Joe Biden’s Plan to Stop Illegal Immigration: Address the Root Causes of Migration

On Tuesday, President Biden, who has been signing executive orders at a record clip during his first two weeks in office, signed three more relating to immigration. Notably, none of the orders signed heretofore made any mention of the need (much less the imperative) to secure our border or curtail illegal immigration.

That all changed on Tuesday when the president signed an executive order that took note of the fact that “The United States is also a country with borders and with laws that must be enforced.” A refreshing acknowledgement, until you read the ensuing sentences which make it clear that, in the opinion of the president enforcing the laws “that must be enforced”  both “ignore[s]the humanity of those who seek to cross them” and is a waste of “resources.”

But that doesn’t mean that Mr. Biden doesn’t have a plan to halt mass incursions across our borders. He does indeed. Following along in the executive order we find that the plan entails an interagency task force with the mission to develop “Strategies for Addressing the Root Causes of Irregular Migration and for Collaboratively Managing Migration in the Region” that will work collaboratively with other governments in the region…because nothing indicates seriousness and action quite like an interagency task force.

Hey, why didn’t anyone think of this before? All we have to do is end poverty, violence and corruption in Central America and Mexico (and perhaps a few dozen other countries around the world) and, problem solved! Besides, what else has Joe Biden got to do? It’s not like there are any pressing problems that need solving right here in the U.S.

Sarcasm aside, working with other governments to address serious problems in those countries is a worthy idea. But it has to begin with a sincere effort on the part of those countries to address the legitimate needs of their citizens. In the entire history of the region, it would be hard to point to any such efforts on the parts of the oligarchs and military juntas that have run those countries. Maybe an interagency task force and a regional collaborative migration management team will change all that, but I’m not holding my breath.

The best hope for real change in Central America and other sources of mass migration is citizens of those countries taking action to end the corruption that has impoverished them for generations. It’s not easy and never has been, but we have seen in Eastern Europe and elsewhere that it can be done. But that is never going to happen so long as we invite a mass exodus by promising unfettered entry to the United States, which is what all of President Biden’s other immigration orders are designed to do.

Sadly, without meaningful change from within, “addressing the root causes” of mass migration is just a pretentious way of saying that U.S. immigration laws will be forever held hostage to every corrupt and incompetent regime around the globe. Joe Biden knows this, and so do the American people. So, why don’t we all just be honest about it?

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.

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