Border governors taking action on illegal immigration because Biden administration caused crisis

Border governors taking action on illegal immigration because Biden administration caused crisis

Many on the left are up in arms after the governors of Texas, Arizona and Florida began sending illegal aliens to sanctuary cities. The big city mayors of Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago complained when buses of several thousand illegal aliens arrived over a period of a few months, an amount equal to what small border towns are forced to contend with on a daily basis. But when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis flew 50 illegal aliens to Martha’s Vineyard, it sent them over the edge. Local officials declared an emergency and then promptly relocated the illegal aliens from the island to Joint Base Cape Cod.

But it didn’t end there. Several cable news outlets decried what they called “kidnapping” and “human trafficking,” among other allegations. The White House Press Secretary claimed the illegal aliens were treated “like chattel in a cruel, premeditated political stunt.” And right on cue, the partisan sheriff of Bexar County, Texas, launched a criminal investigation into the Florida governor, though he conceded he had no idea what charges to bring. And, of course, immigrant advocacy groups filed a class action lawsuit against DeSantis. 

All of these actions, unfortunately, are more focused on politics than actual solutions. The truth is, what these governors are doing isn’t political but a necessity because the federal government has abandoned its border security responsibilities.

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Here’s what they have to contend with. To date, the Biden administration has allowed at least 2.5 million illegal aliens into the country. This total consists of over 1.5 million illegal aliens the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) apprehended at the southern border and processed out of custody, plus approximately 1 million “gotaways” who snuck into the country. This is a population larger than 15 states and more than three times the population of Washington, D.C. 

How do small border communities handle this influx of illegal aliens? The short answer is they can’t. The Biden administration’s border crisis is largely fueled by economic migrants who lack the resources to support themselves financially after DHS releases them. Charitable organizations were quickly overrun. Next, city homeless shelters were overrun. The migrants end up on the streets, creating a public health emergency of its own. 

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Is it any surprise that Eagle Pass, Texas (population 30,000) lacks the infrastructure to accommodate the doubling of its population in just one month? Or that local officials in Uvalde, Texas (population 16,000) have resorted to busing illegal aliens to San Antonio, our country’s seventh-largest city? 

The decision by border governors to transport some of these illegal aliens to sanctuary cities far into the interior of the country is not a criminal act. It is also not the cause of this border crisis as the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection absurdly claimed recently. Instead, it is a last-ditch effort to resolve a problem created by the federal government. These governors didn’t pick up these illegal aliens from a DHS facility and then transport them out of their states; DHS had already released them. For years, non-governmental organizations have transported illegal aliens after they have been paroled out of DHS custody without any allegations that these organizations were committing crimes. 

The alarmist reaction to border governors doing the same on a very small scale is the epitome of hypocrisy. Immigration may generally be a federal issue, but states are not helpless once DHS releases illegal aliens from federal custody. The only offense the border governors are guilty of is undercutting the Left’s disinformation claim that the border is “secure.”

Chad Wolf is the former acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and executive director and chair of the Center for Homeland Security and Immigration at the America First Policy Institute. 

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