CBP Chief: Joe Biden’s Campaign Promises Have Caused a Migrant Flood

Central American migrants -mostly honduran- taking part in a caravan to the US, are pictured on board a truck heading to Irapuato in the state of Guanajuato on November 11, 2018 after spending the night in Queretaro in central Mexico. - The United States embarked Friday on a policy of …
ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP via Getty Images

Border arrivals in December 2020 jumped by 80 percent above December 2019, partly because the cartels and coyotes are telling their customers that President-elect Joe Biden will end the border curbs, the chief of the Customs and Border Patrol agency said Tuesday.

“We’re already seeing the negative impacts of the proposed policy changes,” acting Commissioner Mark Morgan said on January 5. The “cartels and human smugglers are spreading the perception that our borders will be open. In this case, they’re correct. They’re right — it’s not just the perception.”

Biden’s campaign promises are “not an immigration strategy — [they are] an open border strategy,” he said. “The immigrants know it, and more importantly, the human smugglers know it … I’ve been asked, What do you think is going to happen? I say it’s already happening.”

The 74,000 migrants who arrived in December “you could argue are crisis-level numbers, but the reason why it doesn’t feel like a crisis is because we have [President Donald Trump’s] authority, statutes, and policies to deal with the numbers,” he said.

The numbers will become a border crisis if Biden follows through on his campaign promise to remove Trump’s border reforms, Morgan added. “You take that ability away and that 2,500 [arrivals] a day becomes a crisis overnight. That’s what concerns us.”

The arriving migrants include more spouses and children of migrants from Central America, he said:

We’re seeing now folks for the Northern Triangle countries now, still mainly single adults, but we’re still seeing families and UACs [Unaccompanied Alien Children]. So now we’re back about 50/50 now, about 50 percent Mexican nationals and about 50 percent … other than Mexican nationals.

Morgan said his deputies are talking with Biden’s deputies.

We’re hoping that the dialogue [with Biden’s appointees] is going to continue. We’re hoping that that as this administration has done, that they’re actually going to listen to the experts that are on the ground, they’re going to listen to facts, they’re going to listen to reality. And they’re going to make the necessary adjustments that we need to protect our country.

Biden’s officials seem to be listening. Morgan said:

What what I’m hoping, what I heard from folks, from the CBP experts that participated in the briefings, has been very positive. They felt they were being asked good questions, informed questions, the right questions [by Biden’s appointees]. And what I’ve been told is that they felt the preview team was actually listening and hearing what we discussed.

Morgan continued:

They’ve already walked back what they promised they were going to do. Mr. Biden himself, in a recent set of questions said he is not going to do what he promised on Day One because he knew that it would create a crisis. That was very good to hear … [but] that doesn’t alleviate the concerns that I have. It’s simply kicking the crisis can down the road. There’s got to be real reform to what their open border strategies are.

The United States can control its borders, Morgan said:

We’re not at the mercy of what’s happening outside our borders. We can’t control worsening economic conditions within an entire Western Hemisphere, which we all know drives illegal migration. But we can and should control how we address its impacts at our borders.

And that’s exactly what we’re doing now. By ending catch and release, and by closing loopholes, we’ve de-incentivized the pull factors and positioned ourselves to be able to effectively address the constant fluctuation in the numbers, regardless of the external factors out of our control. Tools like the CDC public health order, the migrant protection protocols,  and yes, the border wall system. If we remove those tools, the current increase in illegal migration we’re already experiencing will become our next full-blown illegal immigration crisis.

If the Biden team implements the immigration policy that they have campaigned on, that they promised the American people they would do on Day One, they will create an unmitigated crisis in the first few weeks.

Biden’s campaign promises are an open-borders strategy, Morgan said:

Halting construction of the border wall system, stopping deportations for 100 days, expanding DACA, ending MPP [Migrant Protection Protocols] , providing free health care, providing amnesty to millions of individuals here illegally, and the list goes on and on. This isn’t an immigration strategy; it is an open-borders strategy.

If your strategy consists of releasing you into the interior of the United States once you’ve illegally entered and have been apprehended, protecting you from local deportation, and providing substantial rewards such as free health care, you have just created a complete system of incentives. Who wouldn’t try to enter with “Release, Protect, and Reward” being the new open border strategy?

Biden’s deputies are promising to delay some of their campaign promises, he said. “But this isn’t good enough, not by a long shot,” Morgan said.

“This simply kicks the crisis can down the road,” Morgan said. “Without significant and permanent walk back of their open-borders strategies, without actively listening and continuing to work based on truth in reality, the only result will be a continuing and steady increase in the numbers.

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