The last time the border crisis reached this apex, the nation was still tuning into Desperate Housewives and House while calling each other from flip phones, and Barack Obama was just a junior senator from Illinois, and Donald Trump was just a guy on television. The only difference: The plurality of migrants back in 2006 flooding our southern border came straight from Mexico. Today, nearly half of the more than 172,000 migrants trying to cross the border, as reported by Border Patrol for the month of March, came from Northern Triangle nations.
Unlike the Bush-era crisis of Mexicans flooding the border, or even the 2019 crisis of Northern Triangle families coming for economic opportunities, today’s crisis is disproportionately caused by unaccompanied minors and lone adults being trafficked by coyotes and traveling through multiple countries in caravans. Border Patrol reported a record 18,890 unaccompanied minors at the border in March, nearly double the previous record during the apex of the border surge under Trump.
Biden has maintained that this is not a crisis and that this happens every year. For reference, during the worst year of the Trump administration, border crossings increased from 58,317 in January to 103,731 in March, or an increase of 78%. This year, crossings increased from 78,444 in January to 172,311 in March, a 120% increase.
When then-Presidents George W. Bush and Obama suffered border surges, most migrants were Mexican, so repatriation was simple. Although Trump couldn’t easily repatriate the majority-Northern Triangle migrants flooding the border, the diplomatic protocols he brokered, safe-third-country deals with Northern Triangle nations and the Remain in Mexico policy, eventually slowed the flow of migrants over the border.
Biden, however, ripped up those deals, giving the green light to migrants to traverse through multiple countries and flood American facilities with mostly dubious asylum claims. Given the deluge, Biden has resorted to lawless catch-and-release policies that were previously abandoned. Since January, a reported 30,000 migrants have been released into the United States. Coronavirus testing is not mandatory prior to release.
Biden has decided to make his vice president the border czar. Vice President Kamala Harris spent last weekend at her Brentwood home. Despite having no public events, Harris refused to visit the border. But she could have hopped on the 405 and driven 30 minutes to the Long Beach Convention Center, which the federal government has been forced to convert into a facility for migrant children. But such a visit would draw attention to the magnitude of the problem, wouldn’t it?