President Joe Biden has governed with a sharply left-wing immigration policy, but the leftist base knows how to make noise when he steps out of line.
In a surprising move, Biden has rattled activists by hiring 17 immigration judges that were chosen by the Trump administration, The Hill reported.
Liberal activists are complaining that the new hires skew to the right and will be more inclined to deport or turn away migrants. Several have experience working for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and few have defended migrants in court.
“The 17 new immigration judges referenced in the notice all received their conditional offers under the prior administration,” the Department of Justice said.
Stacking immigration courts
One law professor derided Biden’s list as showing that he is committed to continuing Trump’s policies, in the form of “Stephen Miller Lite.”
“This is a list I would have expected out of Bill Barr or Jeff Sessions, but they’re not the attorney general anymore. Elections are supposed to have consequences,” said Paul Schmidt, an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law and a former immigration judge.
Leftists want Biden to be more aggressive about stacking the immigration courts with left-wing judges sympathetic to open borders, after four year of President Trump, which saw the government take a hard line against frivolous, fraudulent asylum claims that were flooding the system.
Under Trump, the asylum denial rate shot up to 70% as the government enacted strict policies that Biden has since undone, like Remain in Mexico. As the saying goes, personnel is policy, and Trump also hired two-thirds of the current 520 immigration judges. There is no statutory limit on the number of judges, however, and Biden has pledged to hire another 100.
Biden pushing policy far to the left
Biden’s left-wing critics are vastly overstating similarities between Trump and Biden. The president recently canceled construction of the southern border wall for good, and deportations have dropped to record lows as ICE is instructed to effectively stop enforcing the law.
“The odds of being arrested just for being in the country illegally were always extremely low, and now they’ve basically ruled it out by policy,” said Ron Vitiello, a former ICE chief under Trump.
Biden has also brought back “catch and release,” which allows migrants to escape into the country while their cases are pending, and he recently quadrupled the refugee cap after coming under fire from the leftist base for keeping Trump’s numbers.
While Biden may risk alienating some on the left, he may have bigger problems as a majority of Americans blame him for the ongoing border crisis.