At least our new Tennessee senator has decided to push back on Biden’s immigration plans.
Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) sent a letter on Wednesday to President Joe Biden expressing his opposition to the White House ending Trump administration immigration policies that protect Americans.
“I have serious concerns regarding reports that you are planning to terminate the Trump Administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) policy and return to a catch-and-release policy with respect to persons crossing the border,” Hagerty posted on social media with a copy of the letter attached.
Hagerty praised the U.S.-Mexico Joint Declaration negotiated by the Trump administration that kept asylum seekers in Mexico until their status could be adjudicated. That agreement included Mexico agreeing to “accept and offer jobs, health care, and education to persons waiting for asylum determinations under MPP.”
“The letter comes amid reports that an estimated 30,000 migrants—a population roughly the size of Cookeville, Tennessee— are waiting at the border right now to be released next week into the United States given the termination of MPP,” the press release issued by Hagerty’s Senate office said.
Hagerty wrote in the letter:
Terminating MPP would unilaterally discard a significant diplomatic achievement, reward abuse of our generous asylum laws, and endanger American communities as a result. Further, it would exacerbate the damage caused by your other unilateral actions on immigration, including: barring virtually all deportations of illegal immigrants, including violent criminals; halting ongoing construction of a border wall demanded by law enforcement personnel on the front lines; and opening the door to admitting immigrants who cite the need to flee climate change. Human smugglers, who endanger and exploit these migrants while promising passage to the United States in exchange for payment, often train the migrants to falsely claim asylum at the border as their ticket into the interior of the United States. In 2019, the Trump Administration established MPP, which requires that persons seeking asylum in the United States remain in Mexico—rather than being released into the United States—while their claims are adjudicated.
This policy makes sense because admission to the United States should not be automatic, but rather should be based on whether a person is entitled to asylum under the law. Recent data shows that fewer than one in five asylum claims are granted—including only 1.5 percent of MPP cases, according to a February 12, 2021, Los Angeles Times report—and that roughly half of claimants fail to show up for their hearings. Because MPP cases are many times less likely to be meritorious than the typical asylum claim, and roughly half of all asylum claimants do not even show up to complete their immigration hearings, a policy that forces American taxpayers and communities to provide safe harbor to individuals who are so clearly abusing our laws defies all logic.
Hagerty asked the Biden administration to respond to questions he included in the letter:
Will these migrants be released into the general population of the United States while their asylum claims are pending? And if so, how does the government plan to ensure that the migrants show up for all of their immigration court proceedings?
Will these migrants be granted work permits in the United States while their cases are pending?
Will these migrants be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States?
If it is determined that a migrant is not entitled to asylum, will that migrant be immediately removed from the United States?
He also pointed out that Biden’s policies actually favor immigrants over American citizens.
“Abandoning the MPP partnership is especially puzzling during an ongoing global pandemic that has warranted travel restrictions for citizens and has resulted in the closure of American businesses and schools and the elimination of American jobs,” Hagerty wrote. “Incredibly, it seems that with this unprecedented wave of executive orders, more COVID restrictions are being placed on American citizens than on illegal immigrants.”
Hagerty asked the Biden administration to respond by March 1.
Outlook on that doubtful. The Democrats intend to steamroll amnesty and no immigration barriers through Congress. They’ve got a lot of the courts with them, besides their best sidekick, the media.