The Biden Administration has announced “joint actions with Mexico” to address the border crisis that has resulted in more than 2 million border encounters and hundreds of thousands of “gotaways” in the last year. The focus of its announcement was to declare that it would begin turning away Venezuelans who enter the U.S. illegally between the ports of entry and sending them back into Mexico. It also said it would be coordinating to target human smuggling operations, open new migrant check points, and expand information sharing.
All of this would seem like ideas worth celebrating if it didn’t come from an Administration with absolutely no credibility on border security and human trafficking enforcement. Upon further inspection, the red flags are everywhere.
First, the announced expulsions are limited to Venezuelans and will be effected under the provisions of the Title 42 public health emergency. I am unaware of any current medical reports that indicate Venezuelans pose a higher public health threat than any other nationality. Why limit it to just Venezuelans? An administration with its head on straight would have been applying this to all nationalities that Mexico allows to enter. Even more troubling, the Biden administration has stated that it seeks to end the use of Title 42, and many believe that they will do just that soon after the elections.
Second, President Biden could have made this decision months ago. The border has been in crisis almost since the day he took office after dismantling several Trump-era provisions that were finally making progress in securing the border. But instead, Biden makes this announcement four weeks before an election that will largely be a referendum on the broken policies of the last two years – with the colossal border crisis perhaps being chief among his failures. Not only is he fishing for positive headlines, but because of the timing, voters will not be able to evaluate the results of this effort before they go to the polls.
Third, the numbers don’t add up. The new parole program to bring more Venezuelans into the country is capped at 24,000 yet in August of this year alone, Border Patrol agents encountered over 25,000 Venezuelans entering the country illegally. The National Border Patrol Union is reporting that there will be a daily cap on how many Venezuelans will be sent back to Mexico– an important fact the Biden announcement left out. We don’t know exactly what the cap will be, but the union says it will be “a small percentage of what’s actually coming in.”
Fourth, it appears the Biden administration has empowered Mexico to dictate the terms of the so-called cooperation. The DHS announcement stated that. “The United States will not implement this process without Mexico keeping in place its independent but parallel effort to accept the return of Venezuelan nationals…”. The United States should never export our national security policy or empower Mexico to decide who they will and not take back after allowing the same individuals from 160 different countries to traverse their country unimpeded for hundreds of miles and weeks, if not months on end.
Scratch the surface and this entire program appears to be a public relations stunt to distract the American people from the pathetically weak borders, high inflation, increasing gas prices, and growing urban lawlessness a few weeks before the election. My assessment, this is a thinly veiled attempt to win some votes while not substantively changing any real policy or making any meaningful improvement to border security.