President Joe Biden said the impact of the expiration of Title 42 was "better than expected" during remarks to reporters during a bicycle ride Sunday, Fox News reported. Despite clear ongoing issues, the president has no plans to visit the U.S.-Mexico border.
Title 42 was a provision enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic that allowed the U.S. to turn away asylum seekers based on public health worries. It expired last week amid worries that it would bring an untold number of new illegal immigrants rushing the border.
However, Biden claims that it's essentially a non-issue now. "Much better than you all expected," Biden, who was spending time at his vacation home, said about the situation as he stopped during a bike ride in Rehoboth, Delaware.
When asked about his plans to go see the border for himself, Biden declined, saying it would "just be disruptive" at this time. The president's remarks come on the heels of a statement from U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas reporting that the number of illegal immigrants crossing has dropped by half since Thursday.
"The numbers we have experienced in the past two days are markedly down over what they were prior to the end of Title 42," Mayorkas said on CNN. He further explained that there were 4,200 border patrol encounters Saturday, which was down from the 6,300 reported Friday.
Mayorkas credited the implementation of penalties on border crossers for the drop. Under Title 42, asylum seekers were turned away but not penalized for crossing illegally.
Now those found to be in the country illegally will be sent back and barred from making even a legal request for five years. Those wishing to make an asylum claim are expected to sign up via an app and wait for their appointments.
Perhaps the Biden administration is willing to do something about the issue now that it's causing problems in Democrat-run cities like Chicago and New York. After Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott sent illegal immigrants to her city, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who is finishing out her term after being primaried, declared a state of emergency.
"The City of Chicago is in the midst of a national humanitarian crisis, and through a unified effort in accordance with its values as a welcoming city, Chicago is doing everything it can to respond to the urgency of this matter," Lightfoot said in her declaration on May 9. "The City has continued to call on federal and state governments to support the new arrival mission with much-needed additional funding and resources for emergency shelter and resettlement, as there are not enough resources currently to meet the need."
Similarly, New York City Mayor Eric Adams has been inundated with newcomers and is sending those migrants upstate, the New York Post reported. "We are doing everything we can to squeeze every bit of space out of New York City," one of the mayor's aides reportedly said as they were ready to ship more migrants to hotels in rural New York State.
Although Biden has temporarily staved off a huge influx of border crossers, his strategy to this point has been to indiscriminately let everyone into the U.S. Democrats see these people not as humans with needs but as a potential voter base and have applauded him until the problem came to them.
However, it is not humane to tacitly support lawbreaking and a life of low-wage servitude for the people seeking asylum. It's not right for the people in border cities and states to deal with the problem of feeding, housing, and processing an untold number of newcomers.
Still, the fact that Title 42 did not bring the immigration apocalypse doesn't mean it isn't just around the bend anyway. Perhaps Biden is just giving his Democratic colleagues enough time to prepare for the onslaught.
Whatever the reason for the dropping immigration numbers, at least it's a temporary pause to the ongoing crisis. Unfortunately, Biden's record suggests whatever comes next will be much worse.