After Joe Biden became president in January, he implemented pro-immigration policies that have led to a crisis on America’s southern border. Over 1 million migrants have attempted to cross illegally into the United States in just a few months. According to multiple polls, a vast majority of American citizens are not happy with the Biden administration’s open border policies.
In a Washington Post/ABC News poll, respondents were asked about their opinion on Biden’s handling of the “immigration situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.” The majority (51 percent) said that they disapproved of Biden’s policies on the issue; 16 percent stated that they have no opinions; only 33 percent approved of his policies.
In a Harvard CAPS-Harris poll conducted between June 15 and 17, more than 2,000 registered voters were asked about Biden’s border control measures. Of the respondents, 64 percent said that Biden must issue “new, stricter policies to reduce the flow of people across the border.” Only 36 percent stated that the administration ought to continue with its current policies.
The majority (55 percent) said that Biden should have left the Trump administration’s policies intact. Overall, 67 percent of participants stated that immigrants who cross into America illegally via the southern border must be sent back to Mexico. Only a third supported the idea of releasing illegal immigrants into the United States with a court date.
“The voters see the border as a growing problem and blame the Biden administration policies. The voters vastly underestimate the size of the problem and so once they learn it’s nearly 200,000 a month making illegal crossing their temperatures rise on this issue… This is the administration’s greatest weakness right now,” pollster Mark Penn told The Hill.
A survey conducted by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune found that 57 percent of people in Texas, one of the states most affected by illegal migrants, disapproved of the way Biden has handled immigration and the border. In contrast, Texas Governor Greg Abbott racked up 47 percent support from the respondents on the issue. Abbott has deployed state troopers to arrest illegal migrants and has announced that he will be building barriers at the border without federal assistance.
In a The Washington Times June 30 article, former President Donald Trump criticized Biden for “abdication of his sworn duties” with regard to securing the border. Trump said that his administration had given the Biden government “the most secure border in history.”
“Biden has enacted the most radical open borders agenda imaginable. This is perhaps the first time in world history a nation has purposely and systematically dismantled its own defenses to invite millions of foreign migrants to enter its territory and break its laws,” Trump said in the article.
Lawsuits against border policies
The Biden administration is facing lawsuits from many groups for the lax manner in which it is dealing with immigration.
Last month, the state of Texas and America First Legal filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration to block its catch-and-release policy. Catch-and-release is the practice of releasing a migrant into the United States while they wait for hearings at an immigration court.
During the Trump administration, illegal aliens would be forced to return back to their country of origin by citing the threat posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Biden ended the policy and has allowed families as well as unaccompanied minors to enter the country, incentivizing human traffickers to ramp up operations.
The lawsuit argues that Washington’s policy is allowing illegal immigrants infected with COVID-19 to enter the United States. This policy imperils the safety of Americans while also costing millions of dollars in taxpayer money.
“While Americans are still required to wear masks on planes and the CDC is still trying to shut down many aspects of daily life, the government is actively facilitating the entry of illegal aliens whose journey is defined by the radical absence of health protocols. The mass release of untested, unvaccinated, unvetted, and unscreened border-crossers threatens the health of all Americans,” Stephen Miller, President of America First Legal, said in a statement.
A group of officers from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and sheriffs have also filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration. They seek an injunction to a memorandum issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on February 18.
ICE is mandated to remove 672,000 fugitives from the U.S. as part of an order issued by a federal immigration judge. DHS memorandum has asked ICE to only focus on three priority groups of illegal immigrants. Those groups are terrorists, those who crossed the border after Nov. 1, 2020, and those who are classified as public safety threats.
DHS directive has also required ICE agents to get clearance from supervisors in case they need to detain illegal immigrants who are not convicted criminals. Before making arrests, ICE was mandated to assess whether the immigrant is suffering from mental or physical illness, their ties to the community and whether they have a family in the United States, for example.
As a result of these new guidelines, ICE deportations plunged down to 2,962 in April 2021. In 2020, there were 8,634 deportations per month. In the lawsuit, plaintiffs argue that DHS’ February 18 memorandum “commands ICE officers to violate the specific terms of several federal immigration statutes.”
“Many extremely dangerous illegal aliens who would have been detained prior to the February 18 Memorandum consistent with federal statutes are now being released from custody, against the judgment of the ICE officers seeking to detain them, and in violation of federal statutes requiring their detention and/or removal,” the lawsuit states.