Remember the cataclysmic battle in Congress in December 2018 and January 2019? The 35-day partial government shutdown? The fight was between President Trump along with congressional Republicans who wanted to fund additional border wall, and congressional Democrats who didn’t.
President Trump asked for $5.6 billion to be spent on the wall, but Democrats dug in their heels and said that was too much. Many didn’t want to spend a dime. In the end, Congress appropriated only $1.375 billion.
A few weeks later, Trump declared a national emergency on the border and announced that he would redirect an initial $3.8 billion in defense appropriations to building additional border wall. That move triggered multiple lawsuits from the Left, which ultimately failed to stop the money from being redirected.
When the dust settled at the end of 2020, the Trump Administration had spent (or had begun the process of spending) just over $9 billion on approximately 400 miles of border wall. And the President had to fight hyperventilating Democrats in Congress, open-borders groups in the courts, and the mainstream media every step of the way.
Fast forward to the present. Last week, President Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services redirected $2 billion from various health programs intended primarily for Americans to be spent instead on healthcare and transportation costs for illegal alien minors. A leaked briefing to HHS officials indicated that a total of $8.6 billion in spending would be redirected to benefit the illegal aliens by October.
The news barely received a mention in the mainstream media. Nothing to see here.
Let’s put this in perspective. When President Trump wanted to spend about $9 billion to secure the nation by building additional border wall, his efforts were demonized in the media; and it was made the subject of national debate. But when President Biden spends about the same amount of money on the very illegal aliens that his policies have allowed into the country, there’s no story here?
If Biden were willing to spend that $9 billion to build another 400 miles of wall, there would be no border crisis.
It becomes even more absurd when one considers the additional illegal immigration that will occur as a result of Biden’s spending. When word about the free health care and travel courtesy of the American taxpayer reaches the home countries of the illegal aliens, many more will make the journey. That spending will serve as a powerful magnet in the months ahead. When you reward illegal behavior, you get more of it.
Oh, and one more thing. It’s long been illegal under federal law to provide public benefits to illegal aliens. In 1996, Congress passed, and Bill Clinton signed, a law prohibiting the federal government from giving any “federal public benefit” to an illegal alien, including “any … health … benefit.”
But the Biden Administration doesn’t let the law get in its way. That has become abundantly clear.
Kris W. Kobach served as the elected Secretary of State of Kansas during 2011-19. He was a professor of constitutional law and immigration law at the UMKC School of Law during 1995-2011. An expert in immigration law and policy, he coauthored the Arizona SB-1070 immigration law and represented in federal court the 10 ICE agents who sued to stop Obama’s 2012 DACA executive amnesty. He currently serves as general counsel for the Alliance for Free Citizens. His website is kriskobach.com.