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Former President Donald Trump slammed President Joe Biden’s lax immigration policy in a powerful statement on Friday. Trump warned that Biden’s deportation moratorium, his return to catch-and-release, his stopping the construction of the border wall, and his rejection of multilateral border agreements with Mexico and other countries has helped unleash a “tsunami” at the border that, among other things, is helping spread the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
“Our border is now totally out of control thanks to the disastrous leadership of Joe Biden,” Trump declared in a written statement. “Our great Border Patrol and ICE agents have been disrespected, demeaned, and mocked by the Biden Administration. A mass incursion into the country by people who should not be here is happening on an hourly basis, getting worse by the minute. Many have criminal records, and many others have and are spreading [COVID-19].”
Trump claimed that interior enforcement has been “shut down,” so that criminals that the Trump administration would have removed “are now being released back onto the street to commit heinous and violent crimes. ICE officers are desperate to remove these convicted criminals, but Biden won’t let them.”
Trump claimed that when he left office, “we had achieved the most secure border in our country’s history,” but he warned that “under Biden, it will soon be worse, more dangerous, and more out of control than ever before. He has violated his oath of office to uphold our Constitution and enforce our laws.”
“Now that Biden has implemented nationwide Catch-and-Release, illegal immigrants from every corner of the Earth will descend upon our border and never be returned. You can never have a secure border unless people who cross illegally are promptly removed,” Trump warned.
The former president excoriated Biden for abandoning the “remain in Mexico policy,” which required asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases were adjudicated. Biden indeed dropped the policy shortly after his inauguration. “Likewise, our Safe Third Agreements in Central America were extraordinarily successful, so Biden foolishly ditched them too,” the former president noted.
Perhaps most egregiously, Biden dropped investigations into human trafficking. Trump noted, “We put in place powerful rules and procedures to stop the smuggling and trafficking, but the Biden Administration has abandoned these proven strategies and instead given the smugglers and traffickers effective control of our border.”
Trump also lamented Biden’s halt to construction of the border wall, even though the former president left it “almost finished” so that it “can be quickly completed.”
“Doing so will save thousands of lives,” the former president urged. While it remains unclear how many lives the wall would save — by discouraging migrants from seeking to cross the U.S. border and therefore endangering themselves —Biden apparently prefers the symbolism of dropping Trump’s policy over whatever good a wall would do.
“The spiraling tsunami at the border is overwhelming local communities, depleting budgets, crowding hospitals, and taking jobs from legal American workers,” Trump warned. He also noted that illegal immigrants might carry the coronavirus with them. Indeed, Border Patrol recently released more than 100 illegal immigrants who tested positive for COVID-19 in Texas.
“The Biden Administration must act immediately to end the border nightmare that they have unleashed onto our Nation,” Trump concluded. “Keep illegal immigration, crime, and the China Virus out of our country!”
The statement included the usual Trump bluster, but the former president’s warning raised serious concerns about Biden’s immigration policy. It seems Biden has directed federal officials not to enforce the law, signaling that crossing the U.S. border illegally — which is still a crime — will not be penalized.
Just before Biden took office, a senior Biden transition official warned migrants hoping to cross the southern border that “now is not the time” to make the journey — suggesting that the opportunity would come soon. “There’s help on the way, but now is not the time to make the journey,” the official said, according to NBC News.
Customs and Border Patrol has briefed the White House on the grim prospect that as many as 13,000 unaccompanied alien children will arrive by May as caravans head north.
Biden’s near-total reversal of Trump’s immigration policy — which largely involved enforcing existing federal law — has sparked a likely crisis on the southern border. Trump was right to call him out on it, and Biden would be wise to listen. Unfortunately, the president is likely to double down on his lax policies and encourage yet more illegal immigration.