Migrant Deaths Show Biden’s Lack of Compassion


June 13, 2022

By Dale Wilcox

There are few things anti-borders advocates love more than citing their compassion to justify their policy agenda, but a recent spate of migrant deaths near the border demonstrates the heartless reality of unenforced borders.

During Memorial Day weekend  last month, Border Patrol agents in the Del Rio Sector discovered the dead bodies of at least eight migrants floating in the Rio Grande River. These migrants were on their way to the U.S., presumably to take advantage of the Biden Administration’s lax immigration policies.

The agents were also forced to carry out multiple additional rescues of migrants who were in danger of drowning. This is another example of how Biden’s border policy has put both migrants and border officials in grave danger. Yet, there was little coverage of the tragedies in the media, and the White House stayed completely silent on the matter.

Joe Biden has never had a plan to secure America’s border, but he did claim during the 2020 presidential campaign to have a plan to “secure America’s values.” Biden and his allies spent years accusing the Trump Administration of mistreating migrants, and released what they claimed was a more compassionate immigration plan. The plan specifically mentioned the tragic deaths of migrants as something Biden would prevent.

“It is a moral failing and a national shame when a father and his baby daughter drown seeking our shores,” Biden wrote on his 2020 campaign website.  

Biden is correct that migrants dying while attempting to come to the U.S. is a “national shame,” but that shame belongs to him, not his predecessor, and not his political opponents.

These tragic deaths demonstrate that Biden’s anti-border policies are failing to achieve its stated objective, which is to secure a compassionate outcome for migrants attempting to come to the U.S. The eight migrants who died on their way to America are part of a trend of a growing number of migrants who have died or obtained serious injuries since Biden took office.

Biden is correct that migrants dying while attempting to come to the U.S. is a “national shame,” but that shame belongs to him, not his predecessor, and not his political opponents.

During Biden’s first year in office, the number of migrants who died or went missing while trying to come to the U.S. reached an all-time high, according to a report released earlier this year. The report found that 658 migrants either died or went missing while attempting to reach the U.S. in 2021, a 37 percent increase from former President Donald Trump’s last year in office.

Yet, almost nobody in the corporate media has held Biden to account for the rising number of migrant deaths, and the White House has not publicly expressed concern about the growing tragedies. Perhaps this is because Biden and his allies don’t want to admit that their policies have directly contributed to increased violence and death at the border, particularly for those who they promised enhanced compassion.

Migrants aren’t the only group of people suffering and dying at the border as a result of Biden’s policies. The first year of the current administration also saw a record number of Border Patrol agents die in the line of duty. Line-of-duty deaths among Border Patrol agents increased by 275 percent in 2021 to 15, with the vast majority recorded as COVID-19 deaths. While Trump kept the border largely closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden opened things up after taking office, putting these agents at increased risk of COVID-19 and other viruses. That Biden could not even wait until the end of the pandemic to implement his anti-border policies demonstrates a remarkable lack of concern for human life at the border and beyond.

Biden promised to protect migrants, but by opening up the southern border, he has only encouraged large numbers of them to take a dangerous trek that some won’t be able to survive. The record number of deaths amongst migrants and Border Patrol agents proves once and for all that anti-border policies are anything but compassionate.

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: Dale L. Wilcox, Migrant Deaths Show Biden’s Lack of CompassionThe New American, June 13, 2022.

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