For ten months, Joe Biden has been doing his very best to reprise the legacy of Jimmy Carter. From gas lines to skyrocketing inflation to Americans left stranded in the Middle East, the parallels between the 39th president and the 46th are easy to see. However, there is one area where Mr. Biden is in a class all by himself: The raging security and humanitarian disaster he created at the southern border. The latest numbers confirm just how bad Mr. Biden’s border crisis is.
In October, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents caught more than 164,000 immigrants illegally trying to cross the southern border. That’s the worst October in Department of Homeland of Security history, and it’s all thanks to Mr. Biden and Kamala Harris’ reckless open borders agenda.
The data throws cold water on the lies Mr. Biden is telling Americans about the border. Earlier this year, Mr. Biden told Americans that the unprecedented uptick in illegal immigration was something that happens every year. That was a bald-faced lie. Increased illegal immigration wasn’t a seasonal spike – October’s border apprehension is a 129% increase from a year ago. More than 1.1 million illegal immigrants have been caught since Mr. Biden falsely claimed he had “gotten control” of the border.
Mr. Biden has also sold his border policies as compassionate compared to the strong immigration approach taken by President Donald J. Trump. Newsflash: There is nothing humane about creating conditions where migrant children are making a dangerous trek alone, vulnerable to abuse at the hands of human traffickers, deadly gangs and criminal cartels.
Unable to deal with the massive influx of people coming into our country illegally, Mr. Biden simply lets them go. A quarter of a million illegal immigrants have been released into the interior of our country since Mr. Biden took office, including more than 17,000 in October alone.
Insulated by their own elitist echo chambers, Team Biden has deluded themselves into thinking they are doing a bang-up job at the border. Last week Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas gave himself an “A” grade for mismanaging the border crisis his boss created. Mr. Mayorkas’ self-congratulatory comments came in the same congressional hearing where he was forced to admit he has no idea how many children are in custody at the border and that he didn’t know how many illegal immigrants have evaded border patrol and escaped.
The crisis at the border also reveals something else: the America Last mindset that guides all of Mr. Biden’s failed policies. For example, Mr. Biden wants to fire frontline workers with an unconstitutional forced vaccine mandate, a standard he doesn’t apply to illegal immigrants. That’s not the only way this administration is prioritizing illegal immigrants over American citizens. The Biden administration is floating the idea of paying some illegal immigrants who broke the law up to $450,000 each.
Fortunately, at least a few Democrats recognize just how serious the crisis at the southern border really is. Last week Texas House Representative Ryan Guillen left the Democrat Party to join the GOP. He did so mainly because of the havoc that Democrats’ open border policies have created in his South Texas district.
In fact, many Democrats in my home state of Texas haven’t been shy about calling out Mr. Biden for his stunning failure of presidential leadership. Unlike Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, local leaders don’t have the luxury of turning a blind eye to a problem directly impacting the communities they represent. Those leaders have repeatedly asked Mr. Biden for backup and to beef up law enforcement, pleas that have fallen on deaf ears.
As a half-century career politician, Joe Biden hasn’t spent a day in the real world in decades. If he did, he would know that ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away – it only makes it worse.
Last month Mr. Biden finally conceded he “should” go down to the border, another pledge he hasn’t followed through on. Mr. Biden should visit the border if only to thank brave Border Patrol agents for doing the job that he refuses to do. More to the point, Mr. Biden should reverse his open borders agenda, start putting our country first, and end this disaster.
• Tommy Hicks Jr. is the co-chair of the Republican National Committee.