Joe Guzzardi: Joe Biden’s SOTU; amnesty is border crisis solution

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Migrants wait to be processed after crossing the border Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, near Yuma, Arizona. Gregory Bull | AP

Leading up to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech, reporters speculated about how much time, if any, he would give to the Southwest border crisis. The answer is now known. From his one hour, 12 minutes, and 40 seconds-long speech – the eighth-longest State of the Union address of the last 60 years, and exceeded only by President Bill Clinton, four times, and President Donald Trump, three times, Biden spent about 60 seconds on his open border debacle. Some analysts said that the brief one-minute reference proved that Biden is indifferent to America’s eroded sovereignty that the border chaos created. Others claimed that the border mess is too embarrassing for Biden to acknowledge, and the less he said, the better for him, and his fellow Democrats.

At about the one-hour mark, Biden launched his foray into immigration. Biden shouted out: “America’s border problems won’t be fixed until Congress acts.” He then spoke more specifically about the direction in which he wants Congress to act. “If we don’t pass my comprehensive immigration reform, at least pass my plan to provide the equipment and officers to secure the border and a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those on temporary status, farm workers, [and]essential workers.”

Biden followed the well-traveled path that immigration expansionists have long trekked. Whatever problem society might face, the solution today, yesterday, and always is comprehensive immigration reform that includes citizenship. But granting amnesty to an unknown total of illegal immigrants already residing in the U.S. has no relationship to the sovereign-busting open border. Amnesty doesn’t equate to a secure border. More to the point, no one on Capitol Hill knows the precise number of illegal immigrants living within the interior. Estimates range from 12 million to 30 million. Illegal aliens have to be unlucky to get deported under Biden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed 72,177 illegal immigrants in FY 2022, slightly more than the 59,011 deported in FY 2021. That number, in turn, marked a sharp drop from the 185,884 deported in FY 20 and 267,258 in FY 2019.

Biden may want to dismiss the border, or he may be satisfied that his welcome-the-world policy is correct. But the reality is that under Mayorkas, border agents have processed and released more than five million aliens into the interior. Another million or so migrants, called gotaways, have slipped past agents and are roaming among the general population. No one is certain of their identities, their intentions, or their current whereabouts. No one is looking for them either, and if they’re located, ICE cannot, as per a Mayorkas memo, deport them. Mayorkas does not have the constitutional authority to rewrite settled immigration laws, but in the Biden administration, legality in immigration law is inconsequential. The only thing Biden and Mayorkas know about immigration laws is that they refuse to enforce them.

The illegal alien border surge will cost U.S. taxpayers $100 billion and counting. The $100 billion is the open border’s dollar cost. But the human cost, disregarded by Biden and Mayorkas, is tragic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote that over 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Drug cartels have taken advantage of the open border to traffic fentanyl and have built a multi-billion business around their deadly drug.

In his Spanish-language rebuttal, Mexico-born U.S. Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-Ariz.) said: “In my home county in Southern Arizona, fentanyl overdoses are the number one cause of death among young people — outpacing car crashes.”

A post-SOTU good news, bad news summary: amnesty has no chance to pass in the 118th Congress, but the nation will have to endure another two years of the lawless Biden administration and its determination to destroy historic America.

Joe Guzzardi is a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist who writes about immigration and related social issues. Joe joined Progressives for Immigration Reform in 2018 as an analyst after a ten-year career directing media relations for Californians for Population Stabilization, where he also was a Senior Writing Fellow. A native Californian, Joe now lives in Pennsylvania. Contact him at jguzzardi@pfirdc.org.