EL PASO (Sputnik) – More than a million migrants were convinced to make the trek to the US southern border after President Joe Biden promised to remove certain Trump-era policies that prevented migrants from abusing the asylum system, former Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) intelligence analyst Todd Bensman said.
Illegal crossings on the US southern border have hit a 20-year high under Biden. In July, the US set another monthly record with 210,000 migrant encounters on the border, according to government data, pushing the total for the previous twelve months to over 1.4 million.
“[The] Biden Administration caused this directly by messaging to the world of aspiring immigrants that it would not remove families and unaccompanied minors, would propose a general amnesty for illegal aliens, and would end almost all deportation operations in the US interior,” Bensman said. “Those very public promises launched a million illegal immigrant ships.”
Bensman expects monthly apprehensions on the US southern border to soon reach 300,000 or more if the current trend continues.
“Once the Biden administration was in office, it immediately followed through on that troika of policies, plus many others removing barriers [Donald] Trump had put in place,” Bensman said. “That very sharply escalated illegal immigration. Since then, the administration has said and done nothing to reverse its policies and reinstitute deterrence-based ones that had been working very well. So the crisis will continue to escalate month by month.”
Migrants are only willing to risk large smuggling and travel fees when they are reasonably certain the investment will pay off with successful entry into the United States, Bensman said.
© REUTERS / JOSE LUIS GONZALEZMigrants from Central America are detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing into the United States from Mexico, in Sunland Park, New Mexico, U.S., July 22, 2021.
Bensman recommends immediately expelling migrants back to Mexico to await their immigration court proceedings, similar to the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, which was terminated in June by the Biden administration.
He also said the administration’s mission to address the root causes of migration from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador will likely be ineffective.
“Even if an effort to rebuild three countries in Central America were to work really well and create economic prosperity in those countries for all, many years would be necessary for it to begin deterring emigration,” Bensman said. “So addressing root causes in those countries is largely irrelevant to the current border crisis.”
Bensman also supports the construction of a new border wall, saying the infrastructure helps stop migrants.
Biden, in one of his first actions as US president, issued an executive order to halt all border wall projects that were carried over from the Trump administration.
Bensman pointed out that the current border crisis also presents a national security threat to the United States.
“Migrants from all over the world are pouring through the border, including from Middle Eastern countries where terrorist groups operate,” Bensman said.
Bensman worked with the DPS Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division in concert with US federal security agencies to identify and mitigate terror threats. He is now the Senior National Security Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies.