(The Center Square) – U.S. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson has identified 64 Biden administration polices he argues created the border crisis.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates has argued President Joe Biden “delivered the most border security funding in American history” and House Freedom Caucus members “repeatedly voted to slash that funding.”
The caucus argues Biden “delivered the most illegal border crossings in American history. All the money in the world won’t stop the flow of fentanyl and illegal crossings if the President won’t enforce the laws to secure the border.”
Johnson, R-Louisiana, agrees, saying Congress won’t pass any bills, including funding requests by the president, that don’t prioritize border security.
“Since his first day in office, President Biden and his administration have worked to systematically undermine America’s border security,” Johnson said, pointing to 64 examples that he says created a “national security catastrophe.”
Below are details from Johnson’s report on Biden’s first year in office:
On January 20, 2021, on his first day in office, President Biden ended the national emergency previously declared at the southwest border, halting emergency construction of the border wall. He also issued an executive order expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which courts have ruled is illegal, and proposed a U.S. Citizenship Act “to provide amnesty to millions of illegal aliens in the U.S., demonstrating intent to reward illegal border crossers with a path to citizenship.”
Biden revoked a previous executive order related to enforcing immigration laws; issued an executive action ending restrictions on foreign nationals entering the U.S. from countries associated with terrorism; and issued a 100-day moratorium on deportations. Doing so communicated “to illegal aliens that they do not have to worry about the possibility of deportation,” the report states.
In February 2021, the Department of Homeland Security implemented a new policy of “alternatives to removal,” including “staying or reopening cases, alternative forms of detention, custodial detention, whether to grant temporary deferred action,” among others.
Biden also issued an executive order directing asylum claims to be processed at the border and ended the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP, “Remain in Mexico”). Secretary of State Antony Blinken suspended and began terminating Asylum Cooperative Agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, enabling hundreds of thousands to enter the U.S. instead of remaining in their home countries.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exempted unaccompanied alien children (UACs) from Title 42 expulsion requirements, encouraging “parents to pay cartels to smuggle their children to the U.S. border;” “sped up releases of UACs;” and created a “major wave” of UACs, family units, and others heading to the border, the report states.
By March 2021, the administration had lost track of 20,000 UACs and expanded detention capacity to hold thousands more. During COVID-era lockdowns, the CDC directed facilities to open to pre-COVID-era levels.
Mayorkas reinstated the Central American Minors program, bypassing laws established by Congress, to release even more people into the U.S. from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. He announced DHS’s “lawful pathways” catch-and-release policy and instructed federal agents to release illegal border crossers and give them Notice to Report papers instead of Notice to Appear papers, which require appearing before federal immigration court.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement expanded the use of “Influx Care Facilities” to house UACs, “often using unlicensed facilities.” In March, April and May 2021, ORR expanded capacity to house another 23,849 UACs, without properly vetting sponsors and loosened background checks requirements.
By April and June 2021, wall construction funded by the Department of Defense was cancelled; the CAM program was expanded; asylum eligibility policies redefined familial relationships, gender and domestic relationships as a “particular social group.”
By July 2021, Border Patrol agents released at least 50,000 illegal foreign nationals into the country without giving them NTAs; by August 2021, more than 100,000 were released into the U.S. without NTAs. No one knows where they are. Additional parole policies were implemented; taxpayer-funded services to noncitizens facing removal were expanded.
In September 2021, Biden falsely accused Border Patrol horse patrol agents of whipping Haitians in Del Rio, Texas. “DHS Secretary Mayorkas knew the claim was false and even though the agents were exonerated in July 2022, the Administration proposed punishment for the agents,” the report states. Mayorkas instructed agents that illegal entry wasn’t a sole basis for removal contrary to federal law – one of over a dozen parole programs identified as illegal in impeachment articles filed against Mayorkas.
By October 2021, DHS canceled border wall contracts in Laredo and Rio Grande Valley CBP Sectors and suspended large-scale worksite enforcement. Mayorkas prohibited ICE agents from enforcing some federal laws and terminated the MPP.
By November 2021, Mayorkas formally implemented the alternatives to detention parole program, expanding en masse release. By December 2021, ICE had repurposed three detention centers to hold more “family units,” incentivizing further illegal entry, according to the report.
In fiscal 2022, the administration distributed over $300 million, 43% of total awards, to so-called sanctuary cities through SCAAP, Byrne, and COPS programs, “financially rewarding cities whose policies” ignore federal immigration law.
Many states sued over the policies, with Texas suing the most.