Biden Called Trump Racist Over Immigration. Now He's Stealing His Policy (and Ruining It) | Opinion

This week, the Biden-Harris administration announced a temporary adjustment to their open-borders policies. Biden's Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice proposed a joint plan to address how illegal aliens circumvent the legal pathways of migrating to the U.S. The plan would bar migrants from seeking asylum if they cross the southern border illegally without first asking for asylum in whatever country they traveled through to reach the U.S.

Sound familiar? It should. The proposal is a spin on the Trump-era "Remain in Mexico" policy, which President Biden scrapped his first year in office after campaigning on how racist Trump's immigration policy was. So it's a little bit ironic to see President Biden now scrambling to reimpose the policy.

Hypocrisy aside, Remain in Mexico was good policy. Asylum is for people who desperately flee substantial fear of persecution or an existential threat to their life (or both), and it's just not asylum if you choose to fly here after a layover in Europe, or if you hike here through Mexico or walk here from Canada. Bypassing any other developed country en route to America means you are coming to the U.S. from a place where you cannot possibly have a history of persecution that would justify an asylum claim; you're not fleeing but choosing a desirable destination.

Yet unsurprisingly, Biden's version of the plan falls short.

The proposal incentivizes the movement of unaccompanied children by exempting them from most of the core border enforcement requirements and follow up enforcement actions, including rapid deportation, already weak identification requirements, and the requirement to have a credible asylum claim.

As a result, children will immediately become the new target of the bloodthirsty cartels. They already have, thanks to Biden. The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) noted that in 2021, the first year of Biden's presidency, 19,000 migrant children made the trip through the Darien Gap—a number three times higher than over the previous five years combined.

Make no mistake about it: These trafficked children are the direct result of Biden's failures. Ultimately, the enforcement actions of the President either feed or starve the immigration industrial complex. The increase in rapes of migrating women, drownings of small children, deaths from dehydration, environmental devastation, and human smuggling would be prevented if Joe Biden would simply enforce America's current immigration laws.

El Paso
EL PASO, TEXAS - JANUARY 08: Immigrants sit outside a migrant shelter on January 08, 2023 in El Paso, Texas. President Joe Biden visited El Paso Sunday, his first visit to the border since he became president two years before. U.S. Border authorities took into custody more than 2.5 million migrants in 2022, the highest number on record. John Moore/Getty Images

Though pro-immigrant advocates shame Americans into inviting the world into our home, the full costs of doing so are unknown. We have a blind spot because our government still chooses not to track how much social welfare is going to illegal immigrants. In some cases, the government prohibits social support program administrators from collecting immigration status. Biden's new plan should have addressed that.

At the end of the day, the new DHS/DOJ proposal amplifies a perceived obligation to illegal immigrants. Most illegal aliens and legal immigrants are economic migrants, not asylum seekers. They are not arriving to escape persecution or to nurture a deep emotional commitment to sustaining America. They are here to achieve financial gain. The hard truth is America is not a noble life saver but an economic teat to the world.

The U.S. needs a moratorium on immigration, not more people in the long line of those seeking admission. We shouldn't compensate for presidential dereliction of duty by relying on the immigration limitations allowed by the Title 42 public health mandate during COVID.

We need leaders who refocus on the first principle of immigration policy: Moderate the numbers of migrants in a way that supports Americans and conserves the fabric of America as we've woven it.

The question is simple: How many migrants is too many?

Those who lack the courage to answer it, to say nothing of those who have made it a taboo to even ask it, will be damned by the long-term consequences of mass immigration. It's true that it takes courage to speak up; virtue signaling global citizens will damn you for it. Yet one of these things the country can survive; the other, not so much. Pick your poison, but you must do it now.

Pamela Denise Long is CEO of Youthcentrix® Therapy Services, a business focused on helping organizations implement trauma-informed practices and diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism (DEIA) at the systems level. Connect with Ms. Long online at or @PDeniseLong on social media.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.