Saturday, November 26, 2022

Political Editors: In Brief: What Would Securing the Border Actually Look Like?

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Joe Biden’s deliberate border crisis has continued to worsen, but that doesn’t mean there’s no hope. Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, says there are ways to fix the crisis.

It’s always easier to break something than to build it.

Joe Biden broke the immigration control system that he’d inherited from Donald Trump and that had been built up over several administrations of both parties. Rebuilding it after Biden’s vandalism will take time. Even if Republicans win the majority in both houses of Congress in November, it will take a change in administration before any real reconstruction can begin.

Krikorian then proceeds to outline what a good process would look like.

The key to successful deterrence is ending the practice of catch-and-release. Under this president, well over 1 million illegal aliens have been intentionally released into the country. (The rest of the illegal alien “encounters” were expelled back across the border under Title 42, a Covid-era public health measure that the Biden DHS is trying to end.) If border-jumpers are released, more will follow, as they pass the news to family and friends. If they’re detained, or made to wait outside the US, fewer will come, as they relay that news.

That’s why “Build the Wall!” is insufficient. There’s no question that more wall has to be constructed, especially in those areas where Biden’s Inauguration Day stop-work order has left gaps that are irresistible to alien smugglers. And restarting wall construction will, by itself, send the message that things have changed.

But the Border Patrol will also have to be built up again, since more agents are now leaving in disgust than are being replaced by new hires. Detention beds will need to be added, to comply with the statutory mandate that all illegal border-crossers be detained until the final deposition of their cases. (The decision to ignore that mandate early in Obama’s first term is what lit the fuse for the past decade’s border mess.) Immigration court facilities will need to be maintained at all the major ports of entry along the Mexican border.

The physical wall, and the infrastructure and personnel that accompany it, will need to be buttressed by a legal and policy “wall” to end catch-and-release. A veritable archipelago of loopholes in the immigration law have to be plugged, which will require our legislature to rouse itself and legislate.

Krikorian goes on to argue that other policies need to change, too. “Asylum in particular needs to be rethought from scratch, since it’s a relic from another era.” He adds, “First, Remain in Mexico needs to be reinstated and expanded.” And that leads to the second big change:

The second needed asylum change seeks to nip the problem in the bud, barring people from applying for asylum at all if they’ve passed through other countries before reaching the US. This practice of country-shopping — traveling through many countries before reaching the one whose immigration system is easiest to game — is not even required by the UN treaty our asylum rules are based on.

He concludes with the aforementioned hope:

Border control doesn’t begin or end at the border, and so other steps would also be needed. Sanctuary cities need to be reined in; independent authority to assist in immigration enforcement must be returned to the states; deportations from inside the country must resume (they’ve fallen to almost nothing, even for criminals); and the magnet of jobs — which is what illegal aliens are coming for in the first place — needs to be turned off via universal use of the E-Verify system for new hires.

Putting the pieces of the broken border system back together again will take time, but it can be done.

Read the whole thing here.

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