The Crisis on the Border Is Worse Than You Think


Wesley Smith

February 3, 2022

4 min read




The situation on the southern border continues to spiral out of control.  There is so much disorder, danger, and delusional thinking—it is literally difficult to grasp how dire it truly is.

Just when one might think it could not get any worse—it does.  About the time that you think the policies of the Biden Administration could not get any more irrational and divorced from reality—they prove you wrong:  It actually does get crazier; and the policies are not only unhelpful—they are dangerous to the people of the United States and to the people who fall victim to the human smugglers and drug cartels as these people try to make their way to America.

Americans are generally kind and compassionate.  We understand why people would do almost anything to live in the United States.  In other words, we get it.  Compared to the rest of the world, the standard of living and the opportunities to succeed are unlike any other.  We are a land of opportunity.

But let’s be clear:  When people in the U.S. demand that we have strong border security and that those who cross illegally must be quickly processed and usually deported, it is not that we lack compassion.  We are not being unkind. Rather, the kind and compassionate response is to do whatever it takes to have a system in place that allows people to seek asylum and a new start—but a system that also stops people from being sexually trafficked or abused by human smugglers.  It must be a system that stems the flow of dangerous illegal drugs and combats the drug cartels.  It must be a set of security equipment/technology and policies that keeps terrorists and gang members from entering the country.  There must also be practices that are fair to the people who go through the immigration process legally, and there are 700,000 of them waiting in line. The only way to do that is to discourage people—even ordinary, good people—from coming here illegally.

To not do this is to embrace a system—or the lack of a system—that is absolutely chaotic and completely unkind and unfair to everyone. What is going on at the border is the apex of irrationality.  To have no system in place, to have essentially an open border, is to invite criminal behavior and to put immigrants in grave danger.  Our government becomes complicit in the drug overdoses, the sexual exploitation of girls and young women, the gang violence, and the risks associated with our own national security—to say nothing of the safety of people in towns and cities across America, both citizens and non-citizens.

The Biden Administration does not seem to be concerned about the chaos on our southern border.  But the crisis is not going away.  Pretending like everything’s okay does not make it okay.  It is telling that only 36% of people approve of how the President is handling immigration in a recent CBS News poll.  We are witnessing record illegal crossings, 100,000 deaths from drug overdoses annually, crowded detention centers, and videos of illegal immigrants being transported (in the middle of the night) from the border to various cities around the country.  Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, defended this practice.  Of the 4.8 million people worldwide who are captive to sex traffickers, many of them are in the United States.

Last year, there were a record 1.7 million arrests at the southern border.  That does not even account for the people who crossed the border without being apprehended.  Sex traffickers, for example, try not to confront the Border Patrol.  While officers try to detain and process those they catch crossing—being overwhelmed by the sheer numbers—the traffickers transport their victims at unguarded places along the border.  Ditto the drug cartels.  Reuters reports that, according to Department of Homeland Security officials, they expect as many as 9,000 arrests per day by the spring.

The Vice President famously claimed to be searching for the root causes of the situation at the border.  As Jason Riley writes in the Wall Street Journal, the weak responses and policies of the Biden Administration are a “root cause.”  When it comes to the crisis at the border, the Biden Administration has met the enemy.  And it is themselves.

At the ACLJ, we’re not standing silently by. We have filed three Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests (here, here, and here) to demand answers on the Biden Administration’s catastrophic failures at the border.