U.S.-Based Reception Centers Invite More Border Crossings

Looking to borrow trouble from Europe, whose border crises are well documented, the Biden administration is weighing plans to build a series of reception centers to welcome migrants.

A Washington Post report this week suggested that the Euro model offers Democrats a palatable alternative to the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” program. President Joe Biden grudgingly pledged to restart the program (formally known as Migrant Protection Protocols, MPP) while his lawyers keep fighting to overturn the court order that obligated him to do so.

Sources say U.S.-based reception centers would house migrants, providing recreation and educational programs, medical services and legal counsel, while enabling them to come and go. Though the operational specifics are as sketchy as the security details, the Post indicated that the cost “would be considerable.”

With nearly half of this year’s 1.7 million migrants at the southern border allowed to enter the U.S., proponents pitch reception centers as a “humane” way to manage an ever-growing backlog of asylum cases. Recognizing that immigrant advocates’ demand to immediately release all claimants into the U.S. is a political non-starter, the administration sees the centers as a tool to soften bad border optics. But will they?

The centers would almost certainly be challenged as a violation of U.S. court limits on detaining underage migrants. Notably, the European-based facilities have not consistently produced faster adjudications of asylum claims.

The biggest downside of the U.S. setting up full-service accommodations on this side of the border is that it will encourage more crossings. The White House has already tipped its hand on that score.

Even as the administration promised to reinstate the Remain in Mexico policy, Mexican authorities and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have been collaborating to pull previously removed illegal aliens back into this country.

This Bidenized version of Remain in Mexico – a cynical scheme that “meters in” expelled migrants at the Texas border – is yet another White House vision for allowing just about everyone who shows up to enter, but without the bad optics of chaos at the border. Reception centers are just one more ploy to advance an open-borders mission whose costs and consequences are truly incalculable.

The court order to reinstate MPP, which has a proven track record of discouraging bogus asylum seekers, provides clear guidance to the administration. Instead, Team Biden seems stubbornly bent on accommodating illegal aliens, rather than deterring them.

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