Tag Archive for: border

ACLU Unveils Plans To Obstruct Trump’s Immigration Agenda

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Thursday announced an outline of its plans to oppose former President Donald Trump’s immigration agenda if he’s elected in November.

The ACLU plans to use a combination of legal challenges, lobbying and coordination with liberal officials to obstruct Trump’s plans to reduce illegal immigration, which they characterize as both unethical and illegal, according to a memo released by the organization. During Trump’s first term, the ACLU helped to block several of the former president’s moves regarding immigration, such as his attempt to weaken the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

“If given a second term, Donald Trump promises to decimate American communities by targeting immigrants who are already contributing members of society and blocking new immigrants from coming lawfully to the United States,” the memo states. The ACLU goes on to claim that Trump will seek mass deportations, attack birthright citizenship, try to restrict illegal immigrants from accessing public services, separate children from their families and “attack human rights at the border.”

“Litigation will be a critical component” of the ACLU’s planned response to a potential second Trump administration, according to the memo.

If Trump attempted to arrest large numbers of illegal aliens in service of mass deportations, for instance, the ACLU would take the administration to court for violating the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures due to racial profiling. Programs like those proposed by Trump “result in racial profiling, suspicionless interrogations and arrests, unjustified and pretextual traffic stops, and warrantless searches of workplaces and homes—all of which violate the Constitution,” according to the ACLU.

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The ACLU plans to “work with coalition partners” in Congress to leverage the budget process to impede Trump’s deportation plans. Congress acting to limit Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s removal operations budget is one example the ACLU offers for using appropriations to make deporting illegal immigrants more difficult.

The ACLU will also deploy lobbyists to Congress to advocate for limiting where Customs and Border Protection agents can operate.

At the state levelthe ACLU will urge states to deny federal authorities access to law enforcement resources, encourage governors to pardon criminal illegal aliens to prevent them from being deported, lobby state legislatures to allow illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses and ask states to pay the legal fees of illegal immigrants facing deportation.

The ACLU joins a list of groups, including Protect Democracy, the Institution for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University and Democracy Forward in preparing strategies to obstruct a potential second Trump administration. The Biden administration appears concerned about the possibility of a second Trump term, taking measures to protect the jobs of bureaucrats amid the former president’s plans to restructure the administrative state.

Trump’s proposed border actions are relatively popular, with 51% of Americans, including 45% of Latinos, supporting the mass deportation of illegal immigrants, according to an Axios poll released in April. A May poll from Decision Desk HQ/News Nation found that 46% of voters prefer Trump to handle the border, compared to just 26% who think Biden would do a better job.

The presidential race is close, with Trump just half a point ahead of Biden as of Thursday in RealClearPolitics’ polling average. Trump has, in recent months, been leading in polls of battleground states, though some recent polls show Biden beginning to close the gap with Trump in some key states.

The ACLU is also suing Biden over his recent executive order restricting asylum claims at the border, Axios reported.

The ACLU did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

AUTHOR

ROBERT SCHMAD

Contributor.

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Judge Orders Biden Administration to Build the Wall

The Biden administration must spend funds allocated by Congress to build a wall on the southern border, a federal judge ruled Friday. Southern District of Texas Judge Drew Tipton sharply rebuked the Department of Homeland Security for contending that, “notwithstanding the language in the statute,” it had discretion to spend the money however it pleased. “Whether the Executive Branch must adhere to federal laws is not, as a general matter, an area traditionally left to its discretion,” Tipton, a Trump appointee, remarked dryly.

As usual, this lawbreaking by the Executive Branch is traceable back to the nation’s chief executive. On his first day in office, President Joe Biden issued a proclamation declaring that “it shall be the policy of my Administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall.” The proclamation, as Tipton noted, paused all spending on a border wall and directed DHS to devise other ways to spend the allocated funds.

This language was already misleading because the word “divert” means “to turn from one course or use to another.” To quote from the ruling, “In 2020 and 2021, Congress funded roughly $1.4 billion ‘for the construction of [a] barrier system along the southwest border.’” Thus, by halting construction, President Biden was responsible for diverting funds from one purpose to another. The issue was funds being diverted from, not to, border wall construction.

In compliance with Biden’s proclamation, but in defiance of Congress’s allocation restrictions, DHS dreamed up plans to spend most of the money on “smarter border security measures” (a.k.a. technology systems, not a wall), “environmental remediation, flood-control, and cleanup projects.” Under these plans, the DHS would only construct new barriers “in two locations where they are filling gaps in existing walls,” according to the testimony of their own expert.

“The Biden Administration has failed to abide by the law to finish the construction of a wall along the southwest border,” said Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R). “Joe Biden refuses to carry out his constitutionally mandated responsibilities, so we took him to court to force him to do his job.”

In response to the Biden administration’s fantastical interpretation of “construction of [a] barrier system,” the judge threw the dictionary at them. “The definitions of ‘construction’ and ‘barrier’ connote building a physical structure that would serve as a barricade and a line of demarcation,” he wrote, after quoting from Merriam-Webster. “‘System’ accounts for the large scale of the U.S.-Mexico border requiring different kinds of barriers such as walls, fencing, buoys and the like.” Obviously, “this plain meaning does not include the Government’s definition,” Tipton concluded.

Tipton proceeded to analyze surrounding text in the same appropriations law. “Congress broke [the relevant section] down into five distinct subsections” and stipulated that “these funds ‘shall be available only as follows,’” he acknowledged. So, funds allocated in one category couldn’t be diverted to a purpose in another category. The following section of the law gave “currently deployed steel bollard designs” as an example of one type of barrier DHS was authorized to construct with the funds, demonstrating that Congress clearly intended the funds to cover the construction of the actual barrier.

Tipton further reasoned that DHS’s creative plans to reallocate border barrier funds fell into the other subcategories Except for a “generalized catch-all,” each section had “clearly separate and distinct purposes,” with one funding a border barrier, another “border security technologies,” another “facility construction and improvements,” and yet another “integrated operations assets and infrastructure.” These distinct categories described all the other projects DHS had in mind.

The agency’s discretion over spending projects did not extend so far, the judge argued. It would be one thing if the states who challenged the administration’s decision (Texas and Missouri) simply objected to DHS’s decision to pursue or not pursue any particular spending project. Instead, a fundamental part of their argument was that “DHS was specifically obligated to spend the CAA funds to construct border walls, and the decision to not do so … was outside DHS’s discretion and violated the law.”

This distinction was important because, instead of turning the argument into a question of federal authority versus state authority, it became an argument over whether Congress or an executive agency had authority over spending. “The central question in this case, then, is this: Has the Government obligated FY 2020 and FY 2021 funds for the ‘construction of [a] barrier system’?” the judge asked. He answered, “The answer is largely no.”

This is not just the opinion of a single federal judge out in Texas. Tipton quoted from a 1993 Supreme Court opinion, Lincoln v. Vigil, “an agency is not free simply to disregard statutory responsibilities: Congress may always circumscribe agency discretion to allocate resources by putting restrictions in the operative statutes.”

Given this legal slam dunk, the judge issued a preliminary injunction, preventing any parts of the DHS’s plan that did not involve the “construction of physical barriers, such as additional walls, fencing, buoys, etc.” and prohibiting them from obligating the funds in question “toward mitigation and remediation efforts, repair of existing barrier, so-called system attribute installation at existing sites, or other similar purposes.”

During a previous hearing in the Southern District of Texas, a federal judge had dismissed Texas’s border wall lawsuit for a lack of standing, but then the Fifth Circuit reversed that decision and remanded the case in July 2023.

This lawsuit forms part of a legal maelstrom darkening relations between Texas and the Biden administration over its handling of the border. Other lawsuits taking place concurrently involve Texas’s attempt to arrest illegal immigrants, place razor wire along the border, or place buoy barriers in the Rio Grande River.

Given the larger legal context surrounding the southern border, not to mention political controversy making illegal immigration a top issue in the 2024 election, the opinion contained several findings that could be significant beyond the scope of this one ruling. Specifically, the court acknowledged the Biden administration’s border crisis had inflicted real injury on the state of Texas because of the costs the state has incurred in dealing with it.

Beyond that, the court also found “that Texas has demonstrated that its injuries are traceable to DHS’s funding decisions.” Texas submitted the DHS’s own documents to prove to the court that “constructing additional border barriers will reduce illegal entries in areas where those walls are constructed, increase detection rates across the entire border, and generally disincentivize illegal immigration.”

In other words, the Biden administration knew that constructing barriers would at least hinder illegal immigration, yet from January 20, 2021 it has deliberately chosen to pursue a policy of not constructing border barriers. In late January, President Biden told reporters, “I’ve done all I can do” to secure the border. According to this federal court’s findings, DHS’s own documents prove that statement false.

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘A Biden Invasion’: Trump and Biden’s Border Speeches Make ‘An Extraordinary Contrast’

President Donald Trump and Joe Biden offered dueling speeches at the nation’s southern border on Thursday, but geography proved all they had in common. Standing on Texas soil a mere 325 miles apart, their policies came from different political universes. President Trump promised the supportive people and Border Patrol agents of Eagle Pass he would reinstate the policies that undeniably gave the U.S. the most secure border in generations. Meanwhile in Brownsville, Biden and a collection of Democratic politicians sought to shift the blame for our open border to his Republican rivals.

“You’re in a war,” Trump told those gathered at the current epicenter of U.S. illegal immigration, a town where thousands of illegal border crossings take place every week. “This is a Biden invasion over the last three years.”

Biden “has destroyed our country,” said Trump before turning startlingly specific.

“Last year, almost half of all ICE arrests were criminal aliens charged for more than 33,000 assaults, 3,000 robberies, 6,900 burglaries, 7,500 weapons crimes — this is all migrant crime — 4,300 sex crimes, 1,600 kidnappings, and 1,700 homicides and murders.” Tellingly, the legacy media’s numerous “fact-checks” of Trump’s speech found no error in these grim statistics.

President Biden had nothing to offer but political finger-pointing, fastening the blame for his administration’s immigration crisis on Republicans who opposed full-blown amnesty. “On my first day as president,” Biden said, “I introduced a bill I sent to Congress, a comprehensive plan to fix the broken immigration system and to secure the border, but no action was taken.” The bill he sent — the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, introduced by disgraced Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) — would have been the largest amnesty bill in U.S. history. Biden explained his bill would have put nearly all illegal immigrants on “a path to citizenship” or legal status within no more than eight years, spent billions in foreign aid to address supposed “root causes” of migration and expanded the visa lottery system. The American people have consistently rejected another amnesty program for two decades.

Biden then hailed a “bipartisan group of senators” on a new Ukraine funding bill, which he claims contains “the toughest set of border security reforms we’ve ever seen in our country.” In reality, the bill would simply supercharge the velocity at which the torrent of alleged “refugees” would be processed — and released — into the United States.

While Biden blamed the GOP (and, implicitly, the American people) for a crisis of his own making, he said nothing about the concrete actions he took that necessitated his PR stop.

How Joe Biden Destroyed U.S. Border Security

Joe Biden has proposed or enacted a panoply of policies opening America’s border, and enticing throngs of illegal immigrants to cross the U.S. border even before he took office. During the 2020 Democratic primaries, Biden promised illegal immigrants who could reach our soil would receive health care funded by the U.S. taxpayer. He campaigned on giving illegal immigrants amnesty. He even demanded a border “surge.”

“I would in fact make sure that we immediately surge to the border all those people who are seeking asylum,” said Biden at a Democratic primary debate. “You should come.” In a rare fulfilled political promise, throngs of illegals immediately arrived in Biden campaign t-shirts emblazoned with the message, “Biden please let us in.”

Candidate Biden vowed, “There will not be another foot of wall constructed” during his presidency. President Biden instantly halted construction and welded its gates open, only to modestly reverse himself last October. In the meantime, Biden forced U.S. taxpayers to pay at least $47 million — $130,000 a day — to store the unused parts of the border wall, which he proceeded to auction off for pennies on the dollar.

Biden signed 17 executive orders on his first day in office with a keen eye to opening the U.S. border. He reinstated catch-and-release. Most consequentially, Biden ended Trump’s successful Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), conventionally known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy on June 1, 2021. He then suspended Title 42, a Trump-era policy that allows rapid removal of illegal immigrants on the grounds of the COVID-19 pandemic at the same time he claimed the pandemic was still ravaging the U.S.

Biden effectively ended deportations, even of criminal aliens. In the entire Biden administration through last March, Biden deported less than 6,000 of the more than two million illegal aliens released onto U.S. streets, or just over zero percent, according to the House Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement. He further gutted protections last April, reducing the number of questions border enforcement officers may ask illegal immigrants, from 40 to five.

Biden proceeded to order federal agents to cut through barbed wire keeping illegal immigrants out of the southern border and literally sued the state of Texas to stop Governor Greg Abbott (R) from doing President Biden’s job.

The disastrous results of Biden’s policies are clear.

How Americans Are Paying for Biden’s Border Disaster

A record-breaking numbers of illegal immigrants have crossed the U.S. borders (northern and southern) every year of his presidency — each year worse than the last. U.S. Customs and Border Protection recorded:

  • 1,956,519 illegal border crossings in fiscal year 2021.
  • 2,766,582 in FY 2022.
  • 3,201,144 in FY 2023.
  • 1,231,213 since last October 1.

When Border Patrol agents add in “gotaways,” they safely estimate a total of 10 million illegal border crossings during the Biden administration — more than the population of 41 states. That ignores the fact that Yale University researchers estimated the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. at 16 to 29 millionbefore Biden took office.

These illegal immigrants were drawn like a magnet by Biden’s offers of taxpayer-subsidized benefits and U.S. citizenship for themselves or their “dreamer” children. “We weren’t promising free education, free medical, free everything,” said Trump on Thursday. “All the promises that are made, no wonder they come.” Even if Kamala Harris halfheartedly mouths the words, “Do not come,” the Biden-Harris administration has already laid out an enticing welfare welcome mat.

Illegal immigrants now hail from “every single country in the world.” Agents report a 5,000% increase in the number of illegal aliens entering the U.S. from China over a three-year period.

Biden’s border surge includes a small-but-significant number: Border Patrol agents have encountered 1,557 people on the U.S. terror watchlist (technically, the Terrorist Screening Dataset, or TSDS) since fiscal year 2021. The 59 suspected terrorists caught this fiscal year exceeds the total number than during the entire Trump administration. The number of terror-tied illegal immigrants intercepted during the Biden administration is 10 times higher than the number that used to give Obama-Biden terror official Tim Healy “sleepless nights.”

When illegal border-crossers do not commit acts of terrorism, their crime sprees prove just as deadly to native-born Americans. In just the last few days, the category of offenses Trump deemed “Biden migrant crimes” include:

  • Georgia nursing student Laken Riley, a nursing student whose skull was bashed in by an illegal immigrant.
  • An 11-year-old girl raped and murdered in Pasadena, Texas.
  • two-year-old boy killed in cold blood in Maryland;
  • Three police officers in Washington, D.C., shot by an illegal immigrant from Jamaica.

“Joe Biden will never say Laken Riley’s name. We will say it, and we will remember it,” said Trump on Thursday. Add the fact that the Biden administration admits it has simply lost 85,000 children, possibly to abusers or traffickers, and it is hardly surprising Trump said, “The blood of countless innocent victims” is on Biden’s hands.

Biden’s border policies cost Americans their blood and treasure. Illegal immigrants posed a net cost of $150.7 billion to U.S. taxpayers in 2023 alone, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Leaving aside all other social costs, Biden spent as much money resettling purported “refugees” in his first two years in office as it would have cost to finish the border wall (approximately $20 billion). Biden chose insecurity, murder, and chaos over American lives.

While Biden’s border policies literally and figuratively bleed Americans, they have “generated historic profit margins” for the drug-and-human-smuggling cartels. The cartels that control the border earn $32 million a week smuggling illegals across the Del Rio sector of the border alone, the House Judiciary Committee revealed last month. The drug cartels to which Biden ceded authority over the border are now so deeply mired in human trafficking that it has “become central to their business model,” according to a report from the House Committee on Homeland Security.

No wonder the president of the Border Patrol union, National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd, said Thursday, “Border Patrol agents are upset that we cannot get the proper policy that is necessary to protect human life, to protect American citizens, to protect the people that are crossing the border illegally. We want to protect them, as well. And we can’t do that, because President Biden’s policies continue to invite people to cross here.” (Emphasis added.)

Surveying the two speeches, Governor Abbott declared, “Today is a day of an extraordinary contrast.” Biden made “an obligatory visit” to “some sanitized location in the Brownsville” area, because “Biden does not care about Texas or the border.”

Abbott recited a litany of actions he has taken — from declaring a border invasion, to erecting barbed wire fencing and orange buoys, to busing illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities, to calling in the Texas National Guard and appointing his own border czar.

In Thursday’s speeches, President Donald Trump hailed Abbott as he promised to return to the sanity of defending America’s borders, values, and laws. Meanwhile, Joe Biden dodged accountability and promoted policies that would worsen the problem.

AUTHOR

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Hundreds Of Illegal Migrants Released On The Side Of The Road After Aid Money Runs Out

Hundreds of migrants were dropped off on the side of the road in San Diego, California, on Friday after funding for a reception center ran dry, according to The Associated Press.

Border Patrol buses dropped off hundreds of migrants from places like China, Kazakhstan, Ecuador and Rwanda, among other countries, at a San Diego bus stop instead of a county-funded reception center that closed down Thursday after running out of funds, the AP reported. The reception center was run by SBCS, a local nonprofit formerly known as South Bay Community Services, which San Diego County gave $6 million to provide migrants with food, phone charging stations and travel advice, alongside other services.

San Diego, like other major cities, is facing strain amid the country’s ongoing migrant crisis.

The city saw a daily average of 800 illegal-crossing-related arrests in January, including an average of over 100 Chinese migrants a day, according to AP.

SBCS served 81,000 migrants in the county since Oct. 11, the group said, according to the AP. With SBCS’ reception center now closed, Border Patrol said to expect roughly 350 migrants to be released on the streets Friday.

Nora Vargas, chair of the San Diego County board of supervisors, defended the performance of the migrant reception center, which was supposed to stay open until March.

“Nobody is perfect, especially when you’re trying to fill a gap from the federal government,” Vargas said. She recently petitioned the Biden administration for increased support, according to AP.

Vargas isn’t the only official seeking increased federal support as large cities struggle to cope with the influx of migrants. The mayors of New York City and Chicago have asked the Biden administration for financial resources to aid them in handling the migrant crisis.

The San Diego mayor’s office and SBCS did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

AUTHOR

ROBERT SCHMAD

Contributor.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Mayorkas Impeachment Effort Progresses as Urgency at Border Intensifies

On Wednesday, the House Homeland Security Committee approved two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for violating 12 immigration and border security laws. The move comes as traditional defenders of the Biden administration in the legacy media are now admitting that a “humanitarian crisis” is currently occurring at America’s southern border.

The articles of impeachment accuse Mayorkas of refusing to enforce multiple elements of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which requires that all illegal immigrants seeking admission be detained until they are granted asylum or parole. The articles note that Mayorkas instead “implemented a catch and release scheme … without effective mechanisms to ensure” that the migrants appear before the immigration court to determine if they can be lawfully admitted. The DHS secretary was also accused of making false statements to Congress when he claimed that “the border is secure” and that DHS had maintained “operational control” of the border.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) stated that Mayorkas “refused to comply with the laws” and “has breached public trust,” commenting that he was “proud” to advance the articles. The Mayorkas impeachment now moves to a full House vote, with House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) declaring last week that the articles will be voted on “as soon as possible.”

The potential impeachment comes as the outlook on a Senate funding bill that would include provisions to tighten border security remains uncertain. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden claimed that he needs Congress to pass the bill in order for him to have the “power” to regain border control. But border and immigration experts say that Biden already has the power to regain control of the border through executive order by reinstating the Remain in Mexico policy, among other actions.

On Wednesday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) contended that the Mayorkas impeachment articles were justified. “First of all, he committed a felony,” he observed. “He perjured himself in testimony before Congress multiple times. And I think he’s also failed to uphold his responsibilities, his sworn duty to faithfully enforce the laws of the nation.”

Palmer went on to detail what he saw during a recent visit to the southern border.

“I’ve been to the border multiple times, and literally my last trip, when 64 Republicans went down to the border in the first week of January, I broke away from the main group because I knew that the Border Patrol agents and local law enforcement would talk to me individually and say things that they wouldn’t say to the group while I was standing there,” he explained. “… As soon as [I] got to the riverbank, there [was] a group of men [that] came out from under the riverbank, waded across this little canal, and came up the bank right where I was standing. … They’re all young adult males from Venezuela and Honduras. For Mayorkas to say to the American people, much less to Congress under oath, with the threat of perjury, that the border secure, is…” Palmer shook his head.

He further described what happens when an individual presents themselves at the border.

“[The Biden administration has] thrown open the door. [Migrants] … turn themselves in to the Border Patrol. They’re processed, they’re given health care checkups, given cell phones. They’ll transport them wherever they want to go. Think about the 1.7 [million] gotaways. … [T]hat’s the thing that should frighten every American. We know we’ve interdicted 312 known or suspected terrorists on the terrorist watch list, but we have no idea who came across in that 1.7 million gotaways.”

Palmer concluded by urging believers to pray and vote for an expanded GOP majority in Congress and a Republican president in order to secure the border. “That’s another thing that people can put on their prayer list is we need to hold the majority. We need to expand our majority. Get the Senate. Get a Republican in the White House. And for God to give us one more chance to get the country back on the right track.”

AUTHOR

Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Most Justified Impeachment in American History

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘Every Tool and Strategy’: GOP Governors, Trump Call for Border Security — with or without Biden

A coalition of Republican governors is backing Texas against the Biden administration as the Lone Star State is securing the southern border. Twenty-five governors signed a joint statement issued late Thursday, supporting Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s (R) declaration of an “invasion” and invocation of constitutional articles to enable Texas’s self-defense at the border.

“President Biden and his Administration have left Americans and our country completely vulnerable to unprecedented illegal immigration pouring across the Southern border,” the governors wrote. “Instead of upholding the rule of law and securing the border, the Biden Administration has attacked and sued Texas for stepping up to protect American citizens from historic levels of illegal immigrants, deadly drugs like fentanyl, and terrorists entering our country.”

“We stand in solidarity with our fellow Governor, Greg Abbott, and the State of Texas in utilizing every tool and strategy, including razor wire fences, to secure the border,” they continued. “We do it in part because the Biden Administration is refusing to enforce immigration laws already on the books and is illegally allowing mass parole across America of migrants who entered our country illegally.” The governors concluded, “Because the Biden Administration has abdicated its constitutional compact duties to the states, Texas has every legal justification to protect the sovereignty of our states and our nation.”

The letter was signed by governors Kay Ivey (Ala.), Mike Dunleavy (Alaska), Sarah Sanders (Ark.), Ron DeSantis (Fla.), Brian Kemp (Ga.), Brad Little (Idaho), Eric Holcomb (Ind.), Kim Reynolds (Iowa), Jeff Landry (La.), Tate Reeves (Miss.), Mike Parson (Mo.), Greg Gianforte (Mont.), Jim Pillen (Neb.), Joe Lombardo (Nev.), Chris Sununu (N.H.), Doug Burgum (N.D.), Mike DeWine (Ohio), Kevin Stitt (Okla.), Henry McMaster (S.C.), Kristi Noem (S.D.), Bill Lee (Tenn.), Spencer Cox (Utah), Glenn Youngkin (Va.), Jim Justice (W.Va.), and Mark Gordon (Wyo.). Vermont’s Phil Scott was the only Republican governor in the nation who did not sign the letter.

The letter follows an escalating standoff between Texas and the Biden administration over the nation’s wide-open southern border. After Texas began erecting barriers at the border to deter the increasing influx of illegal immigrants, the Biden Department of Justice sued the Lone Star State, and federal Border Patrol agents began removing the razor wire that Texas had set up. After the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a preliminary injunction to bar Border Patrol from removing or dismantling Texas’s razor wire, Biden’s Solicitor General asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene. In a 5-4 decision, the Court vacated the injunction. Almost immediately, Abbott declared that the “federal government has broken the compact between the United States and the States,” since the Biden administration has not only refused to enforce border security and immigration law but actively undermined and worked against both.

On Wednesday night’s episode of “Washington Watch,” former White House and Justice Department attorney Ken Klukowski explained, “Under our Constitution, we have two separate sovereignties: you have the federal government and state governments; they are co-equal sovereigns; one doesn’t override the other.” He continued, “The Constitution assigns to each one their own specific responsibilities. And in this case, both levels — federal and state — have powers that that level of government can use that has the effect of securing the border and protecting people and property within each state.” He added, “There are those saying, ‘Oh, Texas is defying the Supreme Court.’ No, they’re not. Right now, Border Patrol agents are free to [cut] the fence, and Texas personnel are free to be setting it back up. … They can continue to try and secure the border, ironically, doing the Border Patrol’s job.”

Republican governors aren’t the only ones backing Abbott. Former President Donald Trump is also supporting Texas and calling on other states to send their National Guards to the border to help. “Joe Biden has surrendered our Border, and is aiding and abetting a massive Invasion of millions of Illegal Migrants into the United States,” Trump posted on Truth Social. “Instead of fighting to protect our Country from this onslaught, Biden is, unbelievably, fighting to tie the hands of Governor Abbott and the State of Texas, so that the Invasion continues unchecked.”

He continued to say, “We encourage all willing States to deploy their guards to Texas to prevent the entry of illegals, and to remove them back across the border.” He also pledged, if elected president again, mass deportations of the over six million illegal immigrants Biden has allowed into the country, quipping, “Those Biden has let in should not get comfortable because they will be going home.”

Last year, over 14 governors deployed National Guardsmen and law enforcement personnel to Texas to assist with Operation Lone Star, Abbott’s effort to secure the border in Biden’s absence. Since the Texas governor issued his “invasion” declaration on Tuesday, other states have also mobilized their national guards.

AUTHOR

S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘We Want People to Come Here Legally’: Texas’s Border Stand Promotes Migrants’ Safety, Experts Say

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Greg Abbott Signs Bill Allowing Texas Cops To Arrest Illegal Aliens

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas signed legislation Monday allowing local law enforcement officers to arrest illegal aliens.

Abbott’s signature on the legislation, known as SB4, means it will enter into law in March 2024, CBS News reported. The legislation makes illegal entry into Texas a state misdemeanor, CBS reported, with those convicted under the law facing a fine of up to $2,000 or 180 days in jail.

Repeat offenders could face a felony charge and up to 20 years in jail.

“The goal of Senate Bill 4 is to stop the tidal wave of illegal entry into Texas,” Abbott said as he signed the bill in the border city of Brownsville, according to CBS.

Opponents of the measure claim it is unconstitutional and have criticized the Biden administration for not opposing Texas’ efforts more strongly, according to The Associated Press.

The Border Patrol shut down two bridges on the Texas border to combat the entry of illegal aliens on rail cars hours before Abbott signed the legislation, according to the San Antonio News-Express.

Over 188,000 illegal immigrants have been encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border during fiscal year 2024, according to data released by United States Customs and Border Protection, following 2,045,838 encounters in fiscal year 2023, 2,206,436 in fiscal year 2022 and 1,659,206 in fiscal year 2021. A CBP official told the Washington Examiner that there were at least one million “gotaways,” people who evaded Border Patrol, in fiscal year 2023.

AUTHOR

HAROLD HUTCHISON

Reporter.

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘Clear And Present Danger’: Ron Johnson Rips Biden For Lax Security Amid Discovery Of IEDs At Border

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VIDEO: Former U.S. Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott: ‘Border Security NEVER Worse Than TODAY!

Rodney Scott served as the 24th Chief of the United States Border Patrol from 2020 until 2021.

Watch Former U.S. Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott on Judicial Watch with Chris Farrell.

Please follow Rodney Scott on X.

AUTHOR

Chris Farrell

Director of Investigations.

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As Border Crisis Surges, Biden Auctions Off Border Wall Building Materials

On the afternoon of Friday, August 18, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) quietly released the latest U.S. southern border numbers, which indicate that the number of migrant apprehensions surged 33% in July over the previous month of June. At the same time, reports surfaced Sunday that the Biden administration is auctioning off unused border wall materials as a result of President Biden halting the wall’s construction on his first day in office in January 2021.

The Border Patrol reported capturing over 132,000 individuals trying to cross the border in July, with officials saying the volume of families with young children is seeing a significant rise over previous months. The number of children encountered at the border almost doubled in July from the previous month, with over 60,000 reported.

During testimony before Congress in July, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas claimed that “unlawful entries … have consistently decreased” along the southern border. However, Mayorkas was likely referring to the fact that his department allows foreign nationals to “schedule” their arrival at a port of entry through a mobile app called CBP One, which then allows them to be released into the U.S. without acquiring a visa or other entry permit. Breitbart reported Sunday that almost 200,000 migrants have been released into the U.S. since the beginning of the year by DHS simply by using the CBP One app.

All told, since President Biden took office, there have been 5.5 million illegal migrant encounters at the southern border. Of these, the Biden administration has released 2.1 million migrants into the U.S. Additionally, approximately 1.5 million illegal migrants have entered the U.S. after successfully evading the Border Patrol. Statistics show that border encounters are happening at a rate that is three times higher under Biden than under the Trump administration.

Meanwhile, Fox News reported on Sunday that the Biden administration is currently auctioning off border wall materials that have been sitting unused since Biden ordered a halt to the construction of the wall on his first day in office. Steel beams that were intended to support 30-foot-tall panels are being listed for sale on GovPlanet, a military surplus online auction site. So far, about $154 million worth of border wall materials have been offloaded for sale by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Former President Trump had originally spent about $15 billion to construct 450 miles of barriers along the southern border. About 250 miles of the wall were under construction at the time that he left office.

As a result of Biden halting construction of the border wall, states like Arizona have resorted to using old shipping containers to patch up gaps in the wall. A later investigation found that the Department of Defense was spending $47 million per year to store unused building materials in southwestern states along the border.

Ken Blackwell, former mayor of Cincinnati and undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was candid in his assessment of the Biden administration’s border policies.

“The Biden administration are champion supporters of a number of things, [among which is] this false notion that you can have a nation without borders,” he told The Washington Stand. “We’ve seen not only an increase in border crossings, we’ve seen an increase in ‘gotaways,’ we’ve seen a marked increase … in the number of military age Chinese [nationals] coming into the country. Our chief adversaries are laughing at this clown car called the Biden administration.”

Blackwell continued, “What we see is an administration that is keen on expanding the welfare state, denigrating citizenship, and creating [an increase in] not only the numbers of folks who are wards of the state, but folks who are hooked on the largesse of the federal government. [W]hat [the Biden administration is] doing is expanding the voter pool for supporting the expansion of the welfare state, which is controlled by the elite of the administrative state.”

Blackwell, who currently serves as senior fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at Family Research Council, called for an accounting of the actions of top Biden administration officials.

“The solution to the border crisis has to be that we begin to hold some folks responsible,” he underscored. “I would start with impeachment proceedings for Homeland Security Secretary [Mayorkas]. Because if you turn a blind eye or award bad behavior, all you’re going to get is more bad behavior. Right now, there are key players within the Biden administration, whether it’s the head of Homeland Security or the Attorney General — they think they are immune to punitive action.”
AUTHOR

Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: Border Patrol just uncovered a terrifying reality at the border

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Mike Lawler’s New Bill Would Impose Attempted Murder Charges On Fentanyl Traffickers

Republican Rep. Mike Lawler of New York will introduce a bill to make fentanyl trafficking an offense of attempted murder under federal law, according to a copy of the bill obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Concern about the proliferation of fentanyl, a highly lethal synthetic opioid that is widely used across the United States, has prompted bipartisan calls in Congress to crack down on fentanyl trafficking, much of which occurs across the U.S. border with Mexico. Lawler’s bill, known as the Fentanyl Kills Act, would enable federal prosecutors to charge drug traffickers who “produce, manufacture, distribute, sell, or knowingly finance or transport” with attempted murder charges, according to the bill’s text.

“Any individual who has [been] found to [have] trafficked fentanyl shall be deemed to have attempted to perpetrate murder,” the bill reads.

Text of the Fentanyl Kills Act by Daily Caller News Foundation on Scribd

Lawler’s co-sponsors for the bill are Republican Reps. David Valadao of California and Jim Baird of Indiana.

The bill goes on to define “trafficked fentanyl” expansively — including any efforts to manufacture fentanyl outside the United States that is intended for transportation to the United States. It also expands the penalty of attempted murder charges to the manufacturing of precursor chemicals that are used to produce fentanyl.

“The fentanyl crisis that is gripping our country and local communities is a serious problem, and requires serious consequences for those who peddle this dangerous drug,” said Lawler in a statement to the DCNF. “The Fentanyl Kills Act takes drug traffickers head-on, imposing serious penalties for these criminals who know exactly what they are doing.”

Fentanyl is the most lethal drug in the United States and is responsible for approximately two-thirds of all 107,081 overdose deaths nationwide in 2022, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is “100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

A fatal dose of fentanyl may be as little as 2 milligrams, per the DEA. Drug dealers who sell other drugs often mix fentanyl with their products to increase their potency and fuel drug addictions by customers.

Because of its lethality, several groups have mounted efforts to make fentanyl trafficking an offense of homicide, such as Drug-Induced Homicide, a California-based organization that campaigns for “Alexandra’s Law” to enable repeat fentanyl offenders to be charged with homicide.

Left-wing groups have often opposed strengthening criminal penalties on drug traffickers and argued that such measures will disproportionately hurt racial minorities.

“Seventy-five percent of those sentenced in fentanyl cases are people of color, which means Black and brown communities are going to lose the most,” an ACLU representative wrote after Congress passed a bill to make fentanyl a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

Lawler’s bill would require Democratic votes to pass the Senate.

AUTHOR

ARJUN SINGH

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLE: Biden Admin Weighing Lifting Of China Sanctions To Broker Fentanyl Deal

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Democrat Asks Biden to Send Illegal Immigrants to Every Town in America

Republicans and one of the nation’s most prominent Democrats agree on one issue: America’s open border with Mexico has created a humanitarian crisis that has stretched multiple cities’ resources to the breaking point. Yet while Republicans focus on increased border security, at least one Democrat wants the Biden administration to adopt a comprehensive plan to settle illegal immigrants in every city, town, and village in the United States.

Historically unprecedented levels of illegal immigration since Joe Biden took office have created a humanitarian crisis for the most vulnerable people. Administration officials admitted last month that they had lost track of 85,000 children, roughly one of every three children who entered the U.S. illegally. “It horrifies me to think of the conditions that they possibly have been thrust into, sold into and have been distributed” into sex slavery, Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), a member of the House Border Security Caucus, told “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” on Monday.

“That is not humane. That is not compassionate.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) has said the uncontrolled border has drained the Big Apple’s finances to the core. Adams anticipates the sanctuary city will spend $1.4 billion on illegal immigrants this fiscal year. When asked, Adams expressed no gratitude for $30 million in federal funding provided by the Biden administration. “When you look at the price tag, $30 million comes nowhere near what the city is paying for a national problem,” Adams told “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

The city’s shelters and hotels became so overfilled that Adams began placing illegal immigrants in seven NYC public school gyms — while students were in the classrooms.

It is “unfair to the city of New York and [other] cities to carry the burden of a national problem,” Adams said — leaving critics to charge him with hypocrisy.

“For the past two years, Texas has been Ground Zero for the unprecedented surge of illegal immigration unleashed by the Biden administration that has strained resources in border communities to the breaking point,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “Even with the efforts of Gov. Greg Abbott to move migrants away from the border, Texas is getting slammed to the tune of $13.4 billion for costs associated with illegal immigration.” Florida, led by Governor Ron DeSantis (R), pays more than $8 billion annually on programs for illegal immigrants or their children, according to a recent FAIR report that calculated the cost imposed on states.

Americans nationwide bear an ever-mounting cost for the uncontrolled border. “It’s costing [U.S.] taxpayers $150 billion a year,” said Rosendale. “Now, the cities that are starting to have this same economic impact pushed upon them are starting to recognize, yes, there is a problem.”

Adams has called on Biden to make the problem the nation’s problem by evenly distributing illegal immigrants nationwide.

“We have 108,000 cities, villages, towns. If everyone takes a small portion of that, and if it’s coordinated at the border to ensure that those who are coming here to this country in a lawful manner is actually moved throughout the entire country, it is not a burden on one city,” said Adams.

The mayor has tried to implement the process by sending illegal immigrants who arrive in his city to other locations statewide, and even to Canada. New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) has been “a real partner” in helping Adams “find space throughout the state,” he said. “We believe the entire state should participate in a decompression strategy.”

Others were less pleased. Canadian MP Christine Fréchette learned of Adams’ “surprising” decision to bus illegal immigrants to the Canadian border in February. A month later, President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hammered out an agreement for Canada to allow 15,000 asylum-seekers to enter from the United States.

Aside from the economist cost, “the people of my city, are watching this city being transformed … the same people I protected for 22 years as a police officer,” Adams said. Illegal immigration has transformed North America, with Canada admitting three migrants for every birth and the U.S. adding three migrants for every four native American births in 2022.

All parties agree the size and scope of illegal border crossings is without parallel in U.S. history. There have been 5,429,144 illegal border encounters since February 2021, the first full month of the Biden-Harris administration, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). That number does not include nearly one million (989,155) gotaways, who successfully eluded Border Patrol, according to an inspector general report on how “Intensifying Conditions at the Southwest Border Are Negatively Impacting CBP and ICE Employees’ Health and Morale.” The number of total encounters at the southern border has increased 245% and gotaways increased 303% since the fiscal year 2019, the IG report found.

Altogether, border encounters and gotaways under the Biden-Harris administration totaled 6,418,299 — more than the population of the state of Missouri. Adams may have a population deficit to make up; nearly half-a-million people (468,200) moved out of New York City between April 2020 and last July — 5.3% of the city’s total population, according to U.S. Census data released last Thursday.

Adams blamed the crisis on the GOP, alleging that “Republicans have blocked comprehensive immigration reform,” by which he meant partial or full amnesty granting U.S. citizenship. Yet previous spikes in illegal immigration in 1986 and 2000 coincided with fulfilled or anticipated amnesty plans.

New York City has long touted its status as a sanctuary city. Mayor Ed Koch (D), whom The New York Times revealed as a “closeted gay man,” established New York City as a sanctuary city through Executive Order 124 on August 7, 1989. Subsequent mayors Michael Bloomberg (a Republican-turned-independent) and Bill DeBlasio (D) liberalized the categories of illegal immigrants whom the city would not turn over to the federal government for deportation.

Adams personally greeted a busload of illegal immigrants sent by Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) last August. Adams proposed sending illegal immigrants to community college at taxpayer expense — in Sullivan County, more than 100 miles north — and he supported a city council measure allowing illegal immigrants to vote in citywide elections. The voting law was struck down by the New York Supreme Court of Richmond County last June.

Citizens in other parts of New York state have indicated they want nothing to do with Adams’ plan to relocate his illegal population. Suffolk County hired a lawyer to prevent Adams from sending illegal immigrants to their area.

Adams also reversed himself on gyms after parents expressed concerns about their children roaming the halls with unvetted adults.

But parents and communities will not receive relief until the president gets serious about border security, said Rosendale.

“We know what to do,” he said. Washington must start “completing the border wall security system — the sensing devices, the cameras, the lighting, the road that would parallel the wall. That would be a huge, huge help.”

D.C. must also reform the oft-abused asylum process, he said. “We know that by implementing the stricter standards on asylum and making sure that people really do have a threat to their lives,” rather than merely coming as economic migrants. “That’s why they’re fleeing, and they’re only coming across one border in order to gain that asylum status.”

They must also reinstate President Donald Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) policies. “While they had to wait in Mexico,” 75% of alleged asylum-seekers “went back to their country of origin,” casting serious doubt on their stories that they feared for their lives.

These policies can again “slow down the flow of people that are fleeing, trying to get into our country dramatically.”

AUTHOR

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

RELATED VIDEO: ANYWHERE BUT HERE: Adams Says No More Migrants in NYC, Says Spread Them All Over Country

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

As Dems Ignore the Border, Cries of ‘Do Something’ Grow

Maybe President Joe Biden isn’t the only one with cognitive deficits. At a fundraising event in Atlanta Friday, his “border czar,” Vice President Kamala Harris, insisted that everything on the border is “going rather smoothly” — an absurd assessment for a country that just watched more migrants cross the border last week than fits in Dallas’s AT&T Stadium (83,000). While our country is overrun by terror suspects and drug smugglers, the crisis earned barely a shrug from the two leaders, who spent their weekends either lounging by the beach or raising money for the party defending this lawlessness.

Since Biden’s czar has obviously lost touch with the situation, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) decided to send a special Lone Star wake-up call. To remind Harris what border states are facing, he bussed dozens more migrants to the vice president’s residence and let them loose. As for other area accommodations, a local ABC station says that the D.C. hotels and shelters housing illegal immigrants are already at capacity. “There will be more coming,” Abbott warned leftist leaders, floating more drop-offs in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

“Pray that our country will survive” was all that Rev. Franklin Graham could say.

Meanwhile, the tsunami of migrants — which included an Afghan on the America’s terror watch list — is not a catastrophe, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas argued on CNN Sunday. “I would disagree [that we have fallen short],” the beleaguered Biden official said. “We have surged resources, asylum officers, Border Patrol agents, processing coordinators to do the data entry work so our Border Patrol agents can be out in the field. We’ve expanded our holding capacity in Border Patrol stations. … We’re setting up regional processing centers now. It’s extraordinary what we’ve done over the past 18 months or so.”

“Extraordinary,” yes. An extraordinary failure. Even NBC’s Savannah Guthrie didn’t hold back with Mayorkas, demanding to know why, after they’ve had “two years to prepare for this,” there’s so much “chaos and confusion” at the border. Like Biden, the secretary blames Congress. “We are operating with the constraints of a broken immigration system.”

A system, Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) points out, that House Republicans have tried to fix — as recently as last week. This “absolutely” could have been avoided, he told “Washington Watch” guest host Jody Hice. “And what you’re seeing now is the actual policies that would keep this from taking place — the [ones] that were initiated under the Trump administration — we saw that tide of humanity slowed to a little trickle. It was policies, not money, being thrown at the border,” he explained.

“… The Remain in Mexico Policy, which I tried to get into statute two years ago and introduced a bill to do just that, says, ‘Okay, if you come to the American border and you’re going to claim asylum status, you can make that claim, but you’re not released into the United States until you await your hearing date to find out if you’re eligible. You wait in Mexico until that hearing date.’ And just by that one simple thing alone, we were able to have 75% of the people who claimed asylum status returned to their country of origin.” Solutions like that were “contained in H.R. 2 … [which the House passed Thursday]. It’s going to the Senate. And now we’re going to find out how many people are truly interested in securing the United States’s sovereignty.”

Biden, of course, is just fine with the status quo. As he said to reporters during his bike ride, throwing open the doors to America has gone “much better than you all expected.” That’s because, Rosendale pointed out, this has been the Democrats’ goal all along. They want the country to be to be invaded by foreigners who are dependent on the government and the party who let them in.

“If you go back in time and you play the quote from Secretary Mayorkas from two years ago, he said at that time, ‘We have a plan. Please allow us to carry our plan out.’ And he has, [because] his plan has been to allow as many people into our country illegally as he possibly can under this administration. … He has absolutely no intention of trying to even slow down the flow of humanity that’s coming into our country. And it’s really unfortunate, because there is a lot of suffering that is taking place [with] all of those people.”

He, like former Congressman Hice, has visited the border multiple times and witnessed the turmoil up close. “They’ve got — what is it — I think up to 85,000 children now [who] are unaccounted for that have been released into the country. Where are they located? Where have they been sent? What kind of conditions are they living in? Have they been sold into slavery? There are so many terrible things that are happening to people that are coming up into this country.”

And the expense to taxpaying Americans is astronomical. The preferential treatment Biden is giving illegal immigrants — over our own veterans, who are being booted out of shelters to house them — comes with a massive price tag. “I’ve heard estimates as much as $150 billion a year in order for us to house, Medicaid, and educate all of the illegals that are coming in.” And because of their status, Rosendale points out, “they’re not allowed to work legally. So that means they become dependent upon our entire system. So we are creating a permanent underclass. And this is not humane. And the way that these folks are treated on the way traveling here is not humane.”

As for the surge being a non-event, Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) could only shake his head at the Democrats’ apathy. “Remember,” he told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on Monday’s “Washington Watch,” “President Obama declared it a humanitarian crisis when we were apprehending about 2,000 people a day. … It’s been averaging over 8,000 people a day. … [T]his is an enormous disaster that has been caused by the Biden administration. We [had] pretty well gotten the border under control [under Trump]. We shut down the flow of unaccompanied children, of family units abusing our asylum laws. But Biden blew that open. This is completely his fault. This is his crisis.”

AUTHOR

Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘States Have No Choice’: Officials Grapple with Border Surge amid Listless Federal Response

On Friday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas claimed on “NBC Nightly News” that “the border is secure.” The statement comes as the number of apprehensions at the U.S.’s southern border has spiked to record highs, with an additional surge expected in the coming days when Title 42 expires. In response, border state officials say they are preparing to take immigration enforcement into their own hands due to a lack of effort from the federal government.

On Sunday, reports surfaced that migrant apprehensions had reached 9,000 per day, significantly up from the previous high during Joe Biden’s presidency of 7,200 per day and “the second-highest month in Border Patrol history.” Indications are that the surge will only increase in the coming days due to the expiration of Title 42, which is set to end on May 11. Title 42 is a pandemic-era policy that allowed border officials to quickly expel migrants. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill from both sides of the aisle are expressing frustration over what they say is a lack of preparation for the expected surge on the part of the White House.

“[W]e need the Biden administration to act, and to act fast,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.). “I’ve heard directly from leaders in our border communities … [who] are simply unequipped to handle the surge of migrants that are expected when Title 42 ends.” Senator Krysten Sinema (I-Ariz.) was equally concerned about the Biden administration’s actions, or lack thereof. “Just today [Sunday], I was on the phone with a sheriff of Cochise County. He has gotten no information from the Department of Homeland Security or the federal government about what the flow is going to look like, about what they can expect for processing in terms of how long it takes to process migrants. He’s got no information.”

In response to the Biden administration announcing that 1,500 active-duty troops would be deployed to the border to “serve in administrative roles and not perform any law enforcement function,” Sinema was blunt. “It is a border of over 2,000 miles … so 1,500 troops isn’t gonna get the job done. That’s just the reality.”

The concerns come as a new report reveals that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are “overwhelmed, overworked and frustrated” and “stretched to their breaking points,” with almost 90% of employees in both agencies saying they do not have enough staff to handle an additional migrant surge. The report noted that despite “increasing border encounters and travel volume … staffing levels have remained the same, with CBP and ICE using details and overtime to temporarily fill staffing gaps along the Southwest border.”

As a result, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) announced Monday that a new “Texas Tactical Border Force” made up of 545 specially trained Texas National Guard troops will be deployed at “hotspots along the border to intercept, to repel and to turn back migrants who are trying to enter Texas illegally.” The governor said that the troops will be used to strengthen Operation Lone Star, which has already repelled 37,000 individuals attempting to cross the border illegally, arrested 27,000 criminals, including “cartel gang members” wanted for crimes including murder, and seized “enough fentanyl that would have been enough to kill every man, woman, and child in the United States.”

On Friday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” Rep. Nathaniel Moran (R-Texas) further emphasized the need for border states like Texas to assume responsibility for protecting the border.

“[H]ere in Texas, for the past couple of years, there’s been lots of talk about do we actually look at the U.S. Constitution and say, ‘Is this an invasion?’” he noted. “Luckily, Governor Abbott in the last year declared this is, in fact, an invasion across our borders. … The Constitution makes clear that it should be a federal operation for us to secure our borders. But when the federal government is unwilling to do so, states have no choice.”

“States like Arizona and Texas are the ones that are leading the way,” Moran concluded. “But I can tell you here in Texas … we recognize that there is a need to fill the gap where the federal government has failed over and over again.”

AUTHOR

Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Biden’s Border Chaos Fuels Child Trafficking

What is happening along our international borders today is not just about illegal immigration or drug smuggling. It’s also about the rapid increase in human trafficking and modern-day slavery, which is flourishing with the chaos that open borders facilitate.

With a record number of unaccompanied minors crossing into the U.S., it has become increasingly difficult to ensure they are leaving government care and going into safe, financially secure situations with people who will care for them. This disorder sets the stage for unaccountability and abuse of the system.

It is not uncommon that when Border Patrol agents and law enforcement officers come across unaccompanied minors, they find them with a phone number and name attached to them. Most times, the minor does not know and has never met the person that they are supposed to be handed over to. Recent investigations are revealing the truth of what happens to many of these most vulnerable children.

They are being exploited, abused, and trafficked.

Unaccompanied minors go into the Unaccompanied Children (UC) Program managed by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (OOR) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), an operational division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Once children enter OOR care, they are put in contact with their parents, guardians, or relatives, if known, and the process of finding a sponsor begins.

As of April 17, 2023, there are approximately 7,380 unaccompanied children in HHS care. The average length of time an unaccompanied child remains in ORR’s care is 25 days.

Tara Lee Rodas revealed in an interview that often, sponsors are typically not citizens, permanent residents, nor do they have a legal status in the U.S.

Minors are coming forward revealing their abuse. One young female explained that her sponsor was forcing her to engage in sexual acts for money. Antonio Diaz Mendez, a 14-year-old, claimed that he had to earn money to repay his debts and was working long shifts in a warehouse. He hadn’t seen his sponsor in months.

Due to the total chaos associated with processing over 6,000 illegal aliens each day, U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents simply do not have time to conduct thorough investigative interviews to develop the articulable suspicion of trafficking, or even assess a claimed family relationship with co-travelers in any meaningful way. In all but the most egregious events, agents are forced to accept the information being provided at face value.

It is also important to note that many victims of trafficking do not know they are being trafficked when they initially enter the country illegally. They are often still under the belief that the smuggler is just providing a service to get them into the U.S. under the radar. They don’t find out the truth until it is too late.

Under prior administrations, as the border security environment was constantly improving and illegal immigration was slowing down dramatically, agents had more time to conduct in-depth interviews and identify inconsistencies in claimed family members’ stories. Agents identified countless cases where they were able to get a child or adult to admit they were not related. We will never know for sure how many children were rescued before they were victimized further.

Chaos provides cover for all types of criminal activity. As a direct result of the catch-and-release polices implemented by the Biden administration, our international border with Mexico and our immigration process for unaccompanied alien children have devolved into total chaos. Chaos that is ripe for exploitation by human traffickers.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Deterrence policies and programs work. USBP has countless examples to show that if you simply enforce the law, hold people accountable and avoid releasing aliens into the U.S. until after a judge has adjudicated their case, cross border illegal entries dramatically decrease. This immediately increases the time that agents can investigate and mitigate more sophisticated criminal schemes like narcotics smuggling and human trafficking.

Some children are fortunate to make it out of these situations by running away and seeking help, or due to the diligent efforts of citizens who are paying attention—citizens like Jallyn Sualog, who was removed from her position at HHS after raising concerns over the phenomenon.

Tragically, there are likely hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of children who will be enslaved to labor and sex work for most of their lives.

A safe and secure border will help ensure children are less likely to be put in harm’s way and support a system that can more effectively place them in proper homes. Getting there will require bipartisan efforts to regain operational control of the border.

Once that is underway, substantial reform can be enacted to hold HHS more accountable to the children they are responsible for.

In the U.S., almost no group is more vulnerable to falling victim than children migrants who have no legal guardian to ensure their safety.

We must work toward restricting human trafficking by securing and maintaining our borders. Customs and Border Protection personnel should be given every tool at their disposal to intercept and stop human trafficking efforts, both at and between ports of entry.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

AUTHOR

SELENE RODRIGUEZ

Selene Rodriguez is the Assistant Director of Federal Affairs at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. She served as an Intelligence Specialist in the U.S. Marine Corps and is completing her MA in Political Science at Texas State University.

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Federal Judge Strikes Down Key Biden Border Policy: ‘Speedbump For Aliens’

A federal judge has struck down a Biden administration immigration policy that allows the release of illegal aliens at the border, saying it “effectively turned the Southwest Border into a meaningless line in the sand.”

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed the lawsuit in September 2021, arguing that Biden administration policies allowing the mass release of illegal aliens throughout the country—some of whom end up in Florida—violates law established by Congress that mandates detention upon entry. Judge T. Kent Wetherell ruled in favor of Florida, finding the administration’s Parole and Alternative to Detention (Parole + ATD) policy to be unlawful.

The policy, he said, turns the border into “little more than a speedbump for aliens flooding into the country by prioritizing ‘alternatives to detention’ over actual detention and by releasing more than a million aliens into the country—on ‘parole’ or pursuant to the exercise of ‘prosecutorial discretion’ under a wholly inapplicable statute—without even initiating removal proceedings.”

Shortly after taking office, Biden took a series of actions to loosen immigration restrictions, including repealing President Trump’s Executive Order 13767 terminating the catch-and-release policy. 

“Collectively, these actions were akin to posting a flashing ‘Come In, We’re Open’ sign on the southern border,” Judge T. Kent Wetherell wrote. “The unprecedented ‘surge’ of aliens that started arriving at the Southwest Border almost immediately after President Biden took office and that has continued unabated over the past two years was a predictable consequence of these actions.”

Evidence supports the fact that over 100,000 illegal aliens ended up in Florida, Wetherell said.

“Today’s ruling affirms what we have known all along, President Biden is responsible for the border crisis and his unlawful immigration policies make this country less safe,” Attorney General Moody said in a statement. “A federal judge is now ordering Biden to follow the law, and his administration should immediately begin securing the border to protect the American people.”

The Biden administration has seven days to appeal the ruling. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

AUTHOR

KATELYNN RICHARDSON

Contributor.

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All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.