America and Its Borders Are Worth Fighting For


August 15, 2022

By Tom Homan

In 2019 I said that if Joe Biden became president, we would lose the border. After spending nearly 35 years enforcing immigration law on the border and the interior I knew that, based on the promises he was making during the campaign, millions of foreign nationals would flood our border, and they have.

In its first few months, the new administration sharply curtailed blanket public-health expulsions at the border; dumped the extremely effective “Remain in Mexico” policy of sending asylum-seekers back to Mexico to await their hearings rather than releasing them into the United States; issued “enforcement” priorities that effectively abolished enforcement against a vast number of illegal aliens, and made enforcement against even criminal aliens an illusion. This was all done while stopping construction on the border wall that was rapidly being built and was proven to be effective based on available government data.

The new administration also allowed the Trump Administration’s presidential proclamations to lapse. Those proclamations included suspending the issuance of green cards and new H1-B visas while the U.S. was experiencing extremely high unemployment.

Many people agree that the Biden Administration’s immigration agenda has made America much worse, but now what? For those who think nothing can be done and no one is fighting for us, I can tell you with certainty that is not the case.

After my time as acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement under President Trump, I wanted to stay in the fight to preserve America and its borders. One of the things I did after retiring was to join the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) as a senior fellow and advisor. I was familiar with IRLI, as they wrote numerous court briefs in support of the ICE mission during the many lawsuits brought by anti-borders groups. Their briefs were very well done and assisted greatly in helping ICE defeat many lawsuits, which allowed us to conduct and succeed in our mission. 

Since I knew illegal immigration would surge under Biden, I wanted to help IRLI in fighting an agenda which not only attacks our rights as a sovereign nation, but would cause record illegal immigration, record illegal drug flow, and make our border vulnerable to increased sex trafficking.

Since the beginning of 2021, IRLI has been at the center of this national crisis. In almost every policy decision that has been made since that time, the Biden Administration has refused to enforce duly-enacted immigration law and has deliberately dismantled Trump Administration policies that IRLI defended in the courts — policies which had brought a large measure of control to the border. 

IRLI has succeeded in showing how the Biden administration’s policies violate the law. They worked with a number of states that bear the brunt of illegal immigration both financially and otherwise. The provable damage done to these states gives them standing to sue. IRLI has since assisted all these states in lawsuits behind the scenes and in court. I have personally written affidavits for several of these states to support their lawsuits against the Biden Administration.

I wanted to help IRLI in fighting an agenda which not only attacks our rights as a sovereign nation, but would cause record illegal immigration, record illegal drug flow, and make our border vulnerable to increased sex trafficking.

IRLI has some of the most experienced and distinguished litigators in the country. It helped to guide the State of Texas to sue to restore the “Remain in Mexico” policy, and for an innovative lawsuit seeking the full resumption of public health expulsions. IRLI also worked with the Texas Attorney General’s office on how Biden’s stop on wall construction and his enforcement priorities were illegal, and how Texas might intervene in court to preserve the public charge rule.

The result was a rapid series of lawsuits against the administration. Right off the bat, Texas, supported by IRLI in an amicus brief, won an injunction in federal district court striking down Biden’s 100-day deportation pause. As outside counsel representing Texas, IRLI sued for an injunction restoring public health expulsions in full.

I testified as a representative of IRLI for the State of Texas regarding the new ICE priorities that were directed by memo from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. I was on the stand for several hours during that testimony and we won. The judge struck down that instructions memo and ICE would once again enforce the law as enacted by Congress. The lawsuit wins are piling up because of the great work by IRLI.

In many ways this may feel like America’s darkest hour, but there are many brave patriots fighting back and winning. America and its borders are worth defending. We just need to stay in the fight.

Tom Homan is a senior fellow at the Immigration Reform Law Institute and the former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Also published at American Liberty News, August 14, 2022

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