Nicole Miyoshi | The Poly Post

The Biden Administration created chaos at the border, now it must be fixed

By Aadi Mehta, Feb. 27, 2024

With the ongoing standoff between President Joe Biden and Texas Gov. Greg Abbot escalating amid increased levels of immigration at the U.S. border, it is safe to say the Biden Administration insinuated this chaos when they rolled back Trump-era regulations last year.  

Biden, along with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, announced in May 2023 that he was ending a successful immigration policy known as Title 42 that was put in place during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Under the law, security officials were required to return migrants, except for families and children traveling alone, over the border, and they did so more than 2.8 million times as part of their plan to effectively curb the spread of COVID-19.  

Another mistake occurred when Biden reversed a policy that established a program where asylum-seekers were mandated to wait in Mexico for their cases being reviewed by American courts. Claiming the policy was “cruel” on his 2024 reelection campaign website, Biden replaced it with a rule that would bar migrants from asylum if they do not request refugee status in another country before entering the United States.  

This replacement, though tougher in language, does not effectively stop migrant overflow in Southwestern border cities. Many migrants want to flee Latin American countries, so why would they fall prey to a law which only mandates that they “request” refugee status. What is stopping them from requesting refuge in another country, for example, Argentina, and then using that as leverage to gain access over the U.S.-Mexico border? 

Nicole Miyoshi | The Poly Post

Besides this, Mexico is not making the situation any better. In response to Abbott, who initiated a plan to make crossing the border illegally a state crime and thereafter deport many illegal immigrants through Texas Senate Bill 4, the Mexican government said in a public statement that they would not abide by regulations that would allow for the “involuntary return” of migrants to Mexico. This lack of cooperation will prove pointless for both countries, and this crisis will continue to get worse.  

As a political science student who has made immigration a prime issue for myself in politics, I am upset at how incompetent lawmakers have become in delaying action on this issue. For one, you have a president that slowly gave in to his party’s flawed concerns with increased border patrol and safety. Another problem is that health and asylum centers are becoming overfilled with migrants, prompting illegal releases in suburban areas. In San Diego for example, about 18,500 migrants were released on the streets in the surrounding areas. How can this be allowed? What about the safety and security of U.S. citizens who have made a home in those communities? 

Biden allowed for this chaos at the border. Now he must realize the buildup of his mistakes and collaborate with Congress to pass a bipartisan immigration bill that finally seeks to put an end to illegal immigration through common sense practices for asylum-seekers, better accessibility to green card and citizenship applications and includes a temporary shutdown of the border to monitor migrant flow. 

With more states set to head to the polls in what is expected to be a hotly contested primary season in front of an already contentious presidential election year, immigration will be in the minds of voters, especially those in Southern states that bear the burden of illegal immigrants. Part of what makes a successful candidate is one who has strengthened border security through comprehensive reform plans and not caved in to human rights organizations who argue for an open-border policy. I can say without question right now that candidate is not Biden and the Democratic Party. 

Feature image courtesy of Nicole Miyoshi

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