Illegal, Glitchy App Is Biden’s Latest Attack on Border Security


March 9, 2023

By Brian Lonergan

With an election year approaching and the citizenry increasingly fed-up with outrageous levels of crime and illegal immigration, the Biden White House appears finally to be embracing common sense and taking aggressive action. This action, however, is just another scam. The administration’s new policies may sound good on the surface, but actually make the problems it created even worse. 

The spin doctors at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue have run out of talking points to explain away the disaster that Joe Biden has created along our southern border. Rather than do something effective, like beef up enforcement and finish the border wall, Team Biden has chosen gimmickry. 

The White House has touted the “CBP One” phone app as a solution to turn “irregular migration,” i.e. illegal immigration, into “regular” immigration. The idea is that migrants can first use the app to submit photos and information prior to reaching the border, and then use it to schedule an appointment with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at a port of entry.

To make the CBP One app the standard in border processing, the White House has also issued a rule that migrants who cross the border illegally and fail to use the app would be ineligible for asylum. The stated purpose is to reduce the chaos at the border that has led to more than 2.3 million border encounters in fiscal year 2022.

This has prompted a lawsuit by 20 states against the administration over the plan, which would parole migrants using the app from four nations into the United States at a rate of about 30,000 per month. In its amicus brief in support of the states, lawyers from the Immigration Reform Law Institute explained why the Biden plan to restore law and order is actually itself against the law. 

Parole, the brief explained, may only be granted on a case-by-case basis for “significant public benefit.” No significant benefit to the public is served by paroling any particular alien under this program. The program’s supposed benefit—the reduction of “irregular migration” by providing the app alternative—is only significantly advanced by paroling tens of thousands of other illegal aliens en masse. And it is just such mass parole abuse that Congress meant to shut down when it added the case-by-case requirement.

After creating a massive humanitarian crisis by flouting the law, it is now trying to create the appearance of addressing the crisis by using bureaucratic sleight of hand

This is Biden Administration trickery at its finest. After creating a massive humanitarian crisis by flouting the law, it is now trying to create the appearance of addressing the crisis by using bureaucratic sleight of hand to contort what Congress has determined to be illegal conduct into legally permissible conduct by executive fiat. The will of the people, as well as the role of the other branches of the federal government, is relegated to the sidelines. 

There are numerous problems with this effort, in addition to the obvious question of how so many supposedly destitute citizens of poor countries are acquiring smart phones to use this app. Beyond that, even if such a program creates the appearance of less chaos at the border, the end result is still tens of thousands of noncitizens being admitted into the United States every month.

American citizens will still have to absorb the staggering costs to relocate, house, educate and medically treat these arrivals. Simply getting them here through a slightly less tumultuous process does not lessen the burden that we as a nation are increasingly unable to bear.

The plan to welcome so many noncitizens into the country steps right over existing law that requires the federal government to defend the border and deport those here illegally. The agenda of this White House, implemented by its activist Homeland Security Director Alejandro Mayorkas, is to reimagine the border patrol as a welcoming committee for anyone from another country who makes what is usually an illegitimate case for asylum.

Like most things in Biden World, this initiative is a healthy mix of a cynical, hyper-political agenda and rank incompetence. Many users report that the CBP One app is riddled with bugs and glitches. In fact, anti-borders activists are even complaining that the app’s many technical issues interfere with the rights of migrants to claim asylum. Leave it to this administration to find a way to irritate people on all sides of an issue.

This is a critical moment in the history of the United States. We are facing existential problems that demand serious leadership. Unfortunately, our current leadership has either created many of these problems or made them exponentially worse. The last thing Americans need is programs like the CBP One app that are marketed as innovative solutions but are actually just abusing our existing laws and processes to advance partisan interests.

Brian Lonergan is director of communications at 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 illegal migration.

Also published at American Greatness, March 9, 2023.

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