New York Post, December 19, 2023
The backlog of pending cases in the nation’s immigration courts has hit 3 million, as millions of border migrants have been released into the United States to seek asylum in the past three years.
It’s a shocking figure, but just the latest example of the president’s efforts to break the immigration-enforcement system, likely to force a massive amnesty he has long sought.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas — among others — has accused former President Trump of “gutting” the immigration system, but such claims are little more than projection.
Annual southwest border apprehensions exceeded 405,500 just once during the last presidency, in fiscal year 2019 when they hit 860,000. Trump responded with the successful “Remain in Mexico” program, driving illegal migration down again.
Apprehensions have subsequently exceeded 2 million in the past two fiscal years, setting a new all-time record (2.2 million) in FY 2022.
Worse, reports indicate agents are nabbing more than 12,000 illegal migrants per day of late, putting them on track for 4.3 million apprehensions this year, even as the administration allows 1,450 other migrants to preschedule their illegal entries using the CBP One app daily.
You can add in 30,000 other Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans the White House is ushering into the United States monthly at undisclosed interior US airports for two-year periods of “parole” (few will ever depart).
It’s no wonder the immigration courts’ dockets are ballooning.
By law, DHS can’t deport those applying for asylum until judges order them removed. In non-detained cases, that takes years, time those aliens can live and work here while acquiring equities (houses, children) that will make it even more difficult to send them out.
The only way to make this system work is to limit the number of new aliens entering illegally, and the only way to curb illegal entries is detention, where cases take 42 days on average. But President Biden largely refuses to detain illegal migrants, even though the law demands it.
Agents can bypass that immigration-court process using “expedited removal,” a tool Congress gave them in 1996 to dissuade aliens from making bogus asylum claims simply to gain access to the United States.
The administration, however, largely won’t let them use that tool. Of all the 1.496 million aliens apprehended at the border in FY 2023 who weren’t expelled under Title 42, fewer than 12% were subject to expedited removal. By contrast, more than 900,000 others (60.7%) were simply cut loose.
All of this adds to the burdens on judges, who won’t be able to dig themselves out of this backlog for a decade or more. That only benefits the illegal aliens — not the interests of justice.
One of Biden’s first acts as president was to send Congress an amnesty bill covering nearly every illegal immigrant here and opening the door for aliens deported under Trump to return. The White House blames the border crisis on Republicans for blocking it, but even Speaker Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t touch it.
Biden has given up on that amnesty, and if he couldn’t cajole Congress to pass it, perhaps he’s decided to break the immigration system, force members to legalize all those who have entered illegally and start from scratch.
Honestly, it’s the only explanation that makes sense.