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OPINION

Asking the Right Questions About Immigration

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Unless they live in border states, most Americans seem oblivious to the ongoing immigration crisis in the country. While we've always had people crossing the border illegally, the Biden administration's lax policies on immigration have permitted the daily dribble of migrant crossings to become a tsunami.

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To put things in perspective, Newsweek reported last September that in just the first 20 months of his administration, President Joe Biden had allowed a million more illegals into the country than had entered the U.S. under former President Donald Trump's entire four-year term in office.

In fiscal year 2021 (October 2020 through September 2021), more than 1.7 million people crossed the southern border illegally. In fiscal year 2022 (October 2021 through September 2022), more than 2.3 million people crossed the southern border illegally. The current fiscal year is already outpacing last year. Between October 2022 and March 1st of this year, more than 1 million illegals had already crossed the southern border. (Keep in mind that these included winter months; crossings increase in the spring and summer.)

And these numbers only tally what are called "encounters" -- times that U.S. officials actually see or come into contact with migrants. The "got-aways" -- those who cross illegally without ever encountering Border Patrol officials -- are estimated to be nearly 2 million since Biden took office.

As if this weren't bad enough, Title 42 -- a law that permitted the U.S. to keep out or expel migrants due to the COVID-19 health emergency -- expired this week. CBS News reported on Monday that the expiration of Title 42 is expected to produce "a sharp increase in migrant arrivals." The federal government estimates that more than 150,000 migrants are massing at the U.S.-Mexico border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is predicting that anywhere from 10,000-15,000 migrants per day will cross the border beginning this weekend.

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At this rate, nearly 3 million migrants will have come into this country illegally in fiscal year 2023.

The impact on Americans -- in financial costs, increased crime, drug and human trafficking, and even voting -- is staggering.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform, which has been studying these issues for decades, now calculates the cost of illegal immigration as being over $150 billion each year -- $35 billion more than just five years ago. It isn't merely border states like California ($21.76 billion annually) or Texas ($8.88 billion annually) affected; the Biden administration is transporting migrants all over the country. Illinois spent $4.89 billion on illegal immigrants in 2022. New York City mayor Eric Adams stated earlier this week that the city "is being destroyed by the migrant crisis" and announced a plan to house migrants in suburban hotels, a decision that has prompted outcries and lawsuits.

The number of crimes committed by illegal immigrants has also exploded in the past few years. States with high numbers of illegals have, unsurprisingly, a much higher percentage of illegal immigrants in their prisons and jails. Why should American citizens be paying taxes to house and feed criminals from other countries?

Human trafficking is facilitated by Biden's policies; 72% of people trafficked in the United States are immigrants. Most are women and children. Mexican drug cartels also exploit our open borders for drug trafficking: 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021; 67% of those deaths were caused by synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, which is also pouring across the border.

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Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas has been asked, repeatedly -- including by members of Congress -- whether the border is "secure." He continues to insist that it is. That's the wrong question. If I prop a door open, and you ask me whether it's "secure," of course I can say "yes."

Biden is the puppet president for the "open borders" crowd. Congress and the American people should be asking him, not just Mayorkas, more salient questions, including the following:

    -- Why are you refusing to enforce our immigration laws?

    -- How many people do you intend to allow to enter this country illegally?

    -- What is the outer limit on illegal immigration?

    -- What benefits do you intend to convey upon those who are here illegally?

    -- Why do you expect the American public to pay for the education, food, health care and incarceration costs for millions of people from other countries?

Americans must also understand that 19 states and the District of Columbia issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Of those 19, all but two have "motor voter" laws that automatically register people to vote when they receive a driver's license. All but one of those states permit people to vote without requiring photo identification. Eight conduct elections entirely by mail -- which means no verification of voter identity. And even in some states where in-person voting takes place, election officials are not required to verify citizenship or other voting eligibility. Furthermore, almost half the states in the country (24) now permit "ballot harvesting," meaning that someone other than the voter can collect and turn in his or her ballot. 

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This is a prescription for widespread voter fraud. And yet Biden and his cronies not only push for unlimited illegal immigration; they also oppose sensible election integrity laws. So, here's another question that needs to be asked:

You are allowing millions of foreigners to enter this country illegally. Why are you opposing election integrity laws that prevent foreigners voting in U.S. elections and the resulting disenfranchisement of American citizens?

Asking these questions doesn't mean that we'll get honest answers -- or indeed, any answers, from Biden or anyone else in his camp. But they need to be asked nevertheless. Americans must understand what's at stake.

On immigration as with other vital issues, the United States is being pushed over a cliff by those in control of government. Voters need to hold those responsible for this deliberate destruction accountable, by throwing them out of office and electing new political leadership committed to protecting the citizens of this  country.

To find out more about Laura Hollis and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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