To get a quick start on at least trying to fix the obscene mess that Joe Biden has created at the southern border, House Republicans can immediately draft a bill that would get rid of a single sentence that has probably done more than anything else to drive all of Latin America’s destitute to the United States.
It’s on the Department of Homeland Security website: “You may only file this application if you are physically present in the United States, and you are not a U.S. citizen.”
That’s the instruction our own insane government gives to migrants who illegally cross into the country and want a fast track to stay. It’s called “asylum,” though these days it would more accurately be called “a scam.”
Most of this happens in Texas, so it’s fitting that Republicans in the state House outlined a plan last month that would get the federal government to crack down on it. The proposal notes that there has been a sharp increase between 2014 and 2019 in the number of migrants who throw themselves across the border and claim asylum, which was originally crafted for foreigners who are persecuted by their home countries’ governments for religious or political affiliations. Asylum claimants represented just 10 percent of all illegal border crossers in 2014. By 2018, the number had more than doubled and it has only gone up since.
The word has gotten out because our own government put it out.
Hey Honduras! Hey Guatemala! Hey El Salvador! Get here! Find a border agent! Say, “asylum”! No, it only works if you’re here! No, you don’t have to fill out paperwork! Come on!
As the Texas Republicans said in their plan, only a small fraction of migrants encountered at the border, fewer than 10 percent, have a legitimate asylum claim. But the rest are almost never immediately expelled from the country. They’re allowed to linger almost anywhere, with nothing more than a promise that they’ll show up for their court dates. The cases, no matter how bogus, take years to process. When there are roughly 200,000-plus migrants crossing into the U.S. per month, how is the system supposed to handle it? It can’t.
The Texas plan spells out exactly how to eliminate the border’s biggest problem: allow for the immediate expulsion of migrants who fail to claim asylum within any country they first pass through to get here. On top of that, there should be no custodial release of anyone who illegally enters the country. Permanent detention while their cases are adjudicated should be mandatory and a lack of housing space for yet more migrants is all the more reason that they should be turned back in the direction whence they came.
Democrats and the Biden administration will naturally oppose even just erasing that one sentence from the government website. They know it’s an invite and that’s the intent, even while they otherwise try to hide it. Just last week the administration placed a story with the always helpful New York Times under the headline, “Biden Announces Major Crackdown on Illegal Border Crossings.” Biden said the same day at the White House that he would “stiffen enforcement for those who try to come without a legal right to stay,” and at the same time, laughably, he said the U.S. would admit another 30,000 migrants per month from Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua.
Rest assured, that arrangement will include everything but the “enforcement” part.
That’s fine. Republicans aren’t helpless. They can draft a bill that even just eliminates the one sentence from one government website. Make Democrats explain why they won’t allow it.