Every State is Now a Border State | Opinion

You don't have to live near the southern border to experience the fallout from record-shattering levels of illegal immigration. Today, every state is a border state, and the ongoing crisis is making a mockery of the rule of law.

It's not just Arizona, Texas and New Mexico—my own home state of Ohio is affected too. As Butler County sheriff Richard Jones recently pointed out in a letter to President Joe Biden, illegal immigration afflicts the entire country, straining local resources for services such as police, education and health care while introducing significant public safety threats into our communities.

Month after month, there are hundreds of thousands of illegal border crossings, as people from all over the world seek to take advantage of the Biden administration's open-borders policy. There's a good reason so many people think Biden has rolled out the welcome mat—it's because he has. To the greatest extent possible, the White House has matched its beckoning rhetoric with active enticements and open borders.

One of President Biden's first official actions upon taking office was to declare an end to President Donald Trump's incredibly successful and cost-effective Migrant Protection Protocol, also known as the "Remain in Mexico" policy. That policy obliged asylum seekers to remain on the other side of the border while waiting for their cases to be adjudicated. The courts recently overturned that decision and forced the Biden administration to reinstate the policy. But the damage has already been done, as evidenced by the sustained surge of people convinced they now have a free pass to enter our country.

As a Marine Corps veteran, it pains me to see homeless veterans who made tremendous sacrifices in service of our country now living under bridges while the government uses tens of millions of our tax dollars to pay for illegal immigrants to stay in hotels. It also infuriates me when our own commander in chief condemns Border Patrol agents and vows to make them "pay" for enforcing our laws.

Our Border Patrol agents are doing an extremely difficult and dangerous—but necessary—job. That's why states such as Ohio, despite being located far from the southern border, feel it is in their best interests to send police and National Guard resources to help secure it. The United States has realized in recent years that our military can't be the world's police force. For many of the same reasons, we can't be the world's babysitter, either. We must focus on putting America and Americans first.

President Trump understood that common-sense principle. That's why he ended widely abused asylum loopholes that enabled people to fraudulently claim refugee status in order to circumvent immigration law. It's why he ended the sham legal process that released huge numbers of illegal immigrants into America's interior with nothing more than a promise that they would show up for immigration hearings months or years later. It's also why he made building the wall a central part of his border security strategy.

border patrol agent
A United States Border Patrol Agent patrols on horseback in Sunland Park, New Mexico on September 9, 2021. PAUL RATJE / AFP/Getty Images

Building and strengthening border walls is easily the most efficient and effective way of securing the border. Strong, strategically located walls allow the Border Patrol to focus its resources on points of entry and high-traffic corridors, rather than stretching its available manpower thinly across hundreds of miles of rugged terrain. It's just common sense, especially when you consider the sheer numbers of illegal immigrants crossing the border every single day.

It's worth noting that Border Patrol agents are encountering not only Mexicans and Central Americans at the southern border. They're encountering Chinese nationals, Haitians and even radical Islamist terrorists. Meanwhile, Biden is taking in tens of thousands of unvetted refugees from Afghanistan alone, possibly including grown men married to child brides, and even Taliban fighters masquerading as victims in order to infiltrate our culture and country.

It's not difficult to imagine what this means for America. We need only look at what Europe has experienced since accepting hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria while doing practically nothing to stop the flow of immigrants from elsewhere in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

Former German chancellor Angela Merkel—who bears more responsibility than any other single person for the refugee crisis in Europe—herself admitted that there are now "no-go zones" that are not safe for native residents, including local police and first responders, to enter. In France, the banlieues that are home to concentrated immigrant populations are perpetually on the verge of erupting into violent and destructive rioting.

We know what it takes to solve the illegal immigration problem, and as President Trump so strongly exhibited, we have the tools at our disposal to do it. It takes dedication to building the wall, a laser focus on enforcing our own laws and a president who puts Americans first.

Until we have true border security, every state in the union is a border state. Open borders are a waking nightmare for America.

Josh Mandel is a Marine Corps veteran who served two tours in Anbar Province, Iraq. He also served two terms in the Ohio Legislature and two terms as State Treasurer of Ohio. Josh is a candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio.

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