The Border Crisis Is the Latest Example of Government “Efficiency”
By nearly any standard, the US government’s administration of border control is a disaster.
If the goal is to limit border crossings, things are a mess. If the goal is to facilitate more legal immigration, things are a mess. If the goal is simply to give every potential immigrant a timely hearing, that too is a mess. The only scenario in which the current situation is a success is the one in which advocates for unrestrained migration cynically attempt to overwhelm the system in the hope it can be rendered inoperable.
In any case, the feds are just up to their usual antics: putting in place a monstrously inefficient, inept, and immoral regulatory system. Anyone caught up in the immigration system is likely to find himself (or herself) waiting months—or even years—for a hearing.
This was already the case under the Trump administration. In March of 2019, we were already hearing that the backlog for immigration hearings was up 300 percent. The backlog reached a million cases by late 2019. Meanwhile, the backlog for green cards hit a record-breaking 1.2 million in late 2020. In 2021, the wait time for a hearing ranges from 715 days to more than four years. The queue for legal immigrants seeking to enter the US through the normal channels has been notoriously long for many years. As early as 2015, the list stood at 4.4 million, with some people on the list for more than for more than fifteen years.
People who loathe immigrants, of course, are unlikely to see much of a problem here. The attitude in some circles is “who cares if they ever get a hearing, so long as they’re detained or kept out of the country?”
This attitude fails to make some important distinctions. The wait list for people apprehended as suspected illegal aliens is only part of the equation. Moreover, mere suspicion that a person is an illegal immigrant doesn’t make him so. Thanks to the US government’s bizarre and clearly unconstitutional hundred-mile “border zone,” American citizens who don’t carry their passports on them at all times can be harassed and arrested by Border Patrol agents, even well inside the US border. As the New York Post describes it, “Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are arresting US citizens by mistake and holding them at detention centers for months—sometimes even years.” How could these cases of wrongful arrest drag out for years? Government “efficiency” is the answer.
In other words, all these people need hearings, and all suspected illegal immigrants deserve a hearing regardless of our opinion of them, since, as Judge Napolitano has noted, the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply just to American citizens or people we like.
The list for confirmed legal immigrant applications and green card applicants is another matter entirely. These groups, of course, include family members of longtime American citizens. Also affected are employers who wish to employ specific workers or groups of workers. But the workers can’t get to their jobs thanks to the sheer inefficiency of the government’s administration. In other wo
Article from Mises Wire