$13.6B Biden Request for Border Security Lacks One Element: A Commitment to Enforcing the Law

By David North on October 24, 2023

The administration’s recent request for $13.6 billion in additional funding for border security could be helpful, but something more is needed: a government with a strong enough spine to enforce the immigration law and to end the current surge of illegal and illegal-ish aliens over our southern border.

Some of my readers will remember those film clips of a few years ago showing Tokyo subway guards pushing passengers into already overcrowded subway cars; yes, it was (like Biden’s border request) a governmental effort to solve a problem: too many passengers for the system. But publicizing the guards’ action was also a smoke-screen hiding the fact that the subway managers had not funded enough subway cars, running frequently enough, to solve the problem.

The current request for more funds for border security of various kinds is, among other things, an effort hide the fact that the government will not enforce the long-standing prohibition against illegal entries into the U.S. What use are more Border Patrol agents if thousands of Venezuelans (among others), not a single one with a visa, can simply fly over our southern border and settle in the U.S.?

There is also a sneaking suspicion that the request for more money at the border is not sought on the solid grounds that it is needed (as it is) but that it is being included in a much broader package of more aid for Ukraine, and more for Israel, in the hopes that the big package will be more acceptable to many House Republicans than if border security were not mentioned.

While it is impossible for anyone to say a good word for Hamas and its attack on Israel, perhaps Hamas — unwittingly — has created a way to enhance security at the Mexican border, as long as it is joined by more money for Ukraine and Israel.

Setting those thoughts to one side, let’s see what’s in the $13.6 billion package if it can get past the chaotic House. Details include:

    • Hiring 1,000 additional CBP Officers [presumably working in the ports of entry] and resources for Homeland Security Investigations.
    • Equipping Southwest Border ports of entry with cutting-edge detection technology, in particular Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) systems to enhance inspection capabilities, including fentanyl detection).
    • An additional 1,300 Border Patrol Agents to work alongside the 20,205 agents funded in the FY2024 Budget. The funding will also include 300 Border Patrol Processing Coordinators and support staff. [Does the 1,300 include the 300? Who knows? Those hired for processing will be rubber-stamping illegals’ new papers.]
    • An additional 1,600 Asylum Officers and associated support staff to hear migrant claims and facilitate timely immigration dispositions, including expedited removal for those without a valid claim to remain in the United States. [There are no numbers shown for how often removals will happen.]
    • Additional detention beds [no number provided] to sustain our current significantly increased use of expedited removal and provide necessary surge capacity.
    • 1,470 additional attorneys and support staff to match the 375 new immigration judge teams to adjudicate and process immigration cases more quickly and help reduce the caseload backlog.
    • Resources for third countries to conduct their own repatriation flights and help reduce the flow of migrants to the United States. We are also requesting the authority to provide assistance to foreign countries to conduct these repatriations if the Secretaries of Homeland Security and State determine that support is in the national interest.

The additional funding requests for Ukraine, Israel, and our own border will be deeply involved with the speaker’s race in the House, and will undoubtedly be altered by that process if accepted at all. Stay tuned.