by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Title 42 hadn’t even ended on Tuesday when a jaw-dropping 11,000 migrants were caught crossing the southern border.
That record-setting number already exceeds the unheard-of 10,000 a day that DHS had predicted for when the pandemic-era measure allowing migrants to be excluded from the country expires at midnight on Thursday.
For comparison, Obama Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson said that a thousand apprehensions a day overwhelmed the system. You know it’s bad when even President Joe Biden, who created this catastrophe and has minimized and lied about it from the beginning, says of the border, “It’s going to be chaotic for a while.”
It’s been chaotic for three years.
His administration ripped up the policies that the Trump team had arrived at to control the border on the assumption that if Trump favored them, they must be evil. So it trashed “remain in Mexico” and the “safe third country” agreements that kept bogus asylum-seekers out of the country. These foolhardy reversals, plus the widespread belief south of the border that Biden would be softer on immigration than Trump, drove a major influx from the beginning of the new administration.
The administration kept Title 42 because it realized that without it things would truly spiral out of control. Now that the authority is finally going away — and we never should have had to rely on a public-health edict for border enforcement — the scenes on the Rio Grande will get even more unbelievable and disturbing.
The administration’s approach the last several months has been to try to launder illegal immigrants through a mass parole program that allows them into the country before they cross illegally. This was mostly a PR measure, and had some success shifting numbers around.