Today’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy features experts from the Center for Immigration Studies discussing immigration highlights of 2023. Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of the podcast, is joined by Director of Investigations Jon Feere and Senior National Security Fellow Todd Bensman.
Krikorian identifies the top story of the year as the record-breaking number of illegal aliens at the border, with 3.2 million encounters of inadmissible aliens, double the pre-Covid numbers from 2019. However, the open border, coupled with the lack of interior enforcement, led to other significant stories, including the trafficking of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) and a Texas-Biden war.
Bensman, author of last year’s Overrun: How Joe Biden Unleashed the Greatest Border Crisis in American History, explains that the administration’s policies opened the border wide for illegal aliens. Anticipating a surge of illegal aliens resulting from the May termination of Title 42, the Biden administration funneled hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens into the country by enabling them to pre-schedule their “legal” entry through the CBP One app. A surge at the border occurred nonetheless. The overwhelming numbers of illegal border crossings and overworked agents also resulted in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) losing track of 85,000 unaccompanied alien children.
A faceoff between Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at the Texas-Mexico border raised the question of whether a state has the right to defend the border. The conflict between Texas and the federal government arose over several state actions, including placing concertina wire on the border, busing illegal aliens to various cities, and placing a marine barrier in the Rio Grande River.
Feere highlights how the administration’s restrictions on immigration enforcement have made communities less safe. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) is no longer removing criminal aliens from the interior of the country, and the agency has failed to prioritize worksite enforcement, allowing scores of migrant children to be exploited and work in unsafe environments.
At the end of the episode, Krikorian and guests provide predictions for the U.S. immigration landscape in 2024.
Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
Todd Bensman is the Senior National Security Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies
Jon Feere is the Director of Investigations at the Center for Immigration Studies
Voices in the opening montage:
- Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
- Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
- President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
- Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
- Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
- Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
- Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
- Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
- Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
- Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".