Former President Donald Trump used the pandemic to enact the policy that immediately returned expectant migrants to their home countries without screening for asylum on the grounds that their entry could contribute to the spread of the coronavirus. Despite its controversial aims, it abated a flood of immigrants from coming into the US for the past three years.
Now no one, not even the most liberal of news outlets, is denying that the pending surge of asylum seekers constitutes a “crisis.”
Photos of migrant camps hovering around the border have circulated on the internet raising concerns among all Americans.
Officials are estimating 11,000-13,000 migrants a day are expected to arrive along the entire southern border once the measure is lifted. Even with Title 42 in place, more than 73,000 migrants have crossed the southern border illegally in the last 10 days according to border officials.
Governor Greg Abbot deployed almost 600 more national guard troops in Texas in preparation for the influx “to intercept, to repel and to turn back migrants who are trying to enter Texas illegally.”
On Monday, El Paso declared a state of emergency where officials say anywhere between 12,000 and 40,000 migrants are waiting on the Mexican side to cross on Thursday.
According to the New York Post, 80,000 South American migrants are amassed in Guatemala and planning to head for the US-Mexico border.
The same report also states that after Thursday, up to 16,000 migrants could potentially cross over in Tijuana, near San Diego. In Brownsville, the very Eastern tip of the Texas border with Mexico, 15,000 migrants crossed into the US last week, more than border agents in the area could handle. Agents in El Centro, California stopped about 260 migrants a day over the course of a four- or five-day period through Sunday.
In Arizona, another state directly affected by the crisis, even Democrats are criticizing the Biden administration for its failure to prepare for the massive surge at the border, despite Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alexander Mayorkas’s insistence that the border is safe and secure and that the country is prepared.
Senate candidate Representative Ruben Gallego (D) wrote four letters to Biden and other officials to warn of the surge, asking for greater support.
In an interview on Face the Nation, Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I) said, “Everyone here in Arizona knows we are not prepared. The Biden administration had two years to prepare for this and did not do so. And our state is going to bear the brunt and migrants will be in crisis as soon as next week. It will be a humanitarian crisis because we are not prepared.”
Democratic governor Katie Hobbs also called for increased support from D.C. as Title 42 nears expiration. “For the past three years, the federal government has used Title 42 as a temporary solution to a permanent problem,” Hobbs said during a press conference on Monday. “I’m afraid these challenges will only get worse. And I’m afraid the federal government is unprepared to meet the demands of the expected influx.”
States that don’t nudge up against the border are preparing for the influx as well.
Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis, now notorious for sending immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard back in September, announced passage of a new bill in response to what he called “President Biden’s dereliction of duty at the border” that is “costing Americans their lives.”
Florida’s SB1718, dubbed the strongest anti-illegal immigration bill in the nation, requires employers to use E-Verify to check the employment eligibility of employees, and fines employers who fail to use the service $1,000 per day. It also suspends the licenses of any employer who knowingly employs illegal aliens and makes using a fake ID to gain employment a felony. Enhanced penalties will be enacted for human smuggling along and $12 billion will be spent to continue to relocate immigrants to sanctuary jurisdictions. In addition, the bill requires hospitals to collect and report healthcare costs for illegal aliens.
Popular sanctuary cities such as New York, Chicago, and Washington D.C. have also felt the pressure of finding housing and opportunities for those seeking a better life in the United States. Despite their initial welcome messages, many mayors are now condemning Republicans for sending freedom seekers to their towns.
Mayor Eric Adams of New York City sent migrants upstate to a hotel in Rockland County to off-set the costs of caring for migrants, which he claims could rise to $4 billion through fiscal year 2024. The county’s mayor said the small town was “not equipped to meet their needs.”
President Biden says the southern border will be “chaotic for a while” and the results “remain to be seen.”
Despite his administration’s lack of preparation, he continues to blame Congress for not doing its job and making changes to the immigration system.
Last week, Biden sent 1,500 troops to the border, who will be all but useless as active-duty troops cannot directly enforce U.S. laws, including immigration laws. Roughly 2,500 National Guard members are already spread across all sectors of the border. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says the troops will do data entry, warehouse support and other administrative tasks to free up Border Patrol agents to perform their critical law enforcement duties.
Maybe we should leave those tasks to the unemployed people in need of work and allow our National Guard to protect our streets from the crime that is sure to surge.
Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor for 19FortyFive.com. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.