The number of migrants caught crossing from Mexico into the United States spiked last month, leading some Republicans to accuse President Joe Biden of opening the southern border, but while the Biden administration has made it easier for kids and some families to enter the United States, the border is still largely closed for most migrants.
In recent weeks, high-profile conservatives like RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Fox News host Sean Hannity have accused Biden of encouraging unauthorized immigration by pursuing an “open borders” strategy.
In reality, over 70% of people caught crossing into the United States last month — and almost 90% of single adults — were expelled to the other side of the border almost immediately after their arrests, a policy former President Trump initiated last year to prevent Covid-19 from spreading, meaning the border is still sealed off for many people.
Some Democrats and immigration advocates have argued this rapid expulsion policy — known as Title 42 — is unnecessary and makes claiming asylum far more difficult, but Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas has indicated he will not overturn it immediately.
However, crossing the border has become more accessible for some groups: Most notably, Biden ended a Trump-era practice of expelling kids who cross the border alone, instead housing them in Border Patrol stations and government-run shelters.
Biden has also allowed thousands of families caught crossing the border to stay in the country on a case-by-case basis, often releasing them into the United States on parole until their day in immigration court, though authorities still expelled many families.
Plus, the administration is gradually admitting thousands of asylum-seekers who were told to wait in Mexico for their court dates under a controversial Trump-era policy, a process unrelated to last month’s spike in illegal crossings.
By Joe Walsh for FORBES
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