Thursday, June 06, 2024


By Scott Johnson | Powerline

If a frank enemy of the United States had taken over the executive branch of in January 2021, he would not have conducted himself one whit differently than Joe Biden, his administration, and his Democratic enablers in Congress and the media. From his first day in office Biden garishly repealed every border control that President Trump had worked up to stem the tide of illegal immigration. Biden put out the word to friend and foe alike that the United States had open borders.

As he had vowed to do, President Biden opened the borders to illegal aliens on January 20, 2021. It was among his first acts in office and stands as an almost unbelievable act of willful destruction. Indeed, as Andrew McCarthy bluntly put it in an August 2021 NRO column on Biden policy: “The federal government is aiding and abetting illegal immigration.”

Administration officials have both repeatedly lied about what it has done and deflected blame over the years since that day. Instead, the Biden administration has repeatedly assured us, “the border is secure” (video below).

Well, they have had second thoughts — second thoughts prompted by the need to “protect [their] phony baloney jobs” in advance of the presidential election. The powers-that-be in the White House and the Biden reelection campaign thought they could turn the “bipartisan border bill” fiasco to Biden’s benefit. As the sole author of the “emergency” that the bill was allegedly designed to address, Biden was in a uniquely poor position to advance the argument that Republicans are to blame.

Regardless of one’s cynicism about the American electorate’s level of knowledge concerning such matters, no one in his right mind believes the line peddled by Biden: “Every day between now and November, the American people are going to know that the only reason the border is not secure is Donald Trump and his MAGA Republican friends.”

Joe Biden has created the flood of illegal immigration with which we have been inundated. He has assured us that all is well. Most recently, he has blamed Republicans for failing to provide the necessary cover.

Now in a remarkable case of just-in-time manufacturing, President Biden has announced executive action that will kick in when the seven-day average of daily encounters at the southwest border and the southern border exceeds 2,500. When the rule kicks in, claims of asylum are not to processed illegal aliens are encountered between ports of entry — 2,499 illegal aliens a day is just business as usual.

The White House has posted this fact sheet on the order. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas — he who has repeatedly testified under oath that the border is secure — has posted a related statement here.

The opening sentences of the White House fact sheet suggest that candor is not the order of the day: “Since his first day in office, President Biden has called on Congress to secure our border and address our broken immigration system. Over the past three years, while Congress has failed to act, the President has acted to secure our border.” A little further down the Fact Sheet places this in bold print: “President Biden believes we must secure our border.” For some reason, neither the Fact Sheet nor statement links to the relevant text.

The Journal’s backgrounder by Michelle Hackman refers to “executive actions” without citing any particular rule or order. Rather, Hackman cites Biden’s Proclamation on Securing the Border. That appears to be the operative text.

The proclamation parcels out the blame in Biden’s accustomed fashion before “suspending entry of noncitizens across the southern border during this time of high border crossings” (“[a]ppropriate exceptions are provided”). The proclamation also refers to related “steps to be taken by DOJ and DHS.” The plan is not yet fully hatched.

Having taken a look at the Fact Sheet, The Journal points out in its editorial on the “executive actions”:

Migrants [sic] could still seek asylum at ports of entry using the CBP One mobile app, which would be excluded from the daily triggers.

A White House fact sheet says the order also exempts migrants if they “faced an imminent and extreme threat to life or safety, such as an imminent threat of rape, kidnapping, torture, or murder.” This sounds much like the way the dysfunctional asylum system currently works. Unaccompanied minors aren’t covered by the order, which might encourage more of them to seek asylum.

The Washington Free Beacon further documents exceptions. The Free Beacon story by Joe Simonson is links an internal ICE memo.

Let us hazard the thought that Biden’s action is for show. One wonders, for example, where yesterday’s asylum seekers be returned, if in fact they were “encountered” by the authorities.


The link above is also here:

UPDATE: At NRO but behind its paywall, Mark Krikorian expands on one of the points above:

These various trigger numbers are totally made up. Recall that Obama’s Department of Homeland Security secretary, Jeh Johnson, said that even 1,000 border infiltrations a day overwhelmed the system. It wouldn’t surprise me if the White House arrived at the 2,500 number by conducting focus groups to determine what was the highest number of illegal border crossings they could allow without losing key swing states.

Whatever the number, this approach says there’s a threshold level of “acceptable” illegal immigration. I haven’t seen anyone make the point that this is the same approach to border enforcement that the Soros DAs have taken to prosecuting shoplifters.

Whole thing here.