Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas just told National Public Radio (NPR) that President Joe Biden's new border plan is in line with work that the administration has been doing since 2021.
If true, then Biden's critics might be right about his plan being unlikely to sufficiently address the southern border crisis.
Reports indicate that border patrol agents witnessed 2.3 million illegal alien encounters during the 2022 Fiscal Year. And, it's been much of the same in Fiscal Year 2023, with over 230,000 encounters taking place in November.
Recently, Biden has been facing more criticism than usual for the southern border crisis. That's because some well-known Democrats have now joined in the criticism.
Biden responded with two things: a plan and a promise to visit the southern border. Biden's plan has various aspects to it.
For one thing, Biden is expanding Title 42 - the Trump-era emergency measure that has been used to expel illegal immigrants from the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic - so as to allow his administration to be able to expel up to 30,000 individuals per month. And, on top of this, Biden's plan includes an alternative expedited removal process for those whom the administration can't expel until Title 42.
Another big part of Biden's plan is the expansion of a program that will allow 30,000 individuals per month, from Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba, and Nicaragua, to be paroled into the U.S. for a two-year period. To be eligible for the program, these individuals must meet certain requirements, such as having a financial sponsor, and they cannot have attempted to enter the U.S. illegally.
During his NPR appearance, Mayorkas was asked about the part of Biden's plan that allows the administration to turn more migrants away from the United States.
In response, Mayorkas provided some real insight into the reasoning behind Biden's plan.
"We want to incentivize people to take the safe and orderly pathways and disincentivize them to take the dangerous and the treacherous path of placing their lives in the hands of smugglers," Mayorkas said, adding, "We have got to cut the smuggling organizations out of this."
At this point, Mayorkas was asked, "should we expect to see the flow of people at the border decrease in months to come?"
"That is certainly our plan, and we’ve been working on it since September of 2021," Mayorkas replied.
Critics are skeptical about Biden's plan, and Mayorkas's statements, here, explain why: Biden's plan might not do a whole lot other than trying to make the illegal immigration that has been taking place appear legal.
We'll have to see how it plays out. But, at the moment, Biden's plan does not appear that convincing.