Biden Administration Sending Troops to the Border; Receives Criticism from All Sides
FAIR Take | May 2023
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced last Tuesday that it would be sending 1,500 troops to the southern border, sparking backlash from Republicans and Democrats alike.
According to DHS, the troops will only be deployed for 90 days and “will be performing non-law enforcement duties such as ground-based detection and monitoring, data entry, and warehouse support. DoD personnel have never, and will not, perform law enforcement activities or interact with migrants or other individuals in DHS custody.”
Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee were critical of the move, with Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) calling it “ridiculous theater” and noting that “[c]ome next week, all hell is going to break out all along the border.” In a statement, Sen. Cotton (R-Ark.), referred to it as a “publicity stunt” that will only result in more quickly processing illegal aliens into the country.
Former Trump Administration officials likewise critiqued the move, with Ken Cuccinelli, Deputy DHS Secretary from 2019-21, calling it a “pathetically weak show of non-force that will do nothing in light of Joe Biden’s open border policies.” Former DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said it “shows that the administration still does not have a coherent strategy more than 27 months into the humanitarian and security crisis their policies created.”
Senior Democrats in Congress were also critical of Biden’s decision to send troops to the border. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) called the move “unacceptable” and said that, “[t]rying to score political points or intimidate migrants by sending the military to the border caters to the Republican Party’s xenophobic attacks on our asylum system.”
However, other Democrats remained silent on the President’s decision. When President Trump deployed troops to the border in 2018, Vice President Kamala Harris decried the move as “inappropriate” and “based on a political agenda.” Now tasked with securing the border, Vice President Harris has yet to comment on Tuesday’s troop deployment.
With Title 42 expulsion authority set to expire on May 11, DHS is laying the groundwork to accommodate an expected surge of illegal border crossers, with some of the government’s own estimates saying we could be facing up to 18,000 border crossers daily.
Meanwhile, the cartels are massing tens of thousands of illegal aliens across the border in Mexico in anticipation of Title 42 ending, and Texas border cities are declaring states of emergency. In fact, according to Congressman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), there are already up to 700,000 illegal aliens waiting across the border.
Despite knowing the end of Title 42 was coming for more than a year, the Biden Administration has failed to put forward any substantive plan to address the impending border surge. In doing so, the Administration is signaling to illegal aliens and open-borders advocates that our southern border will remain open and our immigration laws continue to be unenforced.
FAIR is continuing to push Congress to take action to secure our borders and stop the crisis. To that end, FAIR has supported House Leadership putting forward H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act, to finish the border wall, end catch-and-release, and stop the Administration’s lawless abuse of the asylum system and humanitarian parole. Rapidly processing illegal aliens into the country is not a solution – it only encourages more illegal immigration and drug trafficking. Congress must enact meaningful policy reforms and force the Biden Administration to enforce the law.
To let Congress know you support the Secure the Border Act, click here.