Suburban Shock: Biden's Border Crisis Hits Home

Recent criminal incidents spark nationwide immigration policy debate

by Zain ul Abedin
Suburban Shock: Biden's Border Crisis Hits Home
© Megan Varner/Getty Images

In the early days of his presidency, Joe Biden implemented significant changes to U.S. border policy, halting the construction of the border wall, ending the "Remain in Mexico" program, and initiating the mass release of individuals apprehended for illegal entry into the United States.

Furthermore, Biden expanded the use of immigration parole, a move critics say has facilitated the entry of tens of thousands of additional migrants each month. Despite efforts to minimize these actions' impact, they have been central to the burgeoning border crisis gripping the nation.

Since Biden's inauguration in 2021, the influx of migrants, many of whom have not undergone comprehensive vetting, is said to rival the population of El Salvador. In the fiscal year 2023 alone, over 15,000 individuals with criminal convictions were apprehended at the border, highlighting a significant concern given the U.S.'

s limited access to international criminal databases. The question looms large: how many of the estimated 600,000 "gotaways" or those released due to unknown criminal backgrounds pose a threat to public safety? Critics, particularly conservatives, have long argued that policies promoting open borders and mass releases would inevitably escalate crime and endanger American lives.

Instances in cities like New York, where progressive prosecutors have been accused of releasing illegal immigrants facing serious charges, and Chicago, where arrests uncovered a large cache of fake IDs among a group exploiting Venezuelan migrants for theft, underscore these concerns.

Immigration Policy Fallout

Now, this wave of crime attributed to immigration policies is making its way into America's suburbs and small towns, bringing with it chaos and tragedy. Recent weeks have seen a spate of violent crimes across the nation, from the murder of a nursing student in Georgia by a Venezuelan immigrant to various assaults and homicides by undocumented immigrants in Maryland, Louisiana, Virginia, and Utah.

These incidents challenge the narrative that illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes than citizens. Regardless of comparative crime rates, each crime committed by an undocumented immigrant is a preventable tragedy, made possible by policies that critics argue are too lenient on illegal entry and stay in the U.S.

The Biden administration faces calls to take decisive action to stem this tide of migrant-related crime. Suggestions include ending the perceived misuse of immigration parole, mandating the reporting of arrestees' immigration status, rescinding directives that limit the enforcement actions of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and enforcing existing laws to detain illegal border crossers or keep them outside the U.S. until their cases are resolved.