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Last week the Border Patrol found the bodies of thirteen migrants drowned in the Rio Grande River in the Rio Sector of Texas. While it is true that the border crisis created by President Biden’s immigration policies is a national security and health crisis, this unfortunate but not unusual incident is dramatic evidence that the crisis is also a humanitarian one. Contrary to White House claims, the administration’s irresponsible policies are not “pro-migrant.” On the contrary, they put their lives and safety at risk.
The whole world knows that Biden has opened the border. It is no secret that the president has dismantled the measures implemented by the Trump administration that had shielded the border, making illegal entry more difficult. Everyone knows that Biden stopped building the wall and told the Mexican government that it no longer needed the thousands of troops Trump had asked for to guard the border. He also knows that now, if a migrant arrives at the border and requests asylum, even if he has no legitimate claim to ask for it, he will be let in and will not be detained.
We should not be surprised that millions of people are making the dangerous journey to the southern border of the U.S., where so many die and many more are victims of violent crime. In the fiscal year 2021, more than 1.7 million people were apprehended at the border, and in this fiscal year ending in October, it has already reached nearly two million. It is expected to exceed that number by far. Never in history have such high numbers been seen.
The chaos that has been created by the irregular arrival of millions of people at our border, first and foremost, presents severe challenges to national security and the health of our citizens, as it facilitates the entry of people who wish to do us harm, as well as drug trafficking. The Border Patrol is clearly overburdened by the volume of people arriving at the border and cannot effectively do their job of interdiction.
So far this fiscal year, the Border Patrol has apprehended at least fifty people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list. Moreover, much of the fentanyl, the opioid drug causing an epidemic of overdose deaths in the country, particularly among young people, enters through the southern border.
But, it is important to recognize that the Biden administration’s immigration policies have also created a humanitarian crisis that we have never seen before. Far from creating a “moral and humane” immigration system as promised, Biden has set in motion a massive movement of poor migrants to our border that exposes them to numerous dangers.
So far this fiscal year, 748 people have already died trying to cross the border, a significant increase from the 557 deaths recorded in 2021. The total number of deaths is likely higher, as sometimes bodies are found by other law enforcement agencies and are not reported. We also do not know how many die before reaching our border. They die from drowning, dehydration, or serious injuries sustained during the journey through the inhospitable and rugged territory.
In this corridor of terror created, thousands are also victims of all kinds of crime and violence. It is estimated that up to 60% of women and girls are victims of sexual assault or rape. The prevailing disorder also favors the trafficking of women and children as part of the sex trade. Sometimes, immigration agencies accidentally hand over children to criminals, thinking they are relatives.
For Biden, however, migrants are only a secondary consideration. If they were his priority, he would have already done something to reverse the serious crisis he had unleashed. Biden wants to fill the country with migrants at all costs to create a more favorable political environment for the left.
This cynical effort at social re-engineering must be denounced. You cannot play politics with the lives of millions of people. The massive influx of migrants we are seeing is, as the renowned Catholic Cardinal Robert Sarah has said, “a new form of slavery” that must be stopped.
The time has come to challenge the left’s false narrative that open border policies are just and humane. A country without protected borders compromises the safety of both its citizens and those who want to enter without permission.
Alfonso Aguilar es de Senior VP and Political Director de El American, exjefe de la Oficina de Ciudadanía de los Estados Unidos durante la administración del presidente George W. Bush y presidente del Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles. // Alfonso Aguilar is the Senior VP and Political Director of El American and former head of the Office of United States Citizenship during the administration of President George W. Bush and president of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.