Recent reporting highlighted the disastrous consequences of illegal immigration. First, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that at least 650 people died trying to reach the U.S.-Mexico border. Second, outlets reported the tragic news that a truck crash killed 54 migrants and injured more than 100. The U.S.-Mexico border was their destination. These episodes emphasize the dangers of illegal immigration to the migrants themselves.
This news further reinforces the reality that there is nothing humane about encouraging people to migrate to the U.S. illegally, given the dangers of the journey. To that end, the Biden administration carries some responsibility for these horrible deaths. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) recorded a record number of apprehensions at the Southwest border, tallying more than 1.7 million encounters. Despite the out-of-control situation at the border, the Biden administration has done nothing to end the crisis and has instead taken actions that will worsen the situation.
In the 2020 presidential election, then-candidate Joe Biden ran in part on a promise to enact a more “humane” immigration policy. He painted President Donald Trump as a xenophobic monster while presenting himself as a welcoming, caring, and sympathetic leader. His campaign website said that “Biden will finish the work of building a fair and humane immigration system” and that he would “do better to uphold our laws humanely and preserve the dignity of immigrant families, refugees, and asylum-seekers.”
Because of Biden’s rhetoric, millions of aliens rushed to the border, hopeful that the new administration would let them enter the United States. Illegal aliens wore customized shirts bearing a version of the Biden-Harris 2020 logo that read “Biden, please let us in!” An alien told an ABC reporter that he only came to the border because Biden was president. The Biden administration made matters worse by promising an amnesty for every illegal alien in the country through multiple bills, including the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6) and the Build Back Better Act. The Biden administration has done nothing to show would-be migrants that the U.S. is serious about border security. Instead, it has welcomed them and all but encouraged them to make the journey north.
What is humane about encouraging people – even in an indirect way – to journey hundreds of miles, in the hands of ruthless criminal cartels, to the U.S. border in hopes of entering the country? What is humane about ending successful policies that deterred would-be migrants from risking their lives to come to the border? Nothing is humane about the current administration’s stance towards illegal immigration.
Signaling through policy that illegal immigration is okay is going to cause more and more people to make the terrible journey to the border. As more and more people make that trip, more and more will die. Even those that survive face horrors on the way to the border, including extortion and sexual assault. Drug cartels profit from human and drug trafficking and are indifferent to the fate of the people who pay them to smuggle them through Central America and into the United States.
Policymaking and efficient messaging from the administration could prevent this. The prior administration made it clear that illegal immigration was not tolerated, and apprehensions stayed low. President Biden reversed those policies and signaled that the U.S. border was open again. The consequences – for Americans and for the migrants themselves – have been disastrous.