Op-Ed by NFRW President Ann Schockett
President Biden – call your office. There is a crisis at the border whether your press secretary says so or not.
Donald Trump made immigration reform one of the centerpieces of his 2016 presidential campaign. His tough stances on cracking down on illegal immigration, enforcing border security, building a border wall, and negotiating deals with Central American countries to stabilize migration all led to the most effective immigration policy our country has seen in decades.
His critics decried these policies as racist, xenophobic, backward, and inhumane. Many Americans agree out of a sense of compassion for those who want to come to America to seek a better life for themselves and their families. These good intentions, however, do not take into account the decidedly inhumane turn that the “Biden effect” and his irresponsible unraveling of the Trump Administration’s border security policies has taken.
On March 8, 3,200 children who crossed the border were being held in Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) holding facilities. A week later there were 4,300 – a 31% increase in just one week. The Department of Homeland Security expects an influx of approximately 100,000 unaccompanied children by the end of 2021.
The dangers these children face are appalling. The trip across the border is a treacherous one – with disease, traffic accidents, and abuse by the smugglers bringing them across the border. They are also prime targets for gangs dealing in drugs and human trafficking. Children can also be “rented” and “recycled” by adult men who gain entry into the U.S. by claiming these children as their own. Overcrowding is rampant at CBP facilities, and the social services agencies, already overburdened due to the pandemic, are now at the breaking point.
The Biden Administration has directed federal agencies to disregard federal law despite its effect on the lives of these children. There are no more agreements with Central American countries to help stop the flow of migrants. The “Remain in Mexico” policy is no more despite the progress it made in determining who was genuinely seeking asylum and who was not. Construction has stopped on the wall. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has no more authority to deport those here illegally. Politicians continue to bicker over the legality of these policies while the drug cartels and human trafficking networks are making record profits.
All of this is made even worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 rates among the undocumented are as high as 25%. Even if they are tested, they are still being released into the United States and mixing with the general public. The overcrowded conditions at the CBP facilities make it impossible to maintain social distancing. Humanitarian organizations that help migrants settle into the country are finding that their volunteers have too many concerns about COVID-19 to help anymore.
The death toll, the countless victims of human trafficking, and innocent children getting lost in the system continue while the Biden Administration continues to play politics. Media organizations are no longer allowed into CBP facilities. Democrats in Congress are pushing amnesty bills allowing for open borders and citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants while H.R. 1 could grant them the right to vote. Any requests that illegal immigrants be tested for COVID-19 are dismissed as racist.
The NFRW passed a resolution in 2014 speaking out against the evils of human trafficking and called for every state to enact stringent legislation against human trafficking with strict minimum sentences, incarceration and asset confiscation for the criminals perpetrating human trafficking. We ask that our members continue to push their elected officials on enacting laws to combat human trafficking.
Democrats, for all their humanitarian posturing, have demonstrated by their actions that illegal immigrants and open borders are there to serve one purpose - maintain power by turning illegal immigrants into future Democrat voters.
We also encourage our NFRW members to contact their senators to vote against H.R. 1 and the amnesty bills that are heading to the Senate. The situation at the border couldn’t be worse, and it’s imperative that our leaders enact sensible immigration reforms that put people ahead of politics. Thousands of lives depend on it.