Regardless of where you sit on the political and ideological spectrum, there is no denying the catastrophic crisis at our southern border. Whether you see it as a humanitarian, national security, or constitutional crisis, or all three rolled into one, it’s a colossal failure by any definition.
The Biden administration’s open-border policies have drawn five million illegal aliens from 160 different countries to our borders in just 18 months. The predictable result is a chaotic and deadly southern border where a complex set of threats are pouring into to the U.S. The situation has become so dangerous and untenable that a judge in Kinney County, Texas, formally declared the county was being invaded.
The crux of the crisis is not overly complicated. To deal with the crushing flow of illegal aliens, 80% to 90% of Border Patrol personnel are often pulled off the front lines to care for, process, and release those who have crossed illegally.
Biden’s Border Patrol has essentially been compelled to abandon much of its core mission to protect the American people. This has left our borders wide-open and facilitated the cartels broadening their operational control over our southern border, making it easier for them to smuggle drugs into the U.S. and expand their human trafficking operation.
It also makes it far simpler for criminal aliens and national security threats to enter the U.S. undetected. You don’t have to be a border security expert to understand that as illegal immigration increases, our ability to effectively secure the border deceases.
The Biden administration refuses to acknowledge this basic premise or come clean to the American people about the magnitude of the threats not being interdicted because resources are being diverted to the self-inflicted illegal migration disaster. Intentionally hijacking the Border Patrol’s mission, forcing it into an expansive role as a humanitarian agency that must welcome the new generation of illegal alien arrivals, has foreseeably resulted in an exponential increase in “got-aways” illegal aliens who break into our southern border and avoid apprehension.
Close to a million “got-aways” have entered the U.S. since President Biden entered the Oval Office. Yet Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas somehow has the
chutzpah to assert that “the borders are secure.” It’s a blanket lie.
Why does it matter? What’s another million got-aways on top of the millions of illegal aliens the Biden administration has willfully released into the U.S.? It matters because illegal immigration is not a victimless crime. It has damaging downstream effects across our nation. Unfortunately, in today’s environment, emotions, politics, and ideology drive the narrative rather than the truth.
Not everyone entering our country illegally are good, upstanding people. Many have been convicted of or charged with violent offenses. Others are considered dangerous sexual predators. Some are members of some of the most violent transnational gangs in the world. Many have been convicted of driving under the influence. And for those who somehow see drunk driving as “lesser” offense, a threat to be dismissed, I’d to point to the 10,000 drunk-driving fatalities every year in the United States.
Since the Biden administration took the reins, Customs and Border Protection has arrested more than 32,000 criminal aliens. Border Patrol alone has apprehended 113 convicted murders and more than 770 illegal aliens convicted of sexual related offenses, including sex with a minor child.
Those numbers represent a 2,000% increase in murderers and a 260% increase in sexual predators, as compared to the Trump administration. Keep in mind — these are only the criminals they’ve apprehended. Imagine the number of criminals among the million got-aways who now call the U.S. home.
The Biden administration’s open-border policies have sent a message to the entire world: there will no consequences for the majority of those illegally entering the U.S. Instead, they will be welcomed and rewarded no questions asked. It hasn’t been just those hoping for a better life who heard that message.
Violent criminals received the message loud and clear. Among them was Jose Pascual-Reyes, who on Aug. 4 was charged with multiple counts of capital murder. In addition to the murders, Reyes was charged with kidnapping a 12-year-old girl who, according to the complaint, was “tied to bed posts for at least a week, was assaulted, and kept in a drug-like state by being plied with alcohol.”
Unfortunately, tragedies like this are common. From 2011 -2022, more than 259,000 illegal aliens were charged with more than 433,000 criminal offenses, including 800 homicides, 822 kidnappings and 5,479 sexual assaults. And that’s just in Texas.
How many more “Angel Families” do we have to add to the rolls before we say it’s time to secure our borders? How many more victims of horrific sexual assaults have to occur before we say enough is enough? What level of tragedy and suffering must Americans shoulder before we demand accountability and insist that the administration start putting the safety and well-being of our own citizens first.
What’s the number, President Biden? What feels right to you, Secretary Mayorkas? How many murderers, rapists, pedophiles, and gang members coming into the U.S. do you consider an acceptable trade-off for our open borders?
• Mark Morgan is a visiting fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Border Security and Immigration Center. He previously served as acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.