By Christian Milord
In a recent op-ed for the Orange County Register, Congressional Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) praised the fact that President Joe Biden is going to overturn Title 42, which was reactivated in 2020 by President Donald Trump during the pandemic. Trump reinforced the mandate in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19 into the U.S. by unvetted migrants. The policy is set to end May 11.
Correa asks, “But are we prepared? Many anticipate a border rush when Title 42 ends.”
Title 42 dates back to 1944 when the federal government was given the authority to expel asylum seekers without a hearing to reduce the risk of transmission of a communicable disease. The enforcement of this edict has ebbed and flowed over the past 80 years hinging upon immigration priorities and which political parties were in power. Some analysts believe that Title 42 practices will continue to be used minus the infectious disease component.
While the impact of the pandemic has vastly declined in the last year or so, is this a valid reason to lift Title 42? It could be an open invitation for opportunists to take advantage of America’s generosity. In the coming weeks, the administration claims that migrants will be allowed to enter the United States for processing only at border entry points.
In the article, Correa tends to conflate the vastly different concepts of illegal migration and legal immigration. Legal immigrants adhere to the rule of law and must jump through numerous bureaucratic hoops to obtain visas and enter at the front door. Illegal migrants bypass the process, barge in through the back door, and expect to be rewarded with social services despite flouting immigration laws. These social services ought to be directed toward legal residents.
Why is Biden taking this action now after a two-year porous border policy wherein countless numbers of illegal “got-aways” have snuck into the country? Perhaps it’s due to incredible blowback from border governors, the GOP, and a looming general election in 18 months. Border czar Kamala Harris and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas have done little to stem the tide of illegal migration.
Biden wouldn’t have to be concerned with Title 42 if he had completed the border barrier, hired more Border Patrol agents, and streamlined the legal immigration process. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to fix the border crisis. Border Patrol agents have been overworked and spread thin. They have to work as babysitters and processing agents due to the vast numbers of illegal entrants.
Correa lauds the lifting of Title 42, yet it likely won’t impact the current policy of lawlessness at our Southern border. We can expect a surge of “asylum seekers” attempting to flood the border in the coming weeks at checkpoints and unpatrolled areas. Biden is sending a total of 4,000 active duty and National Guard troops to manage the large crowds of alleged “refugees.”
The armed forces aren’t meant to be immigration processing agents. The military is supposed to be a capable and ready deterrent force that defends America and its allies. A fully staffed Border Patrol can handle the job if the Biden administration would actually enforce laws already on the books. Lifting the health mandate won’t alleviate the situation of migrants slipping through without proper health and security vetting. Far too many got-aways have found their way into the country, and DHS has no idea where they are or who they are. One wonders how many terrorists have slipped in.
It’s common knowledge that a criminal increase in firearms, illicit drugs, and human trafficking has flowed into America over the past two plus years. Halting Title 42 will not alleviate that crisis, because smugglers find weak points at the Mexican border, as well as at the coasts and at the Canada-USA border.
Moreover, most of the asylum seekers are motivated by economic opportunity and come from many countries around the world. Why doesn’t the Biden administration address the genuine refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Ukraine? These folks are at the mercy of brutal tyrants in regions of conflict.
Indeed, when the U.S. military withdrew from Afghanistan and Iraq, thousands of interpreters and translators were left behind. Many are either in hiding or have been killed. These are the high-value folks that helped our armed forces beat back Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the Taliban. These people should have a high visa priority instead of the majority of migrants who seek economic opportunities.
Immigration to America is not a right or a sales transaction, but rather a hard-won privilege for those who understand responsible liberty and the rule of law. A nation that loses control of its border sovereignty can hardly be considered a country anymore. While borders in a free society aren’t meant to keep people in or out, they must be regulated with an orderly process at transit points for residents and travelers. Our national security depends on it.