The last defense against a completely open border
America no longer controls much of the southern border. Large swaths of the border are compromised by Mexican drug cartels enriching themselves through human trafficking and drug smuggling. Earlier this month, I traveled to the Rio Grande Valley sector of our southern border to see it for myself. It’s far worse than the liberal media report. It’s as bad as you think — and it’s getting even worse.
On Jan. 20, 2021, the world changed for the men and women serving on the front lines for the United States Customs and Border Protection. With the stroke of President Joe Biden’s pen, our border agents watched helplessly as most of the tools needed to secure our border were taken from them, including stopping critical border wall construction, canceling the asylum agreement with Mexico, and reinstating the ridiculous “catch and release” policy. After speaking with several CBP agents, I learned that their hands are tied — and it’s being done intentionally.
The two main points agent after agent kept reiterating were that “there are no longer any consequences for entering America illegally” and “if Title 42 is allowed to expire, our southern border will be effectively erased.” This consequence-free environment will ensure the flood of migrants across our border continues. The CBP agents said Title 42 is the last defense against a completely open border and chaos.
Without it, they would have to accept everyone who enters our country — legally and illegally.
What is Title 42? Short for Section 265 of U.S. Code Title 42, it allows the U.S. government to remove persons who have recently been in a country where a communicable disease was present — in this case, COVID-19. To be clear, these are not children or families fleeing tyranny and seeking asylum. We’re talking about single adult males, the population feeding violent gangs such as MS-13.
However, despite the Biden administration's dismantling of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policy, the radical Left wants more. More than 60 House Democrats are calling for the removal of Title 42 despite the health, national security, and humanitarian implications of the crisis happening at the border right now.
In April alone, CBP apprehended more than 178,000 people entering our country illegally — a 944% increase from April 2020. Under Title 42, 111,712 people have been expelled from our country. If it is removed, we would have to accept all of them. And CBP reports that border patrollers have caught people from more than 60 different countries. These are just the ones we know about. It's the tens of thousands entering America illegally and disappearing into the interior that the people should be most concerned about because the government doesn’t know who they are, where they came from, why they’re here, or where they are now.\
The most alarming part of Title 42 is that it’s not a traditional law created by Congress and signed by the president. It’s a rule from a bureaucratic agency, enforced by unelected bureaucrats. That means that at any given time, Biden could revoke that order. He’s under pressure to do so.
All it could take is a viral tweet from a reporter, influencer, or cable TV host and the Biden administration might choose to bow to the “woke” mob and revoke the order. We witnessed this exact scenario happen when the refugee cap numbers were increased just a few weeks ago. Liberals complained, and Biden caved. Nobody should be surprised if it happens again.
Former President Ronald Reagan famously declared, “A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.” This is obviously true and therefore raises the question: What are the real motives of those pushing for open borders? They should come clean with the people.
Bill Johnson represents Ohio's 6th Congressional District in the House of Representatives.