When President Joe Biden rolled back the immigration policies put in place by former President Donald Trump, immigration advocates working as advisers for Biden were completely unprepared for the border crisis it created.
Supporters of immigration on the Biden administration’s transition team ignored the estimates anticipating there would be a huge increase in migration should Trump’s policies be repealed but instead pushed for the reversal.
“The administration halted the vast majority of wall construction at the southern border. It wiped out regional cooperation agreements that stemmed migration flows,” Federation for American Immigration Reform spokesperson Matthew Tragesser said.
“It virtually halted deportations and arrests of those unlawfully present in the country,” Tragesser added. “Combined these have resulted in apprehension totals never seen before in history.”
President Joe Biden began repealing Trump’s immigration policies immediately after taking office. Biden even acknowledged the changes might result in increased traffic at the border.
The change in policy has resulted in border officials encountering more than 1.5 million migrants at the southern border between January and September, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data.
The immigration advocates on the transition team rejected a proposal that would deny some illegal migrants protections and deport them.
The Biden administration did not, however, put a plan in place for the fallout of repealing Trump’s policies.
Around 70,000 migrants enrolled in Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols which required them to wait in Mexican border towns while their asylum cases were processed in U.S. courts. The Biden administration put an end to “Remain in Mexico” and allowed thousands of migrants into the U.S. to wait for their cases to be evaluated.
The Biden administration did keep Trump’s Title 42 policy in place that allows for migrants to be expelled due to COVID-19. However, Mexican officials decided not accept additional Central American families that were expelled into Tamaulipas as part of a child welfare law implemented in January.
“After four years of the Trump administration’s chaos, cruelty and misplaced priorities, the work to build a fair, orderly and humane immigration system will take time and won’t happen overnight,” White House spokesperson Vedant Patel said. “In a short period of time, the Biden administration continues to make considerable progress delivering on its plan.”
Since Biden took office, Border Officials have encountered record high numbers of unaccompanied migrant minors at the southern border. Nearly 19,000 migrant children were encountered in July, with an additional 18,800 in August.
Border Patrol agents encountered more migrants in June and July than in any months previously on record. More than 20,000 migrants were encountered in one week in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley alone.