for health care, and state residents must now share those resources with foreign nationals in need of medical services. Why must Texas and other border states bear the cost of these problems when a handful of elites in Washington caused them? 

What do we seek from this lawsuit? More than anything, a return to the Trump-era border policies that worked so well. Specifically, a return to compliance with the October CDC order that addresses the realities of the health and border crises we currently face. 

Given that more than 31 million people in the U.S. have been infected with COVID-19 so far, including more than 2.8 million in Texas, the last thing we need as a nation is to import more infection risk from the rest of the world. Does the Biden administration even consider this? Apparently not, as they have pursued an extremist, anti-borders agenda at a time when we can least afford it.

Anti-border groups used our court system to thwart Trump border initiatives that made our country and its citizens safer. We must rely on that same system now to stop policies that make our country sicker and more dangerous. 

• Dale L. Wilcox is executive director and general counsel at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.

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