President Joe Biden’s attorney general nominee, Merrick Garland, suggested Tuesday that he has not considered the criminal consequences of crossing the southern border illegally.
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri asked Garland about his stance on the hotly debated issue during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, but Garland was unable to give a clear answer.
“I haven’t thought about that question. I just haven’t thought about that question,” Garland said during the confirmation hearing.
“I think the president has made clear that we are a country with borders and with a concern about national security,” he added.
“I don’t know of a proposal to decriminalize but still make it unlawful to re-enter. I just don’t know the answer to that question.
“I haven’t thought about it.”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) February 23, 2021
The Biden administration recently made sweeping reforms to former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies via executive order and proposed major immigration legislation last month.
While I’ll attempt to give Garland the benefit of the doubt on the border crossing question, as agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement are part of the Department of Homeland Security, it is concerning that he has never entertained the question given the fact that the Department of Justice does oversee many legal issues regarding immigration at the border.
If crossing the border were no longer a crime, it could make it easier for migrants to come into the United States without proper documentation, as they would likely not be apprehended at the border.
Thankfully, Garland acknowledged that the U.S. is a country “with borders” and certain precautions obviously need to be taken to protect national security.
But on that same note, the Biden administration cannot try to paint itself as more humane than the previous White House on illegal immigration.
The Washington Post admitted in a piece Monday that a new facility for migrant children just reopened and was “a vestige of the Trump administration” that “was the source of protests and controversy.”
When The Post realized that it may have revealed a dirty secret, it published another article Tuesday morning titled “No, Biden’s new border move isn’t like Trump’s ‘kids in cages.’”
Additionally, the new administration has came under fire for not doing enough to reunite children at the border with their parents, once again showing another major inconsistency with the immigration policies Biden espoused on the campaign trail.
The Biden administration, including nominees like Garland, need to make the plan for immigration crystal clear, and giving half-baked answers is not going to cut it.
By giving inconsistent and sometimes dishonest answers about what the administration is doing on immigration is a huge disservice to immigrants and American citizens alike, and people are starting to catch on.
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