U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

According to the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Minority Report of June 2022, “The sheer number of illegal migrants, combined with the evolving tactics that transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) employ to smuggle and traffic individuals, presents an untenable security and humanitarian situation.” The language is clear, and while both Republicans and Democrats agree that there is a crisis at the border, they see the problem very differently.

Conservatives and Republicans believe the problem could be solved by closing the border and reducing illegal immigration to as close to zero as possible. Liberals and Democrats, however, feel the problem is that illegal migrants are not processed fast enough and that there should be more pathways to citizenship or legitimacy.

The conservative counterargument, however, is that such programs encourage illegal immigration. The logic of these policies is that the number of illegal immigrants can be reduced by making them legal.

This logic is similar to how cities that legalized drugs have seen a reduction in drug crime. If they legalized murder, then violent crime rates would drop.

Biden has a long record of destructive policies that either temporarily mask a problem or make it worse. In 2021, Biden sent checks of $3,000 to $3,600 to poor people and called it Poverty Alleviation.

However, because no one was $3,600 away from poverty, the program didn’t actually end poverty. It did, however, increase the deficit and the debt, which would have to be paid back later by increasing taxes. Increased taxes would push American families closer to poverty.

Similarly, the policies Biden is taking to curb illegal immigration will only make the problem worse. Pathways to legitimacy encourage more illegal immigrants to want to come to the US.

This, in turn, increases the demand for human trafficking, which is controlled by drug cartels. An increase in demand for human trafficking increases the price, and the cartels can make even more money on smuggling undocumented humans into the United States.

At this point, several countries in Latin America are becoming destabilized because of the cartels. Pathways to immigration just increase the income cartels can use to purchase weapons.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protects young people who came to the US as children from deportation and allows them to work legally. DACA doesn’t grant legal status, but offers temporary relief from prosecution or deportation.

At the same time, DACA and other programs targeted at minors encourage child trafficking. Parents may allow their children to be smuggled into the US as a doorway to the rest of the family immigrating.

In other cases, children are stolen or sold and brought over the border as unaccompanied minors who will eventually be released by US authorities to “family members” in the United States.

“A child can be sold up to 20 times per day, six days a week for ten years or even longer depending on when the abuse began… Poor U.S. border security and broken U.S. policy are feeding the growth of human trafficking in the United States,” Tim Ballard, featured in the “Sound of Freedom,” told Congress.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) protects citizens from certain countries experiencing conflict or natural disasters from deportation. TPS holders can live and work legally in the US.

This sounds like a nice idea. Obviously, we want to save people from war zones, but there are 110 armed conflicts going on around the world today. Additionally, the US has travel advisories against traveling to 19 countries. If these countries are too dangerous to travel to, clearly it would be unfair to return illegal immigrants to them.

At least 11 countries are classified as failed states, while 12 are on high alert of failure, and 18 more are on alert of failure. There is probably a great deal of overlap between the states hosting armed conflicts, those on the travel advisory, and those on the path to failure, but the point is that illegal aliens from a large number of countries can claim that it is too dangerous to repatriate them and that they should be allowed to remain in the U.S.

On top of all the federal programs, some states and cities offer driver’s licenses or in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants. These programs don’t provide legal status but do further legitimize and incentivize illegal immigration.

One of the most egregious steps backward is Biden’s Immigration Parole program, which doesn’t even make a pretense of somehow curbing illegal immigration. It would allow 30,000 immigrants per month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to legally enter the U.S.

The bottom line is that the U.S. has one of the highest standards of living in the world. The U.S. average annual income is about $70,000, ranking 8th in the world, behind a short list of anomalous wealthy countries with small populations, like Luxembourg and Switzerland. Ironically, all of the 7 countries with higher per capita income than the US have extremely strict immigration laws.

The economic incentive to come to the US is already high and is the main driver of immigration. If people were just escaping violence or war, they would go to the nearest safe country. The reason they transit multiple countries and travel thousands of miles is because not only is the US rich, but it also offers the largest number of pathways to citizenship or permanent residency.

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