The Myth That Biden Had Nothing To Do with the Prosecutions of Trump

As we have covered here repeatedly, President Joe Biden’s widely touted executive action that would supposedly curb the illegal immigration crisis at the southern border has done basically nothing, with migrant encounter numbers holding steady and even increasing in some sectors. However, even hinting that he might do something about the crisis he created was clearly a bridge too far for some people. A group of immigrant advocacy groups led by the ACLU filed a lawsuit yesterday, laughably comparing Biden’s actions to those of Trump and demanding that he fully reopen the border. The group is demanding unlimited availability of asylum claims for all who arrive at the border. This amounts to one more headache that Biden didn’t need as he struggles to raise his approval numbers with people who are clearly fed up with the border crisis. (Associated Press)

A coalition of immigrant advocacy groups sued the Biden administration on Wednesday over President Joe Biden’s recent directive that effectively halts asylum claims at the southern border, saying it differs little from a similar move during the Trump administration that was blocked by the courts.

The lawsuit — filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and others on behalf of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center and RAICES — is the first test of the legality of Biden’s sweeping crackdown on the border, which came after months of internal White House deliberations and is designed in part to deflect political attacks against the president on his handling of immigration.

“By enacting an asylum ban that is legally indistinguishable from the Trump ban we successfully blocked, we were left with no choice but to file this lawsuit,” said Lee Gelernt, an attorney for the ACLU.

The ACLU’s demands will obviously be extremely unpopular with the public, but the entire question is probably academic. If Biden’s order were being enforced (it’s not at all clear that it is), it should have gone into effect immediately. The number of border encounters was far over the limit from the moment he signed it. In theory, asylum wouldn’t be offered again until the number of encounters dropped to less than 1,500 per day for a period of seven days. But we haven’t seen numbers that low since July of 2020 at the height of the pandemic.

Of course, Joe Biden also claimed that he expected to see “record numbers of deportation” when he signed the executive order. That never happened either. Just this week we learned that nearly all of the illegal migrants encountered in the San Diego sector were released into the country anyway, regardless of their asylum claim status. The supposed “crackdown” was a work of fiction, but the ACLU is suing the Biden administration anyway.

The Supreme Court really needs to take a fresh look at this entire question. Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act declares that the President of the United States may limit the entry of certain migrants into the country if it is believed that their entry is “detrimental to the national interest.” That’s a fairly vague definition that should give the President a great deal of leeway. How in the world could 10 million foreigners of dubious origin, including at least 1.6 million “gotaways” roaming the country not be seen as being detrimental to the national interest? It’s obviously been “detrimental” to the many people, including children, who have been assaulted, raped, and even killed by some of these migrants. Would the current Supreme Court dare to disagree with that?

I’m not implying that Joe Biden will actually do anything about this. But it would still be vital to have a ruling on the question sooner rather than later because if Donald Trump returns to office, he will almost certainly put that policy fully into effect on day one. It would be reassuring to know that the court will have his back on this question. In the meantime, the rest of us will have to white-knuckle our way through until November and pray that things will turn around.

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