Democrats’ $1.5 trillion omnibus legislation would provide funding for border security in eight foreign nations—many of whom are U.S. adversaries—while providing no new money for security along the U.S. border.
The omnibus measure allocates $370 million to “enhanced border security” measures in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman, of which $150 million alone is set to go toward border funding in Jordan. In addition, the legislation provides funding for border security measures in Libya, Nepal, and Pakistan, a longtime U.S. adversary.
As a compromise, Republican lawmakers retained about $2 billion in previously allocated border wall construction funds, but the omnibus measure contains no new funds for border security along the U.S. southern border.
Preston Huennekens, government relations manager at the nonpartisan Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), blasted the measure in a statement to The Epoch Times.
“It is insulting to the American people that Democrats would rather secure the borders of countries such as Oman, Pakistan, and Libya while our own states on the border are overwhelmed with illegal immigration,” Huennekens said. “The omnibus package offered exactly zero dollars for the hiring of any additional border or immigration agents and also took steps to dismantle enforcement tools such as the 287(g) program.”
The program referenced by Huennekens allows state and local law enforcement officials to aid the Department of Homeland Security to find and deport illegal aliens.
“This shows that Democrats are simply out of touch with the American electorate, who overwhelmingly disapprove of President [Joe] Biden’s handling of immigration,” he said. “Democrats ignore our raging border crisis at their own peril.”
Since Biden took office, he has taken a far more laissez-faire approach to border security than former President Donald Trump.
Biden halted construction on Trump’s border wall almost immediately after taking office, leaving construction materials that had already been paid for by the federal government sitting unused along the border. At the same time, he reduced the number of border security agents, leaving those agents who remain unable to stop the unprecedented inflow of illegal immigrants into the country.
He also overturned Trump’s “Stay in Mexico” policy, which required that those seeking asylum in the United States remain in Mexico until their asylum applications were approved.
The United States already is facing unprecedented levels of illegal immigration along its southern border, which critics have blamed on the Biden administration’s laissez-faire attitude toward enforcement of immigration law. Viral images and videos have circulated on the internet showing massive numbers of immigrants crossing into the country, often without a border patrol agent in sight.
Alarming reports have arisen from Americans living in border towns, which are facing the constant threat of criminal sex and drug traffickers crossing the border. Several interviewees living along the U.S.–Mexico border say that they’re now unable to leave their homes without a firearm, and they don’t let their children out of their sight while outside.
Border patrol agents say that they’re swamped, and they’ve been unable to apprehend a large portion of illegal entrants to the country, leaving many border residents to fend for themselves.
Estimates of how many illegal aliens have entered the country since Biden took office vary, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection data show that about 2 million people illegally crossed the border in 2021, a nearly fourfold increase from illegal crossings a year earlier.
Worsening the situation, many illegal aliens who are apprehended by border security agents have since been released into the United States.
According to an October 2021 letter by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), in the January–August period in 2021, roughly 500,000 illegal aliens were released into the United States after being detained by border security.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and several other Republicans have placed the blame for the massive increase in illegal immigration on the policies of the Biden administration.
“The cause of all of this is simple,” Cruz said in an October 2021 press conference. “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris refuse to enforce the law.”
During that conference, Cruz and several Senate Republican colleagues called on Biden to return to the immigration policies of Trump by restarting construction on the border wall, ending the policy of “catch and release,” and reinstituting the “Remain in Mexico” policy.