". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Voters’ Immigration Concerns Persist amid Biden’s Inaction on Border

May 8, 2024

With American voters listing immigration among their top concerns heading into the November elections, the Biden administration does not appear to be changing course on policies to address the border crisis, as record numbers of illegal immigrant apprehensions continue to mount, the quantity of taxpayer dollars spent on migrants balloons, and a record backlog of 3.5 million immigration court cases pile up.

An illustration of the Biden administration’s attempts to sweep the issue under the rug occurred this week when New York Times Executive Editor Joseph Kahn remarked in a new interview that the legacy media giant won’t be doing the bidding of White House officials. “[I]mmigration happens to be the top [of polls], and the economy and inflation is the second,” he observed. “Should we stop covering those things because they’re favorable to Trump and minimize them? I don’t even know how it’s supposed to work in the view of Dan Pfeiffer or the White House.”

Polls indicate that immigration concerns are indeed of paramount importance to American voters. A NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll released Monday revealed that immigration was the second biggest problem facing the U.S. behind inflation. The results largely mirror previous surveys from February and March, which found that the border crisis was the most worrisome issue for voters.

Current headlines suggest that the immigration issue won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. According to Border Patrol, the number of illegal migrants apprehended at the southern border in April reached nearly 130,000, only slightly smaller than the March numbers. The number of apprehensions for the 2024 fiscal year is currently projected to exceed last year’s total of 2.046 million, marking the third consecutive year under President Joe Biden in which apprehensions will have topped two million. In total under Biden, almost 10 million encounters have occurred, with an estimated 1.7 million gotaways. The numbers mark a stunning increase compared to the statistics under the Trump administration, who saw 445,000 gotaways from 2018 to 2020.

The massive rise in migrants being allowed to openly settle in the U.S. had led to a predictable strain on taxpayer resources. According to a new analysis by the House Budget Committee, more money is being spent on each migrant than on the average food stamp recipient or Medicaid beneficiary, totaling a “conservative estimate” of over $150 billion per year. As reported by The Washington Times, “the burden falls heavily on states and local governments, who according to the data spend more than $73 billion a year on education, nearly $22 billion on law enforcement and almost $19 billion on medical care.”

The pressure on taxpayer resources has also reached the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) immigration courts. Breitbart reported Tuesday that the backlog of pending immigration cases to determine whether migrants can stay in the U.S. or be deported is over 3.5 million, a number that has tripled since the end of the Trump administration. As noted by a House Oversight Committee report in February, “The backlog of fear-based claims and adjudication delays for non-detained aliens have incentivized hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens to file frivolous or legally insufficient claims to obtain work authorization and to buy time in the U.S. This is causing a massive influx of illegal aliens in communities across the U.S.”

In comments to The Washington Stand, Robert Law, director of the Center for Homeland Security & Immigration at the America First Policy Institute, remarked, “It is clear that the Biden administration is trying to blame President Trump and Congress for the crisis they created, but polling shows the American people overwhelmingly reject these open border policies that make their communities more dangerous. This is a top issue for voters because every state is now a border state due to record levels of illegal immigration, human trafficking, and fentanyl poisoning harming American communities.”

Law, a former senior official at DHS during the Trump administration, added, “The next America First administration will secure the border and restore consequences for violating our immigration laws.”

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.