What Can Be Done Right Now to Solve the Border Crisis

In his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Biden touched on the issue of immigration, saying that after 30 years of politicians talking about immigration reform that it is time to fix the problem. While first urging Congress to pass a history-making mass amnesty bill he proposed, Biden added, “Now, look, if you don’t like my plan, let’s at least pass what we all agree on.”

As FAIR has shown over the last two weeks of blogs, the border crisis is a real, man-made humanitarian, national security and public health disaster of historic proportions. While no one disagrees with President Biden’s basic premise that the immigration system needs to be fixed, the fixes he is offering would only compound the mess. Moreover, nothing can nor should be considered until the border crisis is fixed. And we are just entering  the peak season for migration.

FAIR has identified five actions that the Biden administration should begin to implement immediately.

  • PROTECT AMERICANS FROM COVID-19: Fully reinstate Title 42 to deny the entry of migrants who pose a health risk, regardless of age.
  • NO COUNTRY SHOPPING OR WAITING IN THE UNITED STATES: Require those seeking asylum to make a claim in the first safe nation, and force asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico as their claim is heard.
  • REPATRIATE CENTRAL AMERICANS CLOSER TO HOME: Reinstate agreements with all Northern Triangle nations to accept and protect asylum seekers closer to their home countries.
  • REUNITE CHILDREN WITH THEIR FAMILIES: Ensure all families and unaccompanied minors who come here illegally are reunited safely at home, not in the United States.
  • ENFORCE THE LAW IN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES: Allow ICE to do its job by removing arbitrary limitations on who may be arrested or removed.

Only after these policies are reinstated can the administration and Congress determine what the financial impact of the border crisis has been, what additional burdens will be borne by the taxpayers to house, relocate and care for the unaccompanied minors currently in U.S. government care and repay localities for expenses in dealing with the crisis, and take steps to remove those who did not have a valid claim to enter the United States. Only then can we start an honest debate about the reforms needed to our system, what levels of immigration the nation can sustain and the role going forward of foreign workers and temporary visa holders.

It is a discussion that is long overdue and must include the voices of the American people as they bear the burden of any decisions made by lawmakers and politicians. FAIR will continue to inform, to educate, and to ensure your voice is heard.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.