The house speaker, Mike Johnson, has voiced concerns over the migrant crisis at the southern border, laying blame on President Biden for the existing chaos. He emphasized that immediate action is imperative and that the president possesses the authority to substantially reduce the escalating number of border crossings without requiring congressional intervention.
Evolving Policies and Controversies
Johnson pointed out that the situation was exacerbated by President Biden’s executive orders upon assuming office, particularly the termination of the Remain in Mexico policy, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols. This policy, which was implemented by the Trump administration, mandated that migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. wait in Mexico until their court dates. Despite Biden’s decision to end the policy due to perceived inhumanity, federal courts subsequently ordered its reinstatement. However, the Supreme Court
ultimately ruled that the Biden administration had the authority to terminate the program, resulting in its discontinuation.
Moreover, the attempt to address the crisis has faced challenges, with the Biden administration emphasizing the need for Mexico’s cooperation to manage the broader regional crisis. However, the Mexican government has expressed opposition to the proposed revival of the Remain in Mexico policy.
Call for Action: Ending "Catch and Release"
In addition to highlighting the contentious policy changes, Johnson underscored that the Biden administration has the ability to terminate the “catch and release” approach, which allows individuals apprehended at the border
to be released into the U.S. while awaiting proceedings. Johnson stressed that addressing the situation demands a shift in policy, rather than simply providing logistical and financial support through congressional acts.
Urgent Need for Policy Reform
The urgency of the situation was vividly described by a U.S. Border Patrol official, who likened the border crisis to an uncontrollable flow, emphasizing the necessity to halt the influx through policy adjustments. Johnson echoed this sentiment, urging the White House to apply common sense in addressing the crisis, highlighting a perceived lack of interest on their part.
Recent Developments: A Decline in Border Crossings
Amid the ongoing discussions and negotiations, there has been a notable decrease in the number of migrants being processed at the border following a record high in December. This decline has alleviated the strain on resources in various communities across the U.S.
The ongoing negotiations between the White House and a bipartisan group of senators to enact substantial changes to immigration
and border security laws come amidst Republican demands for stricter policies in exchange for increased aid to Ukraine.
The urgency of the situation at the southern border cannot be overstated. Addressing the complex web of policies, legal battles, and international cooperation is essential in effectively managing the crisis. It is imperative for all stakeholders to prioritize the well-being of those directly affected by the situation while striving to find sustainable and humane solutions to the challenges at hand.