When he was campaigning for the presidency, Biden promised to reverse the Trump administration’s border policies swiftly. But hewalked back that promise later to prevent a rush on the southwestern border. He said he probably would need six months to rebuild a system for processing the migrants.

Biden was afraid that changing the previous administration's policies immediately would lead to having 2 million migrants on the border: “It will get done and it will get done quickly but it’s not going to be able to be done on Day 1.”

But on Day 1, Biden:
  • Rescinded the Muslim travel ban;
  • Revoked Trump’s enforcement priorities that had made virtually every deportable migrant a target for immigration enforcement;
  • Declared a 100-day pause on removals;
  • Terminated border wall construction; and
  • Suspended enrollments in the ‘Remain in Mexico Program’ (MPP).

Why did he do this? He knew what would happen.

Apprehensions of illegal crossers at the southwestern border hit 1.7 million in fiscal 2021, the highest in more than 60 years; and more than 1 million additional illegal crossers were apprehended in the first six month of fiscal 2022.

These statistics do not include the “gotaways,” people who were observed making an unlawful entry but were not apprehended. There have been around 300,000 gotaways so far in fiscal 2022.

Biden’s handling of the MPP is another example of puzzling policy.



Published originally on The Hill.

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an Executive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years. Follow him at https://nolanrappaport.blogspot.com