by Brian Lonergan
The tragic results of the Biden Administration’s extremist immigration policies have become increasingly clear. By now there is abundant video evidence of large groups of foreign nationals wading across the Rio Grande, seeking shelter under highway overpasses, and walking through gaps in the unfinished border wall. These are the obvious results.
Less obvious are the other potentially dangerous situations these policies create. This is not just about talking points for politicians to debate, but real-world situations where people can be injured or killed.
Such a situation is currently brewing in south Texas, ground zero for the immigration crisis. Video surfaced recently of Texas National Guard personnel locking a gate on private land that has been used as an access point for illegal aliens to enter the United States. Border Patrol agents then arrived and unlocked the gate, allowing approximately 25 aliens to enter freely.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott was outraged, tweeting “Unbelievable. While Texas secures the border, the federal government is enabling illegal immigration. Biden’s open border policies created this. The federal government must do its job & fix it.”
Other than the fact that yet more noncitizens were allowed to violate U.S. immigration law, the incident took place without confrontation. Another incident of this kind may not end as well.
Border Patrol is part of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which operates under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which acts at the behest of the Biden White House. The Texas National Guard works for Abbott, an outspoken critic of Biden immigration policy who has been a thorn in the White House’s side by building border wall sections himself and very publicly bussing illegal aliens to Washington, D.C., and New York City.
This kind of situation can get ugly very quickly. The Texas National Guard stood down this time. What if next time National Guard personnel, tired of seeing their state overrun and violated, defy Border Patrol’s loose enforcement protocols and disregard for immigration law? The result could be a dangerous standoff between armed federal and state law enforcement officers.
It is not hard to predict which side our corporate media and political establishment in Washington would support. Already they have been portraying Abbott as a renegade governor who is sending aliens to blue cities as nothing more than a political stunt. If a clash between law enforcement were to occur, he would then be summarily accused of having blood on his hands.
The Left’s embrace of the federal government’s authority over states is a very recent phenomenon. In 2019 they lionized Massachusetts District Court Judge Shelley Richmond Joseph and a former trial court officer after they were indicted on obstruction of justice and other federal charges for allegedly allowing an illegal alien at a criminal court hearing to escape arrest by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer. They also celebrate whenever state and local governments openly defy federal immigration laws through sanctuary policies that make communities more dangerous.
By virtue of the Constitution’s supremacy clause, federal law should prevail in matters of immigration. Lawyers for the Immigration Reform Law Institute successfully argued that point in a 2020 brief submitted in a case where the First Circuit Court of Appeals vacated an injunction against courthouse arrests of illegal aliens by ICE agents.
In the recent incident in Texas, however, it is the federal government’s Border Patrol that is ignoring federal immigration law while the state National Guard is attempting to enforce it. Only when the radical Left gets control of the federal government do we see this kind of bizarre inversion of the law that is speeding our nation’s decline.
To be sure, the Border Patrol is staffed with many honorable patriots who signed up for the right reasons and do good work despite myriad obstacles. Those obstacles would include the tone-deaf leadership of current CBP chief Chris Magnus. In a recent interview, Magnus said his agency is “doing very well” despite agency data that shows over 2 million migrant encounters this fiscal year, a new record.
“I think we have the ability, and we’ve already shown it, to deal with even large numbers of migrants in an orderly, compassionate and effective manner,” said Magnus, sounding more like the leader of a nonprofit migrant support charity than the person responsible for protecting our borders.
A violent clash between federal and state law enforcement at our border is a nightmarish scenario. If that unfortunate day comes, however, ignore any misdirection that the cause is Donald Trump, those who advocate for stronger borders, or other pro-enforcement groups. The fault will belong to the anti-borders Left, Joe Biden, and his fellow travelers who have created our current predicament by willfully ignoring laws meant to protect our people and our nation.
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Brian Lonergan is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.
Photo “Border Patrol” by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.