This photo shows a patch on a Border Patrol agent’s uniform in McAllen, Tex. (Photo credit: SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)
Liberals can mock the Trump border wall they want, but three months into Joe Biden’s amnesty policy, even Democrats are sounding the alarm. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) has been watching what’s happened along the Mexican border with absolute shock and says that if the White House doesn’t do anything, there will be an immigration “crisis” in a matter of “weeks — maybe even days.”
Caravans are streaming across the border, as Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) warned, attaching a video that he captured near Yuma, Arizona. This is “Joe Biden’s open border, catch and release policy,” Johnson tweeted with lines of migrants stretched out as far as the eye can see. “How many have COVID?” he wondered.
Americans will never know, just as they’ll never get a straight answer on how bad the situation actually is. A senior-level source in the Department of Homeland Security says President Biden has a gag order in place where immigration numbers are concerned.
“The situation with media relations now is night and day compared to the last administration,” the person explained. “We have been advised not to speak on immigration issues at the border and to rely on DHS’s Office of Public Affairs and the White House Press Office to handle messaging.”
That messaging, at least two dozen Republican lawmakers argue, should be to redeclare a national emergency at the border. “Until January 20th of this year, there was a standing national emergency concerning our southern border. President Trump declared that emergency on February 15, 2019. Reversing that proclamation was one of President Joe Biden’s first actions in office. It is clear now that was a grave mistake,” Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas) insisted. In a letter, he and a number of conservatives urged Biden to stop playing politics and protect our nation.
“Your silence on this issue in the last five weeks unfortunately suggests that you do not plan to hold the Biden administration to the same standard to which you held the Trump administration,” they wrote. The U.S. Customs and Border Control are arresting as many as 3,000 people a day — and estimate that as many as 117,000 unaccompanied children will be brought over by traffickers and drug cartels.
“It is critical that our leaders recognize the severity of the circumstances and respond accordingly,” the lawmakers said. “Your administration’s refusal to enforce immigration laws has encouraged countless migrants to make the treacherous journey across our border. We urge you to recognize that an immigration crisis is underway and reinstate a national emergency concerning our southern border.”
Some Democrats have joined the plea, worrying about the humanitarian situation that’s been brewing in places like Texas. Cuellar has been especially blunt, accusing the administration of “withholding…information” about how the White House has agreed to process people and then release them into local communities. That’s a dangerous situation, he warns, that’s only getting worse.
In some places, law enforcement officials believe the border is less secure than ever before. The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan, assistant managing editor, said he’s heard the same — pointing out that it wasn’t just the wall that was effective, but the whole infrastructure the Trump administration was building.
The previous administration was always very careful to call it a wall system because it was more than just the actual border barrier. It was [also] the high speed road that stands just back from the actual border wall… There are Border Patrol agents, who actually believe that in some cases the road is the more valuable part of that system, because it allows them easy and quick access. The point of the barrier, the wall is to deny people [and] slow them down. And then the high-speed road gives the border agents a chance to get there and apprehend them. That’s the most important part of this equation.
Now, with Biden calling a halt to construction, migrants are taking advantage of the miles of roads in places like Arizona and California, where the wall hadn’t caught up to the rest of the project. “There were no walls built along the border…[but] you have the road, and it’s easy access.” The sheriff in one southeast Arizona county said they’re dealing with all kinds of people using those roads to “get quick access deeper into the country.” “It’s an access point and a vulnerability that’s been left there.” The reality is, Dinan warns, “we’re now seeing more people coming into the country with apparently greater ease than before the whole project began.”
Why? Because the cartels have improved and expanded their capabilities. And now that the Biden administration is taking us back to where we were in 2016, the cartels are only going to be more effective in breaking the law. It’s no surprise to Homeland Security expects that America is approaching a record — within the next couple of months — topping “anything we saw in 2014 and 2019, which were the last two surges.”
If the White House won’t listen to Republicans, then it should at least listen to its own party: “Inaction is simply not an option.”
Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council.
Editor’s Note: This piece originally appeared on Family Research Council.