OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
On President Joe Biden’s first day in the Oval Office, he signed several executive orders reversing many of his predecessor’s immigration and border security policies.
In the 18-plus months since, nearly 5 million migrants have crossed illegally into the United States, according to several reports, with most being released into the country and given a date years from now to appear in court to have their asylum claims adjudicated.
While border state officials and Republicans throughout the country have pleaded with the administration to enforce laws against illegal immigration, one GOP senator, Josh Hawley of Missouri, is through trying to goad Biden into acting.
Instead, he is introducing legislation that will empower states to deport people who are illegally in the country, bypassing the federal government altogether.
“If Joe Biden isn’t going to enforce immigration laws why don’t we let the states enforce immigration laws. The State of Texas would love to, the states of Florida, Arizona, they’d love to enforce immigration laws,” Hawley said in an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.
“Let’s them do it, let’s let them secure the border, let’s let them deport illegal immigrants according to our laws. Let’s take the gloves off here, let’s enforce the law, let’s restore order to the border,” he continued.
The bill says: “This Act may be cited as the ‘Empowering States4to Deport Illegal Immigrants Act.’ States may authorize State and local law enforcement officers to enforce provisions of Federal immigration law that prohibit the unlawful entry into the United States, including sections 271 through 280 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”
Fox News added:
The bill would effectively abrogate a 2012 Supreme Court case which significantly limited the ability for states to be involved in immigration enforcement. Instead, the bill would allow states to use their resources for immigration enforcement.
It would give power to state prosecutors to initiate prosecutions for violations of federal immigration law. States would be able to deport illegal immigrants and for border states to move to secure the border.
The Biden administration has claimed that the border is “secure.”
“I think that there is no question that we have to do what the president and I asked Congress to do. The first request we made, pass a bill to create a pathway to citizenship. The border is secure, but we also have a broken immigration system, in particular over the last four years before we came in, and it needs to be fixed,” Vice President Kamala Harris, who was appointed as ‘border czar’ by Biden early in their tenure, said during an interview earlier this month.
Her claims were widely mocked.
Goliad County, Texas Sheriff Roy Boyd pushed back on Harris’ claims while also praising Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for bussing hundreds of volunteer migrants to Democrat-run “sanctuary” cities like Washington, D.C., New York City, and Chicago.
“It was a great ploy by Governor Abbott to bring attention back to something that was kind of fading away from mainstream media,” Boyd said. “He’s put it back in their lap, and I applaud him for what he’s done.”
“The border is wide open,” Boyd said. “In Texas, the Border Patrol is encountering over 100,000 illegal aliens. So every month, Border Patrol agents tell me that on a good day, they encounter between eight and 15 percent of the number of people that actually come across.”
In response to the continuing migrant crisis, border state governors began busing and flying migrants to blue cities and enclaves as a means of highlighting the problem, including on the street outside Harris’ vice presidential residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.
One the migrants who was sent there contradicted what the vice president said.
“It’s open, not closed,” the man said.
“Everybody believes that the border is open,” he said.
“It’s open because we enter. We come in, free, no problem,” he said as he admitted, “Yeah, we came illegally, not legal.”