On March 1, President Biden delivered the State of the Union address. Although the speech devoted very little attention to immigration or border security, what he did say demonstrates that the president has learned nothing from his disastrous record on the issue and his self-inflicted border crisis. The experiences of the past 13 months – not to mention those of previous administrations – have been completely lost on him.
To be fair to the chief executive, he did say a few of the “right things.” Unfortunately, there was much wrong with his “solutions,” and his policies so far belied his otherwise noncontroversial or technically correct statements.
For example, the president stated that “if we are to advance liberty and justice, we need to secure our border and fix the immigration system.” So far, so good, except for the fact that Joe Biden essentially threw open a southern border that his predecessor had largely secured. His administration ceased border wall construction and has so far refused to (re)secure the border. After all, he and the open-borders radicals who dominate his administration view border enforcement as somehow unjust and inhumane.
Mr. Biden then bragged: “We’re putting in place dedicated immigration judges in significant larger number so families fleeing persecution and violence can have their cases — cases heard faster — and those who aren’t legitimately here can be sent back.” The reality is that his administration has shown zero interest in actually stopping illegal migration or doing anything about asylum fraud. Instead, it has behaved as if processing and bringing in as many illegal aliens into the U.S. as possible is its priority. The American people must remember that he reinstated “catch-and-release” and even released tens of thousands of illegal migrants without court dates. And the tough talk about sending anyone back is mainly fluff for the naïve given this administration’s de facto shut down of ICE.
The president also used the State of the Union as an opportunity to pitch amnesty and cheap foreign labor programs, both of which hurt working and middle-class Americans. As FAIR president Dan Stein emphasized, “Rewardng illegal immigration and flooding the labor market with low-wage foreign workers is not immigration reform, and the American public will not be fooled.” Nor is a time when illegal migration is out of control and Americans are struggling economically a particularly appropriate one to call for such bad policies.
Mr. Biden was correct to condemn Russia’s military invasion and violation of Ukraine’s borders and sovereignty. It is unfortunate, however, that he and his administration do not extend this respect for the inviolability of other nations’ frontiers to our own borders. More than 2 million people have been encountered entering the U.S. illegally under President Biden’s watch, and countless more have entered without detection. This wanton disregard for sovereignty and the integrity of our own borders poses myriad concerns that the administration must address with more than just a few words in the State of the Union address.
President Biden is right that we must fix our immigration system. The problem is that during his time in office he has offered no evidence that he understands that it is the American public’s interests that the system is supposed to serve.