America’s Public Lands are Not Alien Encampments


December 19, 2023

By Dale Wilcox

The Biden Administration appears poised to turn America’s public lands into homeless encampments for illegal aliens as the nation continues to be overwhelmed by the invasion at the southern border.

The administration lashed out at Congress recently after the House of Representatives passed a bill prohibiting the administration from housing illegal aliens on public lands. The legislation passed the House but now appears dead after a veto threat from the Biden Administration. It seems like common sense to prevent U.S. public lands from turning into homeless encampments for noncitizens, but this administration’s approach to immigration has been neither common nor sensible. In fact, illegal alien encampments on federal lands is not simply a misguided policy the administration is considering, but one they are already enacting.

Starting last month, thousands of illegal aliens began filling up Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennet Field as New York City has been crippled by the influx of illegal aliens. The aliens have reportedly been complaining about the conditions in the makeshift tent city, and one New York state assembly member called the situation a “disaster,” according to Fox News.

Of course, Floyd Bennet Field is a major downgrade from the standards of living the initial batches of illegal aliens received when they came to the city. Those aliens were originally put up in four- and five-star hotels in the heart of Manhattan. The behavior of many of the aliens living in these hotels was notoriously poor, as photos showed food and beverages being left on the floor, and reports emerged of migrants engaging in sexual activities in the hallways.

One can only imagine the long-term damage that could be done to America’s public lands if this sort of behavior is tolerated there. This is perhaps the major reason why turning the nation’s public lands into migrant housing is such a destructive idea. As the influx of illegal aliens has continued unabated and New York has continued to be drained of resources, the city has been forced to house new arrivals in more cramped and far less luxurious living conditions. Floyd Bennet Field will not be the last public land to be turned into an encampment for illegal aliens.

Ultimately, the federal government will have to decide between providing adequate services to their citizens or continuing to pursue destructive anti-border policies.

The U.S. has been experiencing nearly 7,000 illegal border crossings on a daily basis, a number that has fluctuated but consistently been at or near record highs since the Biden Administration took office. The U.S. has a finite amount of resources but a seemingly infinite number of illegal aliens regularly crossing the border. Now, the country is running out of room and resources to care for them. Major cities such as New York and Chicago are being forced to take resources intended to serve the needs of their constituents and instead re-purpose them to accommodate the many illegal aliens who have come to their cities in recent years. The border crisis has taken its toll on vital services at the federal level as well.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has come under scrutiny for allegedly diverting resources intended for U.S. military veterans to care for illegal aliens who have suffered injuries during their journey to the U.S. Meanwhile, the administration has also deployed air marshals to the southern border, drawing concerns that the crisis at the border is indirectly making traveling less safe for Americans.

Now, America’s public lands appear to be the next item this administration is willing to sacrifice in the pursuit of its scorched Earth, anti-border policies. Americans may soon be unable to visit their national parks. Service members may be forced to accommodate illegal aliens at military bases, and the ability of the U.S. government to serve the needs of U.S. citizens will continue to erode.

All of this is unsustainable. America’s resources and land are vast, but they are not unlimited. Ultimately, the federal government will have to decide between providing adequate services to their citizens or continuing to pursue destructive anti-border policies.

Unfortunately, we all know the choice this administration is likely to make. Because they believe the crisis at the border will pay long-term political dividends for them, the Biden Administration has been content to discard the needs and concerns of American citizens and plow ahead with their agenda. No amount of American land or treasure is off limits for this administration if the alternative includes reigning in their anti-border policies.

America’s public lands should exist to serve only the American public just as America’s government programs should exist to serve only American citizens. Under this backwards administration, the opposite is increasingly true.

Dale L. Wilcox is executive director and general counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.

Also published at AMAC, December 19, 2023.

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