By Rep. Andy Biggs
Published June 04, 2019
The United States is being invaded. Congressional leadership has dithered while we are experiencing a surge of illegal border crossings that is inconceivable.
Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Agents have apprehended more than 300,000 illegal immigrants in the first months of 2019, most of whom claim asylum. We cannot even imagine the number of “get aways” we haven’t caught.
It is anticipated that the number of people apprehended in 2019 will exceed 1,000,000 illegal border crossers. The number is staggering when you realize that the illegal population caught this year alone could almost rank as one of the 10 largest U.S. cities.
Failure to stop this rate of mass migration means every few years more illegal immigrants than Chicago has residents, and almost as many as our nation’s second largest city, Los Angeles, will stream into our country.
That influx means that in three years the population of those here illegally would be the equivalent of more than six congressional districts.
And, that’s counting only the number of people we catch!
That doesn’t account for the more than 1 million legal migrants every year.
When Congress talks about any kind of amnesty, including DACA amnesty, we see a surge on the border. When President Trump announced a stringent policy early in his administration, we experienced a sharp decline in illegal border crossings.
Congress considered a bill last week that would provide amnesty to millions who are in the country illegally and have successfully avoided removal to their home country.
At the same time, the number of people who enter illegally and demand asylum is overrunning our border facilities. Border enforcement agents spend more than half of their time providing humanitarian services. While agents are overwhelmed with these nontraditional functions, cartels are smuggling drugs and other more dangerous people into the country.
Our policies, created by inattentive legislators, politically motivated judges, and bureaucratic stasis, has provided an array of incentives for illegal immigrants to come into the country. When Congress talks about any kind of amnesty, including DACA amnesty, we see a surge on the border. When President Trump announced a stringent policy early in his administration, we experienced a sharp decline in illegal border crossings.
Now, however, the word is out that American courts have ruled that the president’s hands are tied, and what do we see? A massive influx of well-informed illegal immigrants, coached by Mexican criminal cartels on how to claim asylum. They have overrun the system to such an extent that CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have no place to keep them. CBP and ICE are releasing hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants into the United States.
CBP agents should be trained to become asylum officers and given authority for expedited removal. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can narrow the number of those here illegally who can work in the U.S. while awaiting court proceedings. DHS should limit the number of illegal immigrants eligible for parole from custody. Considering that most who claim asylum have paid human traffickers $8,000 to $11,000, DHS should impose fees for asylum applications and for employment authorization. Fraudulent asylum applicants should be punished and removed immediately.
DHS should also fully implement the “Remain in Mexico” policy and the administration should leverage the Mexican government to enter into a safe third-party agreement which would allow the U.S. to remove someone here illegally to a safe country rather than being turned loose for years and years into America.
DHS and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should issue final rules to terminate the 9th Circuit-created Flores settlement that has impeded our ability to detain illegal immigrants and acts as a magnet for more people to cross illegally into America.
In April 2019 alone, it was found that more than 25 percent of those claiming to be a family unit did so fraudulently. New family unit rules would help negate the fraud resulting from the Flores rules. Currently, Flores facilitates the exploitation of children by criminal cartels. DHS and HHS must create new rules.
We should deploy many immigration judges to speed up the asylum process. But, remember that about 3,500 illegal immigrants, most claiming asylum, are entering the U.S. every day. It will be virtually impossible to get enough judges.
DHS should deploy FEMA units to the border to house those here illegally until their court cases, some taking up to five years to process, rather than releasing them into the country.
Voters throughout the country must awaken to the reality of this emergency and demand that their federal legislators act. But until then, we are relying on the bureaucrats in DHS and HHS to act to stop the invasion across our southern border.