To End the Border Crisis, Biden Must Accept These Six Basic Facts | Opinion

Despite what the Biden administration—or the Washington Post editorial board, for that matter—claims, the situation at our southern border is, in fact, a crisis. The crisis will become more severe in the short term, even as the media's attention inevitably shifts to another topic. And frankly, the crisis will not end unless the Biden administration quickly undoes the disastrous border-related policy choices it made right out of the gate.

Here are the six basic facts about illegal immigration that—as evidenced by those policy choices—the Biden administration thus far refuses to accept:

  1. Walls prevent illegal entries. More walls, fewer illegal entries. Fewer walls, more illegal entries.
  2. Successful illegal entries into the United States—defined not just as those who evade apprehension, but also those who are released into the interior after apprehension—result in more future illegal entries. Why? Because people talk. Those who manage to make it into the United States communicate with friends and family back home. Their stories entice the opportunistic to emulate their actions.
  3. Not everyone who makes the journey to the United States or who is encountered along the southern border is an asylum seeker. People are opportunistic and want to come to the United States for many obvious reasons—most of them are not coming to seek asylum.
  4. It is a federal crime to cross the border illegally, even if one later seeks asylum. There is a fundamental distinction between one's eligibility to seek asylum regardless of manner of entry, on the one hand, and the existence of criminal penalties for illegally crossing the border, on the other. Failing to make this distinction clear only encourages more illegal conduct. Migrants can seek asylum at ports of entry without violating the law.
  5. The overwhelming majority of asylum claims are denied. That is because, contrary to popular belief, experiencing generalized crime or violence or seeking economic prosperity are not legally valid bases for asylum.
  6. Releasing aliens into the United States with no plans to remove them or to ensure their compliance with lawful obligations to leave the United States undermines the integrity of the entire immigration system.

By stubbornly ignoring these six basic facts about illegal immigration, the Biden administration is ensuring de facto open borders for the most difficult aliens to remove. Even worse, it's doing so during the worst pandemic in modern history, imperiling the health and safety of all Americans.

U.S.-Mexico border wall in Arizona
U.S.-Mexico border wall in Arizona Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention possesses the legal authority to prevent the entry of members of family units and unaccompanied alien children into the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the Biden administration does not want to use that authority. It has also abandoned effective Trump-era programs, like the Migrant Protection Protocols, that had restored integrity to the immigration system.

The Biden administration seemingly has no desire to follow federal law that requires the deportation of those who have been provided their day in court and who have final orders of removal. That means there is close to a zero percent chance any illegal alien—other than recent single adult entrants and a microscopic number of the most serious criminal aliens—will be removed from the United States.

Not now. Not a year from now. Not two or three years from now. Never.

Unless the White House changes course, virtually every single one of the 19,246 migrants who came as a member of a family unit in February alone, and who wasn't immediately expelled, will likely remain in the United States indefinitely. Every month thereafter will bring even more—unless and until something changes.

And what will be the outcome in the medium and long term? Hundreds of thousands will come here illegally. There will be an unparalleled degree of unlawful activity on both sides of the border. More death and despair. More heartbreak.

There will never be enough "reception centers," processing capacity or judges to handle the influx. Not even public messaging and nation-building efforts in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras will be sufficient to stem the tide.

The Biden administration's next moves will likely involve distortions of law and the initiation of policies designed to diminish the most visible, obvious signs of the crisis at the southwest border. Driven by a radical open-borders ideology, it will use every tool at its disposal to cover up the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding before our very eyes.

The Trump administration did what many believed was impossible: It ended the border crisis, after decades of political incompetence, by securing the southern border once and for all. Despite that feat, those of us who served in the administration endured relentless personal attacks and character assassination simply because we enforced the law.

In under two months, the Biden administration has successfully orchestrated a new and far more extensive border crisis of its very own. This crisis will continue until it begins accepting basic facts about illegal immigration, discharging the duties of office and protecting the Constitution and our homeland.

Gene P. Hamilton was formerly counselor to the U.S. attorney general and senior counselor to the secretary of homeland security.

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