If Biden is ‘America First,’ Who Comes in Last?



As more than 15,000 Haitian migrants surged into Texas last month, President Joe Biden got some flimsy political cover from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) in Washington, D.C. “On paper, the Biden administration’s border policies are pretty similar to the Trump administration’s,” declared policy analyst Jessica Bolter.

Nothing could be further from the truth, of course. While turning thousands of Haitians loose into this country, the White House has overturned, weakened or simply abandoned immigration enforcement on a grand scale.

The Christian Science Monitor — which published Bolter’s musings under the headline, “On border and beyond, is Biden agenda ‘America First’?” – regurgitated the mushy assertion that “many” Haitians were returned to Mexico. In fact, migrants were released into the U.S. on a “very, very large scale” numbering into the thousands.

Whatever the total (smart observers will take the “over”) White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki compounded concerns with her risible explanation that the large numbers of people who were released into the U.S. (upwards of 12,000, according to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas) were not screened or vaccinated for COVID because “they’re not intending to stay here for a lengthy period of time.”

In a marked departure from the Trump era, the Biden administration has loosened asylum rules to a point of no return. “[It has] deceptively marketed the border crisis as being about ‘asylum seekers’ to generate sympathies from the American people [and]to avoid responsibility for refusing to enforce the law,” says Robert Law of the Center for Immigration Studies.

Upon taking office, Biden issued a flurry of executive orders revoking his predecessor’s immigration enforcement policies. Signaling that America’s borders were open and that removals were a thing of the past, the actions ranged from halting border wall construction (recently updated to an outright cancellation) to a moratorium on deportations.

In response, several states have taken Biden & Co. to court, citing costs to taxpayers, threats to public safety and a general failure to enforce duly enacted immigration laws. As of April, Texas, which has borne the brunt of illegal border crossings this year, filed eight lawsuits against the administration.

Bolter belatedly admits, “The patchwork of border policies that are in place right now are really confusing. … This ends up encouraging migrants to continue trying.”

She and the Monitor should have led with that.

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.