Three events over the past two weeks should focus Americans on how President Biden is making the national security crisis on our southern border worse.
First, Mr. Biden is taking federal air marshals from their duty to protect the air-traveling public and redeploying them to the border to help “process” — i.e., release — illegal aliens into the country.
Second, the Pentagon warned of a resurgence of the ISIS terrorist group, which is reportedly planning revenge against the U.S. for strikes that killed several of its leaders in Syria.
Third, Mr. Biden’s new border plan, announced on Jan. 5, will purportedly limit the number of asylum-seekers coming into the country by, for example, supposedly limiting the number to 30,000 immigrants from each of Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti. The new policy will send another 30,000 back each month to Mexico. Given Mr. Biden’s track record, we cannot expect these limits to be enforced.
Since Mr. Biden came into office, roughly 5 million aliens have crossed our southern border illegally. Four million of them encountered the Border Patrol, which processes them and releases them into the country. The other million are “gotaways” who slip into the nation unimpeded, some with malicious intent.
About 844,000 people have come across the border just since Oct. 1, not counting the “gotaways.” Drug cartels and other gangs have made millions or billions smuggling illegals into the U.S.
The Border Patrol reports that in 2022 alone, 98 people on the government’s terrorist watchlist have tried to enter the country and have been detained. That obviously doesn’t count watchlist terrorists among the “gotaways” and those with terrorist intent not on the watchlist.
There are about 3,000 federal air marshals. Some were deployed to the border in November. More than a dozen refused to go. Mr. Biden’s second redeployment may take many more from their primary duty of protecting us from terrorist air hijackings.
Air Marshal National Council Executive Director Sonya Labosco said, “Our aviation is a high-risk area. We’re not protecting our aviation domain, and we’re going to the border. It is absolutely madness.” Mr. Biden’s move is an open invitation to terrorists to cause another 9/11-style attack that could kill thousands.
Ms. Labosco is precisely right. ISIS is not alone in planning such attacks. Al-Qaida, despite the strike that killed its leader Ayman al-Zawahri, is still in business, as are many other terrorist groups that would like nothing better than to cause another 9/11. The situation along our southern sieve is dangerous, and the president is eager to worsen the situation.
Upon landing in Texas for his first visit to the border as president, Mr. Biden was given a letter by Gov. Greg Abbott excoriating him for his failure to secure the border. Mr. Biden didn’t see the crisis he has brought to the city of El Paso because he toured a Potemkin version of part of it, which had been swept of illegals before he arrived. Then, apparently referring to the Border Patrol and Customs Enforcement officers, Mr. Biden said: “They need a lot of resources. We’re going to get it for them.”
When Mr. Biden said “more resources,” he clearly meant more money and people — including air marshals — to help “process” illegals and enable them to enter the country at an even faster rate.
It’s hard to see how the situation could be made worse, but Mr. Biden is doing just that. The Jan. 5 announcement of Mr. Biden’s new border policy included a statement saying that when the Title 42 health restrictions expire, noncitizens seeking entry into the U.S. will be able to use the “CPB One” cellphone app to make an appointment to cross the border where they will be granted legal admission and parole.
Mr. Biden will then claim that the number of “illegal” aliens is reduced while the number increases.
Mr. Biden compared asylum-seeking illegal aliens to Jews fleeing Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. That statement is as ignorant as it is absurd. It’s worse than Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Majorkas’ oft-repeated falsehood that the border isn’t open.
Mr. Biden’s meeting with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presented a significant opportunity to solve at least some of the problems and dangers of essentially uncontrolled illegal immigration. It was an opportunity Mr. Biden assiduously avoided.
The three leaders met and agreed on their priorities: to reduce methane emissions, to reduce the cost of food loss and waste, and to create standards for electric car charging stations in the three nations. Naturally, there was no agreement to do anything to reduce the number of immigrants coming across the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.
The Biden administration is urging the Supreme Court to eliminate the Title 42 power to expel illegal immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic, which Mr. Biden has said is over. The flood of immigrants from Central and South America that will result from the end of the Title 42 powers will further overwhelm the Border Patrol force and create more chaos on the border.
With Mr. Biden in office, there is no hope that our southern border will be secured. Meanwhile, the national security danger that is his open border increases every day.
• Jed Babbin is a national security and foreign affairs columnist for The Washington Times and contributing editor for The American Spectator.