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“Biden fails to do his job”: The White House undermines Texas, Iowa, and Oklahoma’s fight against illegal immigration

Despite illegal immigration encounters at the Texas border declining in the last few months, skyrocketing and out-of-hand illegal immigration continues to be a huge problem for the United States. Continuous accusations against the federal government and the Biden administration recently prompted two new measures in the fight against illegal immigration, but both measures were labeled as too-little, too-late efforts by the country’s leaders. Meanwhile, California is experiencing the largest surge in illegal immigrants in decades, numbers that could easily set the new record for the most migrants to enter the state in a single year.

State’s efforts

Texas, the state that has been at the forefront of combating illegal immigration since President Joe Biden took office, has invested billions in Operation Lone Star, a set of measures aimed at securing the border. Supported by several other Republican-led states, Texas has managed to secure the border lately thanks to controversial measures, including busing migrants to sanctuary cities. This measure alone has caused millions of Americans to be heavily concerned about the impact of illegal immigration, even those who live far from the southern border.

(Un)constitutional laws

Last year, the Texas legislature approved a law that gives state officials the power to arrest and deport individuals suspected of entering the U.S. illegally. Known as Senate Bill 4, the law treats illegal border crossing as a Class B misdemeanor, potentially leading to six months in jail for offenders. If someone is caught crossing illegally a second time, they could face a second-degree felony charge, with potential imprisonment ranging from two to twenty years. Various groups supporting immigrant rights have called on President Biden’s administration to step in and stop the law from taking effect, resulting in a lawsuit that has indefinitely halted its enforcement. This Texas law is expected to eventually reach the Supreme Court.

The Department of Justice sued Iowa on May 9 and Oklahoma on May 21, claiming their immigration laws violate the Constitution.
President Joe Biden and VP Kamala Harris, Courtesy of the White House

Other states followed

Following Texas’ lead, Iowa and Oklahoma, both under Republican leadership, introduced similar laws based on Texas’ Senate Bill 4. These states enacted almost identical legislation, which has not taken effect due to legal challenges by the Biden administration. The Department of Justice sued Iowa on May 9 and Oklahoma on May 21, claiming these laws violate the Constitution. The governors of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, and Iowa, Kim Reynolds, argue that these measures are necessary to manage the increased number of asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border

“Oklahoma cannot disregard the U.S. Constitution and settled Supreme Court precedent,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “We have brought this action to ensure that Oklahoma adheres to the Constitution and the framework adopted by Congress for regulation of immigration,” he added. Boynton issued similar statement regarding the Iowa lawsuit earlier in the month.

The Department of Justice sued Iowa on May 9 and Oklahoma on May 21, claiming their immigration laws violate the Constitution.
Migrant encoutners, Courtesy of U.S. Border Patrol – Facebook

Aggressive approach

The lawsuits filed against Iowa and Oklahoma, along with Texas, indicate that President Biden’s administration is actively opposing states that attempt to handle immigration issues independently. However, border security and immigration remain significant weak points for Biden, as surveys suggest these issues are increasingly worrying voters as this year’s election approaches.

The Department of Justice sued Iowa on May 9 and Oklahoma on May 21, claiming their immigration laws violate the Constitution.
Migrant encoutners, Courtesy of U.S. Border Patrol – Facebook

State lawmakers’ reactions

“When Biden fails to do his job and secure our border, States have to take matters into their own hands. Iowa’s law is not unique; it simply enforces immigration laws while Biden refuses to. Iowa stands ready to defend our immigration law that keeps Iowa communities safe,” Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird said in a statement on May 9.

On April 30, Oklahoma Governor Stitt said that he signed the controversial law, known as HB 4156, in a “response to the Biden administration’s failure to secure the southern border and stop the influx of illegal migration into our country.”

“I am disappointed this bill is necessary. Since President Biden took office in 2021, more than 10 million people have poured over the southern border,” said Gov. Stitt. “Countless individuals from across the globe, including thousands of Chinese nationals as well as people affiliated with terror organizations, have illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. Oklahomans are concerned by who could be lying in wait for an opportunity to bring harm to our country.”

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