ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — With Title 42 expiring at midnight on Thursday, some are expecting chaos to erupt at our borders. However Congress has proposed a new bill that could help strengthen the presence and resources needed.
“The United States has a choice, either we’re going to have a lot of illegal immigration, or we’re going to have a legal migration system that enables people to apply, to enter legally and come, and contribute to this country in a legal way,” said David Bier, Associate Director of Immigration Studies at the Cato Institute. Bier said the chaos that’s occurred at the border is the result of an overly restricted immigration system in the US. “And as long as that’s the case – particularly for people without US citizens who are close family members, or extremely high skilled individuals – I mean, those are the people who can find a way to come, but if you don’t fall into those two camps, then there’s not a path for you to come legally and that’s what the administration and Congress need to address more than anything else,” he said.
State officials agree that the immigration system does need to be reevaluated, but for now Congress has proposed border bill HR-2 according to Congressman Nick Langworthy. “It’s … basically strengthening our border policies. You know, we have to promote our existing law, we have to support customs and border patrol agents, but it also would give our customs and border patrol agents the tools that they need to enforce those laws and bring this back and focus,” said Langworthy.
The Congressman said there have been 92 people who were on the terrorist watch list, that have been apprehended at US borders in the last six months and this bill will help keep the US safer and alleviate current migration issues. “Now the other side will tell you that it’s heartless, it’s cruel, it’s everything, we have to protect America first, before we can have the rest of the world,” said Langworthy.
Some have pointed to the border crisis as a means for cartels to get fentanyl over US borders, but Bier said that’s a misconception and drug trafficking organizations will use legal citizens to get their drugs across. “That’s why US citizens are over 80% of the people convicted for drug trafficking offenses in the United States, because they have the legal right to come in, they are subject to less scrutiny, and the drug traffickers know it,” he said.
John O’Connor, former federal prosecutor said the system is overwhelmed and the increase in migrants could lead to more criminal activity. “I mean, I think it’s a serious, serious issue for our country,” he explained. O’Connor said the best way the federal government can respond is to go back to how things once were. “Well, I hate to say this for the Biden administration, but the best thing they can do is try to go back to President Trump’s playbook,” said O’Connor. This means finishing building the wall, putting sufficient manpower at the border, and sending more troops.