Just one week into his presidency, President Biden has already signed six executive orders concerning immigration. Experts say Biden is quickly undoing Former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, and some fear these reversals will have huge impacts on national security.
"The plans Biden announced so far portend a more dangerous America," Todd Bensman, senior national security fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies said.
Bensman spoke with Fox News from Juarez, Mexico. "I’ve just returned from interviewing migrants in Juarez," Bensman said. "Without exception, all of them have been made expectant and excited that they will be able to come into the U.S. with no fear or possibility of rejection or later deportation. The entire galaxy of aspiring migrants hear the Biden plan as a clarion to come now and come all."
Last week, Biden proposed immigration legislation that would give legal status, and a path to citizenship, to anyone in the U.S. before Jan. 1, which is an estimated 11 million people. He also halted work on the border wall with Mexico, lifted travel bans from several predominantly Muslim countries, among other initiatives.
Immigration Attorney Rachel Self said this immigration bill is "pretty ambitious."
"Giving millions of people a path to residency and citizenship hasn’t been done since the Regan era, around 1986," she said. "The bill raises visa caps to reduce the backlog so that more people can bring their families over. We’re talking about people who have been waiting 20, 30 years to be able to bring a family member over here."
According to Self, Biden’s thorough undoing of Trump’s immigration policies are, "a promising indication that he and his administration understand the pressing need to start reversing the damage inflicted by the Trump administration on our immigration systems."
Self said there are no "quick fixes" for immigration reform but that this is a good start.
"These policies have been affecting the lives of real people with real families for four years," she said. "They will never get those years back."
While Bensman and other experts worry Biden’s immigration policy will have negative effects on national security, Self said the government will ensure people granted immigration benefits are not a security threat.
However, Retired Acting ICE Director Tom Homan said border security directly affects national security; therefore, no amnesty should be considered until Congress fixes the three loopholes that cause surges:
- Asylum rules
- The Flores Agreement, the 1997 legal settlement that requires that minors in INS custody must be housed in facilities that meet certain standards, including state standards for housing and care of dependent children
- The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000
"They have to plug the hole rather than continue bailing water," he said. "Secure the border to stop the illegal flow before you reward illegal behavior. Talk of amnesty is just enticing more people to come illegally."
Homan said another concern that comes with a "porous" border is illegal drugs being smuggled into the U.S.
"During the last surge when Border Protection had only 50% of the manpower on the line because they were caring for family groups, enough opioids came across the border that killed 62,000 Americans" from overdoses.
Mark Morgan, the acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Fox News that the border crisis has already begun.
"One migrant on his way to enter our country illegally, -- quote -- said ‘Biden has given us a hundred days to get to the U.S. border,’" Morgan noted referencing Biden’s policy halting deportation for 100 days.
"That’s not an immigration strategy. That’s an open border strategy," Morgan said.
Self, on the other hand, said migrants come to the U.S. for a plethora of reasons, most prominently that the conditions of their home country are "unsurvivable."
"President Biden’s proposed immigration bill directly addresses this, devoting resources to cure the root causes of why people flee their homes in the first place," Self said. "No border can stop people from trying to save their families from gang violence or starvation. Until their homes are safe and prosperous, people will always migrate. President Biden’s bill does far more to address migration to the U.S. than President Trump’s unbuilt wall ever did or could."
With roughly 7,500 migrants making their way on foot to Mexico and the U.S. just last week, Homan reiterated the importance of border security and the national security threat that could arise from Biden’s immigration policies.
"Biden wants to appease the left more than he wants border security," Homan said. "More lives will be lost and the border will be in chaos again."
In a narrowly divided Congress, it remains to be seen whether or not Biden’s proposed immigration bill will pass. But through executive order, he has already made a substantial impact in reversing Trump’s signature hardline immigration policy.