Biden Border Crisis Is Extortion Tactic to Push Massive Amnesty: The BorderLine

Biden Border Crisis Is Extortion Tactic to Push Massive Amnesty: The BorderLine

This is the last in my series on “Three Reasons the Left Wants Open Borders.” I’ve covered ideology and electoral politics; now, let’s turn to extortion.

By turning on the taps of illegal immigration, open-borders proponents hope to create bargaining chips to negotiate amnesties and increased immigration flows. Since he took office, Joe Biden has paroled a million and a half inadmissible aliens under bogus premises, caught and quickly released into the U.S. the better part of 7 million more, and allowed at least 1.8 million more to evade Border Patrol—the “gotaways.”

As Jason Riley wrote in The Wall Street Journal last year, “The White House knows that an overwhelming majority of the people coming aren’t fleeing persecution but are economic migrants gaming our asylum laws. They know that there will be no serious effort to deport people whose claims are denied.”

Nonetheless, the roughly 10 million inadmissible foreign nationals who the White House calls “newcomers” will be new leverage to push immigration “reform,” which means massive amnesties and new “pathways” into the U.S. outside and on top of the legal immigration system authorized and numerically limited by Congress. Biden’s threat is to leave the taps wide open.

Under this pressure, wavering conservatives might concede to ineffective or even counterproductive legislation like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s, D-N.Y., bill that claimed to be a solution but did nothing to reduce the illegal flow. Fortunately, it failed on Thursday.

It was a trap—House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., correctly stated that the bill “would actually codify many of the disastrous Biden open-border policies that created this crisis in the first place,” making it difficult for a future conservative president to reverse.  

“Once bitten, twice shy” sums up why conservatives aren’t going to fall easily for this round of extortion. The relevant lesson is the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act. The deal was that about 3 million illegal aliens would be amnestied, but that the government would work to stop the flow of illegal immigrants and keep another amnesty from happening again. To achieve this, employers would have to confirm the legal status of people before hiring them or face penalties.

The first part of the bargain (the amnesty) happened, but the second part did not in any comprehensive manner. Almost 40 years later, the number of illegal aliens present in the country is perhaps five times as great as in 1986.

Until recently, Democrats believed in enforcing immigration laws, even if they might want them eased. Listen to President Bill Clinton talking here in 1995. He endorsed the conclusions of the bipartisan Commission on Immigration Reform chaired at the time by Texas Democratic Rep. Barbara Jordan, which in its final 1997 report urged “immediate reforms to ensure that aliens with final orders of deportation, exclusion, or removal are indeed removed from the United States.”

Today, there are over 1.2 million such aliens with final orders, including 400,000 convicted criminals, and the Biden administration plans to remove barely 30,000.

Clinton also proudly stated that his administration had “moved aggressively,” hiring more Border Patrol, deporting “twice as many criminal aliens as ever before,” “cracking down on illegal hiring,” and “barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens.”

Today, no elected Democrat would even dare call an alien present in the U.S. illegally an “illegal alien.” In fact, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is required to use the nonsensical term “undocumented noncitizens,” and Biden apologized recently for calling Laken Riley’s accused alien murderer “illegal.”

In 2024, after three years of mass release, mass parole, and lax enforcement, “Democrats appear to be panicking about this fall’s election, to the point that they are feigning doing something about the invasion at our southern border,” as Teresa Mull put it in the Spectator. Their strategy is to try and convince the American people that the real obstacle to securing the border is unreasonable Republicans. To sell this message would be to pull a giant rabbit out of a very small hat, as the open border is the clear work of the president and his hand-picked secretary of homeland security, Alejandro Mayorkas.

Schumer brought up the supposedly “bipartisan” Senate border bill for another vote Thursday, but it failed again, with even less support than in February. Biden may claim that he had “proposed and negotiated and agreed to the strongest border security bill this country has ever, ever, ever seen,” but senators who read it no doubt quickly reached the same conclusion as Johnson did in a few hours. The bill would have turned Biden’s welcome mat policies from overreaching executive whim into hardlaw. The Schumer bill was electioneering in the guise of legislating.

Last week, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-N.J., claimed the bill “gives the president new tools to better manage the border.” In fact, Biden has had the tools, including under Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, since January 2021.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre unwittingly admitted this week that Biden could “unilaterally” limit how many illegal aliens are allowed to enter the country. Biden has also considered ordering expedited processing for newly caught illegals rather than just releasing them. Inaction on the border is the president’s choice.

In a May 19 letter to fellow senators, Schumer wrote “the American people … want bipartisan action to secure our border.” Indeed, a May 21 nationwide poll by the University of South Florida found that 77% wanted more Border Patrol agents at the southern border, and 60% actually supported “increasing physical barriers.” In a March poll, The Wall Street Journal reported that “at least 72% of respondents in each of the [seven swing] states saying the country’s immigration policy and border security were headed in the wrong direction.” Schumer somehow discovered this six months before the national elections.

Jean-Pierre has echoed her boss many times over the past three years in claiming that the border was “not open”—even as it leaked 10,000 or more illegal aliens a day. On May 20, she told senators to set “partisan politics aside and vote to secure the border.” But even Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., opposes using the bill he drafted for purely political messaging, and Johnson has called it “dead on arrival” if it were to pass the Senate.

“Bipartisan” should mean just that, like the Jordan Commission report, not a one-party position enforced through the extortionary means of doubling the illegal alien population via mass release, parole, and negligence.

The BorderLine is a weekly Daily Signal feature examining everything from the unprecedented illegal immigration crisis at the border to immigration’s impact on cities and states throughout the land. We will also shed light on other critical border-related issues like human trafficking, drug smuggling, terrorism, and more.

Read Other BorderLine Columns:

Unprecedented Surge in Chinese Illegal Immigration Raises Security Concerns

The Ways the Left Exploits Illegal Immigration for Electoral Gain

The Ideological Roots of the Open Borders Push

US Should Adopt UK’s ‘Rwanda Plan’ to Address Illegal Immigration

Biden’s Precarious Parole Programs for Illegal Immigrants

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.