Upon entering office in 2021, President Joe Biden furiously acted to roll back the strict immigration policies of his predecessor.
Amid mounting bipartisan backlash over the spike in illegal border crossings and a flood of drugs into the United States from Mexico, however, he seemed to change his tune around the beginning of this year.
In addition to planning his first-ever trip to the nation’s southern border, Biden laid out a plan that, on its face, seemed to address some of his critic’s concerns. Although his proposal included a path for thousands of immigrants to legally enter the nation each month, it also called for more deportations of those who violate the nation’s immigration laws.
At the time, Biden’s announcement drew backlash from the left, including American Civil Liberties Union Director of Border Strategies Jonathan Blazer, who claimed that it “further ties his administration to the poisonous anti-immigrant policies of the Trump era instead of restoring fair access to asylum protections.”
Months later, however, skeptics of Biden’s about-face on the issue seem to be proven right as the White House pursues its plan to repeal Title 42, which is a public health policy passed after the outbreak of COVID-19 that allows authorities to turn away undocumented immigrants at the border.
In other words, the Biden administration has absolutely no plan for when Title 42 ends pic.twitter.com/70mAEH2dnf
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 3, 2023
Furthermore, the Center for Immigration Studies dissected Biden’s proposal and reported in February that it “is so fraught with exceptions and loopholes that the general public should expect few prospective migrants to actually be deterred.”
The apparent proof that the changes have been ineffective can be found in a consistently high rate of illegal border crossings even in the months since Biden announced his supposed policy shift.
Between Oct. 1 — the beginning of Fiscal Year 2023 — and the end of February, the number of migrant encounters along the U.S.-Mexico border had topped 1 million. Over the same period during the previous fiscal year, that number was below 840,000.
Even some experts on Biden’s side of the aisle are speaking out against the Biden administration’s largely toothless plan to stem the tide of illegal immigration.
According to Mike Mikus, a longtime Democratic Party operative, the American public “is much closer to the center on immigration than where the White House has been,” noting that the “people who decide elections are in the middle.”