House Committee Examines Biden Administration’s Refusal to Enforce Immigration Laws
One of President Biden’s first acts in office was to sign an executive order suspending all deportations for 100 days. A federal judge quickly blocked that order, but it nevertheless sent a clear message that his administration would ignore or subvert every immigration law that conflicted with their own open borders policies. The judicial order, notwithstanding, the numbers of illegal aliens deported under the Biden administration have plummeted to historic lows and have been limited to small categories of lawbreakers who are deemed as “priorities” for removal.
For the first two years of this administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was able to get away with refusing to enforce immigration laws, while Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. However, with Republicans now in charge of the House, lawmakers have begun to look into whether the administration can simply decide not to enforce laws they don’t like. In June, the House Judiciary Committee held hearings to look into DHS’s handling of the border crisis. The hearing posed the question, “Is the law being faithfully executed?”
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), who chairs the subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security and Enforcement, zeroed in on the Biden administration’s abuse of our asylum system and parole authority in his opening statement. “The law specifically provides that any asylum claimant shall be detained while their claim is heard. This is now routinely ignored,” McClintock said. “The law specifically provides that parole is to be granted only on a case by case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. This law is now being ignored while parole is granted en masse to release many tens of thousands of immigrants illegally into our country.”
Among the key witnesses at the hearing was Chad Wolf, the former Acting Secretary of DHS. Wolf explicitly accused the Biden administration of refusing “to follow their legal obligations” to secure the nation’s borders and enforce a whole range of immigration laws. He said the Biden administration intentionally decided to ignore its legal mandate to detain illegal aliens or make them wait in Mexico throughout their immigration court proceedings. Because of the mass influx of migrants that resulted, Wolf noted that DHS is simply releasing migrants with a directive to self-report to a local Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office when they reach their destination, rather than actually charging them and issuing notices to appear in court.
The hearing also addressed the “outsourcing” management of the border crisis to open border advocacy groups. Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) contended that these groups are receiving large amounts of taxpayer money to run a “pipeline to our border” and that further investigation is warranted to determine whether they are encouraging and facilitating illegal immigration.
As far back as the Obama administration, FAIR has argued that Executive Branch policies that exempt entire classes of immigration law violators amount to unconstitutional nullification of our nation’s laws. Under the Biden administration, nullification of our immigration laws has been taken to a whole new level. While presidents may disagree with laws, and can advocate for Congress to change them, they have a legal obligation to faithfully carry them out. Failure to do so, not only undermines the integrity of our immigration laws, but our entire constitutional system by rendering duly enacted laws meaningless.
The Judiciary Committee hearing on the Biden administration’s subversion of immigration enforcement laws laid the foundation for a subsequent effort to look into DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ role in formulating policies that have effectively nullified those laws.