January 19, 2023
By Brian Lonergan
While the world debates whether the crisis at the southern U.S. border constitutes an invasion, a second front of the invasion has opened up along America’s coastlines. This has compounded the threat to our national sovereignty, and our absentee landlord in the White House pretends neither problem exists.
In November, Matt O’Brien of the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) released an investigative report warning that our maritime borders may soon be under assault by would-be migrants in a manner similar what we’re seeing at our southern border. The report cited a rise in waterborne attempts by migrants to enter the United States unlawfully. The report’s warnings were prescient.
Entering the United States by sea has long been considered the more dangerous way to enter the country illegally. The spectacular growth of drug- and human-trafficking cartels, however, combined with the relaxed security posture of the federal government, apparently have made illegal entry attempts by ship a risk worth taking.
A boat containing 25 Haitian migrants recently was taken into U.S. Border Patrol custody off the coast of Florida near Miami. Because of its proximity to the Caribbean islands, Florida has borne the brunt of illegal maritime entries. The most famous was the Mariel Boatlift in 1980, when a mass exodus of Cubans was absorbed into South Florida. In 1991, about 40,000 Haitians attempted the same entry. Last August, the Coast Guard took 113 Haitians into custody after their overloaded vessel ran aground off Key Largo, Florida.
Fed up with such incidents as well as with the White House’s asleep-at-the-wheel approach to immigration enforcement, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has taken action. Earlier this month, he activated the National Guard and the Florida National Guard to address the attempts to breach our shores. This brought a predictable response from the Biden Administration, as press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dismissed the moves as “political stunts.”
As in so many other instances, the current administration was promptly left with egg on its proverbial face, as the emptiness of its rhetoric and actions were quickly exposed. Just hours after Jean-Pierre’s statement, Fox News’ Bill Melugin reported that the Coast Guard had asked the DeSantis Administration in writing for help to deal with the growing number seaborne attempts to enter the country illegally. Why does the federal government need the help of a man allegedly engaging in political stunts with a problem we are told is all in our imaginations?
True believers in the anti-borders narrative can try to explain away these maritime incursions, but the application of Occam’s Razor-style logic yields some fairly clear explanations. The U.S.-Mexico border is less than 2,000 miles long, and our Border Patrol is currently overwhelmed trying to protect it with little support from the executive branch. The U.S. shorelines are over 95,000 miles long. The idea that we can patrol them any better than our southern border in our current political climate is folly.
More importantly, an unofficial but very clear signal has been sent by this White House to the rest of the world: If you are taken into custody for illegally entering the United States, you will most likely be allowed into the country and permitted to stay indefinitely. The rules to qualify for asylum can be circumvented by using a few magic words supplied by activist lawyers.
Should our coasts become a new front in the border crisis, it also raises a security threat. Last November alone, Border Patrol agents caught 12 foreign nationals whose names were on the terrorism watch list. Given the number of “gotaways” currently in the country, it raises the nightmare scenario that a sizeable population of foreign terrorists are now living among us. A porous coastline only gives those bent on causing great damage to our country another option for entry.
We should certainly fight this administration in the courts as they attempt to gaslight the American public that we are not witnessing an invasion of our borders. Whatever a judge decides on the issue, however, reasonable people can see the truth with their eyes and ears. If this is indeed an invasion, it is one that we have invited with years of compromised leadership and feckless policy.
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, January 18, 2023.
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