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VICTOR JOECKS: What if open borders is Biden’s plan?

If only the Biden administration’s actions on the southern border matched its current rhetoric.

Last week, Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Guatemala and Mexico. Her visit was in response to the explosion of illegal immigration that has occurred since the beginning of the Biden administration.

The Border Patrol has stopped 900,000 potential illegal immigrants this fiscal year. That’s the most since 2006, and there are still four months left in this fiscal year.

During her trip, Harris said the right things.

“Do not come. Do not come,” she said while standing alongside Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei. “The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our borders.”

If only that were the case. When Donald Trump left office, the Border Patrol was quickly deporting unaccompanied minors, many of whom are teens. In January, it encountered 5,700 unaccompanied minors along the Southwest border.

President Joe Biden reversed that policy. In February, that number shot up to 9,300. It was 18,700 in March. The monthly total has been more than 13,900 since. That surge created a host of other problems, including overwhelmed holding facilities. The national mainstream media weren’t as outraged about this when it was the Biden administration putting “kids in cages.”

The moral hazard this policy created was obvious from the start. Biden incentivized parents to send their children across the border alone. In one horrific video, human smugglers dropped a 3-year-old and 5-year-old over a 14-foot border wall in a remote area. If Border Patrol agents hadn’t rescued them, it’s hard to imagine they would have survived.

That’s not all the Biden administration has done to gut border security. The president ended the “remain in Mexico” policy put in place under Trump. That required asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while their claim was processed. Now, those who claim asylum are ushered into the country. Some aren’t even given court dates. Biden canceled wall construction projects Trump wanted. He issued a 100-day deportation moratorium. A federal judge later blocked that, but deportations by ICE in April fell to record lows anyway.

He’s also sent other signals that illegal immigrants are welcome. On his first day in office, Biden sent an amnesty bill to Congress. His rhetoric has been much more welcoming than what came from Trump.

Despite Harris’ sound bite, it’s not difficult to see which perspective potential illegal immigrants are hearing. In May, a record number of would-be illegal immigrants crossed the border.

After Biden took office, “the message changed too: ‘We’re going to reunite families, we’re going to reunite children,’ ” Giammattei, the president of Guatemala, said. “The very next day, the coyotes were here organizing groups of children to take them to the United States.”

The current surge of illegal immigration was predictable. That leads one to wonder: What if the status quo — an overwhelmed border with vast numbers of illegal immigrants entering the country and unlikely to ever be removed — is the plan?

Directly advocating for open borders isn’t politically feasible. A 2020 Rasmussen poll found 36 percent of likely voters supported it. The current border chaos is unpopular. Just 43 percent approve of Biden’s immigration policy, according to Real Clear Politics’ polling average.

But if the Biden administration’s goal was open borders, this is how it might go about it. Mouth words about enforcing borders. Trust the national mainstream media won’t pay too much attention to what would have been multi-day scandals under Trump. Then, let in large numbers of illegal immigrants while the media fawn over what flavor of ice cream Biden is having.

Planned or not, Biden has thrown America’s southern border wide open.

Contact Victor Joecks at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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