A former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security warned Sunday, Jan. 24, that President Joe Biden’s executive orders undoing the border controls implemented by his predecessor will trigger an immigration and border security crisis.
“The actions Biden and the administration have taken are actually going to cause an immigration and border security crisis on the southwest border and that’s something we don’t need right now,” former Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said in an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
Wolf was referring to a wave of immigration orders, memorandums and proclamations signed by Biden shortly after his inauguration last week. With these, Biden halted work on a border wall with Mexico, lifted a travel ban on people from several predominantly Muslim countries and reversed plans to exclude immigrants living in the country illegally from the 2020 census.
The president also signed a memorandum to preserve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Since it was introduced in 2012, DACA has shielded hundreds of thousands of people who came to the U.S. as children from deportation. He also extended up to June 2022 the temporary legal status of Liberians who fled civil war and the Ebola outbreak.
“These things concern me. The [Homeland Security] department has done a good job over the last several months of keeping increased number of folks coming to the border illegally, under control, and we’ve done that through a variety of different authorities. We’ve seen a roll back of some of the authorities. It really is concerning,” said Wolf.
“What the Biden administration is saying is we’re not going to deport them because we’re going to focus on other things. They’re moving resources to the border to process immigration, to process asylum claims. I think in a COVID-like environment that’s very dangerous.”
Wolf noted that the border wall system put in place in Trump administration “absolutely works.”
“They said we don’t need a border wall system on every mile of that border. We need it in strategic locations. And that’s what Customs and Border Protection has done. But to say that we don’t need an effective border wall system in very high traffic areas, an area that we know cartels use over of and over again. I think is very naïve. I think it’s the wrong approach.”
Wolf also didn’t agree with the 100-day moratorium on deportations “for certain noncitizens” issued by the DHS, which will start Friday, Jan. 29.
According to Wolf, the new administration is essentially saying it won’t deport individuals “with final orders of removal, criminals in most cases, we’re not going to deport them for 100 days.”
Biden’s most ambitious proposal is an immigration bill that would give legal status and a path to citizenship to anyone in the U.S. before Jan. 1 and reduce the time that family members must wait outside the country for green cards.
Under the bill, those enrolled in DACA, those with temporary protective status for fleeing strife-torn countries and those working at farms would only wait three years to get citizenship while most of the others would wait eight years. Eligible family members will also be granted temporary status until their petitions are processed so they can wait for green cards in the U.S.
The bill also offers development aid to Central America, reduces the 1.2 million-case backlog in immigration courts and provides more visas for underrepresented countries and crime victims. (Related: POTUS Trump proposes amazing new immigration plan that emphasizes merit-based system including English proficiency and self-sufficiency.)
Biden’s proposal is expected to face resistance in Congress.
Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, provided a glimpse of what is to come, describing the bill as having “open borders: Total amnesty, no regard for the health and security of Americans and zero enforcement.”
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