Although President Donald Trump’s election-related challenges continue, those considering illegally crossing the border appear to be anticipating a new, more lenient commander in chief.
Arrests as the nation’s southern border surpassed 70,000 last month — roughly 30,000 more than November 2019 — and immigration officials are warning of an “overnight” immigration crisis if Democratic nominee Joe Biden takes office next year.
“We have open borders”
The number of migrants arrested or turned away at ports of entry has escalated steadily since April, when they numbered around 17,000. Recent heights in October and November have hovered around 70,000.
Last month’s total is also up significantly compared to the roughly 40,000 registered in November 2019. There are now 2,300 individuals being apprehended daily at the border, on average. Furthermore, the number of unaccompanied children arriving at the border has skyrocketed from about 700 in April to more than 4,000 in November.
Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan said the latest figures portend a border crisis that will only get worse if a Biden administration is permitted to enact “open borders” policies as favored by many Democrats.
“The message you’re sending is clear and simple: We have open borders,” Morgan said of the former vice president’s platform.
He went on to denounce an “immigration strategy which consists of release, protect and reward,” declaring that it is “not an immigration strategy at all, it’s an open border strategy.”
“A full-blown crisis”
As Morgan told reporters, the promise of a Biden strategy “is exactly what the smugglers are telling vulnerable migrants to con them into coming — and it’s working.”
Throughout his first term, Trump has faced fierce resistance from the left as he pursued a range of actions meant to crack down on illegal immigration while limited asylum protections he asserted had been widely exploited.
Specifically, the president attracted opprobrium for his tough action against “caravans” of migrants, addressing a major border crisis as nearly a million individuals, mostly families and children from Central America, were arrested or turned away last year.
Even those numbers, however, would “pale in comparison” to what Morgan projected under a Biden administration.
“If the current policies in place are revoked, as their critics promised they would do, the 2,300 per day will become a full-blown crisis overnight as we stand by and watch the numbers go even higher, making the last year’s crisis pale in comparison,” he said.