As migrants overwhelm shelter capacity in border communities and destination cities throughout the U.S., the disruptions caused by our porous southern border seem obvious. Beneath the surface, however, is a deeper problem. Congress sets limits on immigration to avoid the cultural and political transformations that can accompany mass movements of people. By violating those limits—by inviting millions of inadmissible migrants to enter our country—the current administration is furthering a long-term change in our national character. It’s a change that will be especially damaging to the conservative movement.
The root cause of the crisis is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under President Joe Biden. DHS is not merely failing to catch inadmissible migrants who sneak across the border; rather, it is facilitating their entry. The process started with Biden’s promise to remove key deterrents, such as the Trump rule that asylum seekers must remain in Mexico while their cases are adjudicated. DHS responded to the resulting border surge not by tightening the rules, but by attempting to coordinate the flow into the U.S.
This coordination involves the abuse of statutes intended for exceptional circumstances, such as the “parole” power, which DHS now invokes to welcome any number of inadmissible migrants it wants, for whatever reason it wants, at any time it wants. DHS even encourages migrants to download a special app on their phones to schedule their visa-less entry. Meanwhile, a purported crackdown on migrants attempting to cross between ports of entry has not materialized. Would-be border-crossers blocked by the Texas National Guard are instead seeking out U.S. Border Patrol officers who may release them into the interior. . . .