The nation’s border and humanitarian crisis has grown so out of control that an increasing number of congressional Democrats are now explicitly calling out the Biden administration, with some even calling to reimplement Trump administration immigration policies that helped regain control of the border between 2017 and 2020.
Some congressional Democrats believe that the Biden administration is dismantling too much of the nation’s border security and immigration enforcement apparatus too quickly and the toll has already been seen.
In recent interviews with the Washington Examiner, Democratic lawmakers voiced their concerns regarding the administration’s careless approach.
“I don’t think the Biden administration should just wholesale say, ‘We’re getting rid of all of it [Trump’s policies]. I think we analyze pieces of it and see,” said Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia.
“Working with the folks south of the border to make sure folks don’t come is smart politics,” said Sen. Jon Tester from Montana when talking about his approval of the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program that helped reduce asylum abuse and ended the practice of “catch and release.”
Border district Democrats have also expressed frustration over the Biden administration’s radical immigration approach.
In recent interviews with Axios, Texas Representatives Vicente Gonzalez and Veronica Escobar said the Biden administration is stalling in its border crisis response and needs to reform the nation’s asylum process.
“If it’s this bad in 90 days, it’s hard to have excuses. Our cities, our municipalities are spread thin,” Gonzalez said in response to needing more resources to deal with immigration-related costs.
Escobar revealed that she had asked Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas for more COVID-19 related resources due to exposures in her district in El Paso.
Another border Democrat has also taken offense to the Biden administration’s immigration approach and, in recent weeks, has become one of its fiercest critics.
In an interview with Fox News, Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, said that “Any president should come down [and]really spend time with border communities. You know, the president sent a delegation and a bunch of folks from the White House. They didn’t talk to anybody, not even members of Congress here.”
Since January, President Biden has taken a wrecking ball to the Trump administration’s immigration policies. He has halted all border wall construction. He has terminated the Asylum Cooperation Agreements with the Northern Triangle countries and has suspended the MPP program, both of which decreased illegal border crossings and fraudulent asylum claims. He has also instructed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to make fewer deportations and arrests of those who remain in the country illegally.
The results of these abrupt changes have led to border apprehension totals not seen in 15 years.
The growing frustrations among congressional Democrats reveal that the border crisis is no longer a partisan issue and requires immediate attention from the Biden administration. At the very least, the administration would be wise to listen to members of its own party.