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OPINION

Biden Deals Another Major Blow to Border Enforcement

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

As the carnage at the U.S.-Mexico border continues unabated, the Biden administration delivered another quiet but serious blow to the nation’s security.

In an under-the-radar move late last month, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas erected yet another barrier for immigration enforcement authorities to deal with by dramatically expanding “protected areas,” areas where authorities are not allowed to arrest illegal aliens. These areas now include schools, colleges and universities, health care facilities, social service centers, playgrounds, and recreation facilities. While media coverage of this policy was predictably muted, this represents a major escalation in the Biden administration’s war on immigration enforcement and America’s sovereignty. 

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The Biden administration’s reported plans to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to illegal aliens has dominated the headlines in recent weeks, but Mayorkas’ recent announcement could be just as damaging to law enforcement efforts. Mayorkas attempted to justify this move by using the example of an illegal alien visiting a shelter to obtain food or medical care, saying, “If we take an action at an emergency shelter, it is possible that noncitizens, including children, will be hesitant to visit the shelter and receive needed food and water, urgent medical attention, or other humanitarian care."

Mayorkas makes his case in favor of this new policy by wrapping it in humanitarian language. However, the logic of the policy falls apart under scrutiny. 

Since Mayorkas has now publicly declared schools, shelters, and vaguely-termed “community-based organizations” off limits for law enforcement, people here illegally now know exactly where to spend their time to avoid arrest. 

Mayorkas’ memo also makes no exception for violent criminals. If an illegal alien who commits a violent crime hides out in a church or a shelter, this new policy would appear to block federal law enforcement from taking action to detain them. In this case, Mayorkas’ new policy could potentially pose a significant threat to public safety. 

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It seems like Mayorkas did not think this new policy. Or, perhaps he did, and just doesn’t care. That attitude would be consistent with an administration which has made clear that there is no risk to public safety they won’t take if it allows them to pursue its anti-borders agenda. Soon, the entire country could be a “protected area,” not for Americans, but for illegal aliens.

Mayorkas’ memo adding new protected zones was not the only burdensome restriction placed on border enforcement authorities in October, but appeared to build on earlier restrictions announced by Mayorkas. Mayorkas had previously ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to cease arresting illegal aliens at their places of work, closing off an avenue that ICE used during the Trump administration to crack down on illegal immigration. 

In one of the most famous workplace raids in recent memory, ICE arrested nearly 700 illegal aliens at several food processing plants in Mississippi. That 2019 raid was decried by anti-borders activists, but helped expose the perniciousness of illegal aliens taking jobs that could otherwise be held by qualified Americans. After the raid, one of the employers held a job fair and was deluged with more than 200 applications from legal workers in one day. So much for the narrative that illegals are taking jobs “that American workers just won’t do. 

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It was also reported that one of the processing plants paid the illegal workers below minimum wage and one plant hired a child. This egregious exploitation of workers is somehow “compassionate” to those who advocate for hiring of illegal aliens. 

Mayorkas’ move to end workplace raids is not just another blow to law enforcement, but a massive gift to major corporations, who look to exploit the cheap labor of illegal aliens coming across the border at the expense of American jobs. The Biden administration is taking advantage of the compassion of the American people in order to advance an anti-borders agenda, and a giveaway to big corporations.

One can’t help but wonder what the effect of these policies, as well as the administration’s endless crusade to repeal the Trump administration’s successful Remain-in-Mexico policy, is having on the morale of agents at ICE and Customs and Border Patrol. In addition to pushing a policy agenda which makes the lives of those agents significantly harder, the White House has repeatedly attempted to smear these enforcement agents. 

They have deliberately lied about tactics necessary to secure the border. They have exposed many of these agents to COVID-19, and are threatening to fire them if they don’t take the COVID-19 vaccine, a requirement the Biden administration is not applying to illegal aliens.

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And, now Biden appears intent on closing every avenue possible they have to enforce the law. The disdain this administration has for law-abiding Americans, and the law enforcement agents that protect them is no longer surprising, and the damage they are doing will take a long time to overcome.

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