Perhaps Democrats could have picked a worse time to unveil their expansive immigration bill that would grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, but not much worse.
The legislation, introduced Thursday by congressional Democrats with the full support of the Biden administration, dubbed the “U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021,” comes as President Biden is rolling back border security measures implemented under Trump and the number of illegal border crossings is surging.
Combined with the ongoing pandemic and shortages of food and water in Texas after freezing temperatures left millions of Texans without power last week, a perfect storm is brewing on the border. Earlier this month, Mexico stopped accepting Central American children and families apprehended at the border. They had previously been quickly “expelled” under emergency pandemic protocols. Now, U.S. border officials are releasing them into communities across South Texas, often without conducting COVID-19 tests.
Biden has rather weakly urged migrants to stay away, essentially telling them not to come just yet and to wait until the administration is better prepared to receive them under what amounts to Obama-era “catch-and-release” policies.
But migrants aren’t listening. Arrests of illegal immigrants are up across the U.S.-Mexico border, especially in the Del Rio sector and the Rio Grande Sector in South Texas, the border’s busiest regions for illegal crossings. The Del Rio sector, for example, saw a 172 percent increase in apprehensions from December to January. Last week, amid the power outages in Texas, the mayor of Del Rio pleaded with the Biden administration to stop releasing illegal immigrants into his community, saying, “We do not have the resources available to house and accommodate these migrants within our community.”