A slew of FAIR-endorsed bills are under consideration in the 2021 session of the North Carolina legislature. These bills would require state agencies to comply with ICE immigration detainers (SB 101); require the use of the federal Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) database to prevent ineligible aliens from collecting public benefits (HB 29); mandatory use of E-Verify for all companies in the state employing more than five workers (HB 43); and banning sanctuary policies anywhere in the state (HB 62). The biggest hurdle for all of these
commonsense bills is getting past the veto pen of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. In the last session, Gov. Cooper (who faces reelection next year) vetoed legislation a bill similar to SB 101.
In the past few years, Colorado has moved in the direction of the most radical sanctuary states, approving driver’s licenses for illegal aliens, granting illegal aliens tenant protection, and a statewide sanctuary law that prevents state and local agencies from cooperating in many ways with federal immigration authorities. But even that is not good enough for illegal alien advocacy groups in Colorado. This legislative session, more immigration legislation is being considered including a bill, Senate Bill 131, to prevent Colorado officials from sharing personal
identification information (PII) with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). SB 131 includes measures in several categories to deliberately conceal PII from reaching federal immigration authorities. In addition, it prohibits the collection of some PII so agencies don’t have the information in the first place. The bill bars the sharing of any “information that may be used, along or in conjunction with any other information, to identify a specific individual.” SB 131 is currently being considered by a Senate committee.
Minnesota is one of the three states considering bills to grant driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. (The other two are Pennsylvania and Idaho, where the bills have little chance of passage.) House File 1163 was introduced by Democratic House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler in February and was quickly voted out of the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee, by a party-line 10-5 vote on February 26. The bill is now in the House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee. The effort faces tougher going in the Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate. No companion legislation has been introduced in that chamber, although the state’s powerful agricultural lobby is likely to pressure the Senate to act. Gov. Tim Walz, a vocal advocate for illegal aliens, would almost certainly sign the bill if it were to reach his desk.
Prohibitions against the admission of immigrants who are likely to wind up dependent on government benefits and services to meet their basic needs predates American independence, and has been codified in law since 1882. But none of that, nor the burdens placed on the American people by welfare-dependent immigrants, seem to matter much to the Biden administration. In March, the Biden administration canceled a much-needed federal rule promulgated under President Trump designed to prevent people who are likely to become public charges from settling in the United States.
The rule that would have shielded U.S. taxpayers from having to provide costly public benefits, such as cash benefits for income maintenance, SNAP (food stamps), most forms of Medicaid, Section 8 Housing Assistance, Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance, and certain other forms of subsidized housing, is now gone, and taxpayers will remain on the hook for these costs. The cancellation of the changes reinstates very unrealistic definitions established under the Clinton administration of what it means to be a public charge.
The Biden administration’s action allowing near unrestricted admission of government-dependent immigrants would be troubling even in better times. But with the lingering economic effects of COVID and increased demand on public resources, immigration policies that add to these burdens compound the strains on assistance programs.
The effects of the cancelation of the public charge rule could have even more damaging implications in light of the administration’s efforts to enact a sweeping amnesty (or even smaller ones) for illegal aliens. The Biden administration’s plan is to grant amnesty to upwards of 14.5 million illegal aliens, and subsequent family chain migration that could entitle as many as 52 million more people to qualify for green cards. If that plan were to succeed, the price tag for eliminating the revised public charge rule could run into the tens of trillions of dollars. But, when it comes to achieving this administration’s radical agenda of unrestricted immigration, no price appears to be too great.
By late February, the situation along our southern border had gotten so bad that even President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) of Mexico was urging the Biden administration to take steps to regain control. “We need to work together to regulate the flow,
because this business can’t be tackled from one day to the next,” AMLO told his U.S. counterpart. Like many others, AMLO laid the blame for the crisis directly at the feet of President Biden. “They see [Biden] as the migrant president, and so many feel they’re going to reach the United States,” he said.
The reason for the Mexican president’s concern is that the Biden administration’s reckless policies are not just bad for the United States, but are harmful to his country as well. The Biden-induced surge of migrants is a bonanza for the criminal cartels that AMLO is battling with for control of his country. These cartels reap huge profits as they move migrants from all across the globe through Mexico to reach the United States. For AMLO, richer and more powerful criminal cartels are a threat to the government’s control of the country, and for ordinary Mexican citizens who might get in the way of the smugglers’ efforts it could mean far worse.
The sense of urgency expressed by AMLO and even many congressional Democrats was clearly lost on President Biden and his senior policy advisors. On the same day that AMLO expressed his grave concerns, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas addressed questions from the White House press corps. Mayorkas, like his boss, denied that hundreds of thousands or migrants, including tens of thousands of unaccompanied children turning up at our border, constitutes a “crisis.” Instead, Secretary Mayorkas asserted that dealing with an unending flow of migrants was merely a “challenge” – and one that he insisted that the administration was making progress on.
(The irony of his statement continued to be lost on the secretary and his boss in the White House when, a few days later, DHS was forced to dispatch teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to manage the “challenge.”)
But Mayorkas did not stop at denying that there is a crisis at the border. He went on to send a clear signal for more people to make their way to our border. “We are not saying, ‘Don’t come.’ We are saying, ‘Don’t come now because we will be able to deliver a safe and orderly process to them as quickly as possible,’” he said. While he did not indicate when, exactly, it will be the right time to come, the message that resonates with migrants all across the globe is that the nation’s chief immigration enforcement officer made it clear that we are not telling them “don’t come.”
A week and a half later, President Biden’s southern border advisor Roberta Jacobson tried her hand at justifying the administration’s policies with no better success. Ms. Jacobson denied that U.S. borders are now open, dismissing that assertion as “perception” and not “reality,” even as everyone was witnessing with their own eyes the reality that thousands of people were successfully entering the United States each day and were being allowed to continue on their way.
It still was not a crisis in the minds of the Biden administration and the Democratic congressional leadership in mid-March, when DHS was forced to admit that border apprehensions had reached levels not seen in 20 years. Even as the department was running
out of space to hold unaccompanied minors and was opening “decompression centers” hundreds of miles from the border, Mayorkas was still describing it as a “difficult situation.”
While the Biden administration continues to be in denial, or is misleading the American public about the gravity of the situation at the border, FAIR has taken the lead in providing accurate assessments about what is going on. As conditions along the border deteriorated during the first two months of the Biden administration, FAIR spokespeople have featured prominently on talk radio, television, and in print media delivering a clear picture of crisis, how it came about, and what needs to happen to stop it. FAIR has also been able to provide regular updates through social media, and in numerous op-eds that have been published in leading online opinion journals.
In the coming weeks and months, FAIR will continue to serve as the eyes and ears of the American public and increase the pressure on the Biden administration to reverse the dangerous and damaging policies they have implemented.
The train wreck that is the Biden immigration policy begs explanation, expert analysis, factual information, and rational responses. As had been the case when previous administrations have mismanaged our immigration policies to the detriment of the national
interest, they have turned to FAIR to provide facts, analysis, and responses. That has once again been the case, as the Biden administration has engaged in active sabotage of the public interest on immigration.
As a core component of our public education mission, FAIR has been the media’s go-to organization as they cover the border crisis that has unfolded since Day One of the Biden presidency. In just the first six weeks of the administration, FAIR spokespeople have spoken directly to the American public, appearing on:
121 talk radio programs around the country
38 television news and analysis programs, including national and big market stations.
Additionally, FAIR has had an unprecedented number of op-eds published in leading opinion journals and online publications – 11 in the first six weeks of the new administration, or about two per week. FAIR’s inhouse blog site, immigrationreform.com, has also experienced a huge upsurge in readership with some of the postings being shared tens of thousands of times. FAIR has also ramped up production of YouTube videos and podcasts, covering breaking events and providing vital information often overlooked by mainstream media.
With the Biden administration working overtime to decimate immigration laws and enforcement, FAIR is working non-stop to respond and provide vital information to the public. We urge members and others to stay informed by going to our website, fairus.org and looking under the “News” tab to get the latest informatio