Opinion: The government’s Title 42 regulation, a 30-foot wall, both help improve border security between the US and Mexico
hilton is an advocate for effective border security who lives in San Diego.
A recent Gallup poll found that six in 10 Americans are concerned about illegal immigration and the loss of control at our US borders. Under the Biden administration, deportations have fallen by at least 68 percent. In the first seven months of the current fiscal year, Border Patrol encountered 1.2 million migrants. Polls by the Trafalgar Group last month found that 65 percent of those who identify as Hispanic want a temporary border closure with Mexico until the drug smuggling and illegal border crossing crisis is brought under control.
Properly, Public Health Order Title 42 of 1944, invoked during the COVID-19 pandemic, continues. A key reason for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep Title 42 was Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, who said in September that 20 percent of migrants entering the United States have a disease; many require medical attention. Now a growing number of Congressional Democrats oppose ending Title 42.
In March, Border Patrol Chief Raul L. Ortiz said he was prepared to detain up to 8,000 people who could arrive at the US-Mexico border any day to seek asylum if Title 42 ended. Officials said they are preparing for up to 18,000 migrants a day. Since March 2020, when the use of Title 42 began, almost 2 million people have been denied entry. Since President Joe Biden took office, an estimated 750,000 immigrants have been released after arrest, bringing the number of immigration court cases to 1.7 million. Approval rates for asylum cases have increased from 26 percent in 2020 to 37 percent in 2021.
In my view, a lot of asylum reforms are needed because US Attorney General Merrick Garland made a grave mistake when he scrapped one of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ current asylum rules. Garland allows applicants to claim fears of domestic violence or gang violence, some of the same types of violence that plague America’s crime-ridden cities. The most recent homicide rates per 100,000 people were 17.6 in El Salvador, 16.6 in Guatemala and 38.6 in Honduras. Some asylum seekers could likely move to US cities with higher crime rates than their countries of origin. Some US cities with high homicide rates per 100,000 are St. Louis, 64.55; Baltimore, 58.3; Detroit, 41.5; New Orleans, July 30; and Oakland, 18.
Experiencing lawful persecution is the primary reason for qualifying for asylum, but Biden’s administration is wrongly allowing more crime-based applications. Biden also ended deals with Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Citizens from these three countries accounted for about 41 percent of all border arrests last year.
If an administration restores previous rules for asylum seekers, border guards will have more time to speculate. Our 30 foot high fence also helps border police make more arrests and serve the public safety of Americans. Locally there has been some criticism of high fences due to deaths, falls and injuries affecting the medical system. Mayorkas, the Secretary of Homeland Security, said ruthless smugglers were to blame and only out for profit. He also said that after receiving their money, the smugglers don’t care what happens to the smuggled and ruthlessly forced the victims to climb dangerously over the fence.
In my view, a 30 foot fence is needed to prevent what happened in the 1980’s when the border fence was trampled and on the ground. Migrants poured over, ran up highways, built dangerous campgrounds in wildfire-prone gullies of public parks and also on private property. Pregnant women waited along the Mexican border, then were taken to hospitals to give birth while they were in labor. This type of intrusion was prevented by the high fence. Nevertheless, the problems of childbirth tourism persist to this day and contribute to illegal migration. A 2018 study by the Center for Immigration Studies estimated that migrants crossing the border illegally accounted for 11 percent of all publicly funded births in any given year, costing taxpayers $2.4 billion.
One solution to stopping falls from border walls due to smugglers’ disregard for human life is to do what the owners of a border ranch in Arizona and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott did, by putting up barbed wire the border fence or fence erected on the ground at the border below.
Another important reason for high fencing is to prevent criminals, including transnational gangs, from entering the United States. Undocumented migrants with a criminal charge in a nonimmigrant case make up more than 11 percent of the federal prison population, more than three times their share in the U.S. population. In 2021, Border Patrol arrested 23 cross-border migrants whose names were included in the Terrorist Screening Database. Also, nearly 390,000 migrants evaded border guards between October 2020 and September 2021, and it is estimated that more than 300,000 migrants evaded agents in the first half of this fiscal year, raising concerns about terrorist entry into the country.
This administration can see an escalating number of applicants flooding our borders due to improper repeals of efficient asylum rules. Since the construction of the border walls has been stopped, illegal migration is increasing by leaps and bounds.