Too Late: Biden Stages Carefully Choreographed Photo-Op at the Border
(January 8, 2023, Washington, D.C.) — Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and Mark Morgan, a senior fellow at FAIR and former commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued the following statements after President Biden’s photo-op border visit that is 719 days too late:
“President Biden’s three-hour stopover in El Paso on his way to Mexico was nothing more than a carefully choreographed photo-op designed to quell criticism of his refusal to get a firsthand look at what is happening at the border, rather than a serious effort to end a crisis he created and has purposefully worsened.
“When you take a step back, this crisis is all by design. During a 2019 primary debate, then-presidential candidate Biden explicitly urged migrants around the world to surge the border, with the intent of rubber-stamping their asylum claims: ‘I would, in fact, make sure that there is—we immediately surge to the border. All those people seeking asylum, they deserve to be heard.’
“In their first 100 days, the Biden administration took over 90 executive actions on immigration, many of which dismantled an effective system, making it easier for migrants to illegally enter and stay for good. Nearly every follow-up executive action or policy decision, including the unlawful parole program unveiled late last week, has been used to launder the crisis – not end it. The administration also immediately sent a 353-page mass amnesty bill to Congress, the same proposal consistently referenced ’as a comprehensive immigration reform plan’ that will solve the crisis they intentionally started. In reality, it is a reward to lawbreakers and an invitation to the entire world, and we are still seeing the effects of making it public.
“Instead of seeking to learn more about the crisis he started and how to actually end it, the core component of President Biden’s trip was a brief dog and pony show on port of entry inspections. Conveniently, it was at the Bridge of the Americas port of entry, which is set to receive $600 million from the president’s costly infrastructure law that he has gone around the country touting. And, while mayors and governors across the country are pleading for additional resources to deal with human costs of the migration crisis, Biden also took time to huddle with leaders of NGOs that have turned the mass resettlement of migrants into a taxpayer-funded cash cow for themselves. While the president did briefly meet some brave frontline Border Patrol agents, it remains to be seen whether he truly sought their insight on how to end the crisis.
“This photo-op visit, on top of what he said while unveiling another unlawful, mass migration program at the White House on Thursday, confirms that he has no intention of doing anything other than finding new, creative, and often illegal ways to allow economic migrants who have no valid claim to enter the country to enter (and stay) anyway.”
“For the first time not just as president, but in his entire 50-year career in Washington, Joe Biden finally visited the southern border. It was an opportunity to see the direct results of his radical open-borders agenda, including more than 90 executive orders that essentially erased an effective network of border security tools, authorities, and policies previously in place. In an ironic twist, President Biden used the occasion for a photo-op in front of the highly effective border wall he unilaterally scrapped on his first day in office.
“Biden said on Thursday, as part of his trip, he would meet with Border Patrol Agents and ‘make public’ what they said they need to do their jobs – and based on reports, he briefly chatted with a handful. Now the question is whether or not he conducted an open and honest conversation with these agents who work tirelessly on the front line. If he did, he would have heard exactly what he was told two years ago: Walls work and the Remain in Mexico program and safe-third country agreements we had with the Northern Triangle countries effectively reduced the exploitation of loopholes and increased border security. We are being overrun; we are unable to do our job to protect our nation against a vast and complex set of threats; we have been pulled off the front lines and relegated to performing the duties of a federal travel agency, handing over operational control of the border to the cartels. They likely told him how drugs, criminal aliens, and potential national security threats are pouring across the wide-open southern border. But most importantly, they would have relayed that our borders are not secure. Did this happen? We shall see. If it did, the question is now whether he ignores them and their outcry to reverse course, just as he did two years ago.”
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country’s largest immigration reform group. With over 3 million members and supporters nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.