Things never seem to stay quiet on the immigration issue for very long. This past September, border apprehensions suddenly shot up to more than 57,000, the highest total for the month of September in 15 years, as well as the highest number of apprehensions for the past fiscal year. For perspective, illegal alien apprehensions in April, after the beginning of the current COVID pandemic, were just over 17,000.
In addition to apprehensions climbing, the profile of the illegal aliens being caught changed drastically as well. During the height of last year’s spike in illegal border crossings, adults with children accounted for roughly 70 percent of all apprehensions. The current spike is primarily single adult males from Mexico, who make up 56 percent of total apprehensions, with adults accompanied by children accounting for only 14 percent of the total arrests.
What could account for this sudden uptick in pressure on the border?
- The Biden-Harris amnesty: Talks of amnesty always increase pressure on the border, and the proposed Biden-Harris amnesty is no different. However, in addition to putting the nation’s 14.2 million illegal aliens onto a pathway for citizenship, the Biden-Harris amnesty plan – through current chain migration policies – would open the door in the next few decades for upwards of 52 million relatives of the soon-to-be-amnestied illegal aliens.
- The proliferation of sanctuary cities, jurisdictions and states: Part of the backlash to Trump Administration policies aimed at controlling illegal immigration has been an explosion in sanctuary policies across the nation. These policies roll out the welcome mat to illegal aliens by forbidding state and local police from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. The net result, dangerous illegal aliens are released onto our streets instead of being returned home. Between 2017-2019, Orange County, California, has been forced to release more than 1,500 inmates because of California’s sanctuary law. According to Sheriff Don Barnes, 238 of those released were rearrested in Orange County for new crimes, including assault and battery, rape and robbery.
- Cash for Illegal Aliens, Including COVID relief monies: Illegal aliens not only have access to a number of programs that provide housing and food subsidies, some state and local governments have set up legal funds to help illegal aliens fight deportation, and also passed measures providing COVID relief monies for illegal aliens. States providing COVID relief include California, Oregon, Washington, Illinois and New York. Additionally, the recent COVID relief bill passed by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives contains $1,200 in relief for illegal alien parents and $500 in relief for illegal alien minors.
- Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Aliens: Despite the fact that the 19 9/11 hijackers were able to obtain state-issued driver’s licenses that they used to board airlines, numerous states, including New York, have now legalized driver’s licenses for illegal aliens.
With all of these incentives in place, it will be a real challenge, regardless of who wins the 2020 election, to regain and retain control of our nation’s borders given that incentives are provided on both the federal and state levels. Clearly, whoever is in charge is going to have to close the loopholes that have allowed states to provide benefits to illegal aliens and make clear to Congress that border security and welfare benefits for illegal aliens are huge policy inconsistencies.