Sasha Toperich’s authored article for Newsweek: The Supreme Court Decision on Texas as a Wake-Up Call for Biden on Immigration

The Supreme Court decision allowing Texas to enforce a new immigration law permitting state officials to detain migrants entering Texas without permission is clearly an important ruling that should be welcomed across the country. In response, White House Press Secretary Karin Jean Pierre stated on Tuesday that “we fundamentally disagree” with the ruling, as reported by Newsweek, authored by Dr. Sasha Toperich.

According to Biden’s immigration proposal from January 20, 2021, there should be an eight-year path to citizenship for tens of millions of unauthorized immigrants currently in the country. Perhaps this explains why no Democrats in the Senate voted for Senator Bill Hagerty’s (R-Tenn.) Equal Representation Act, part of the legislation aimed at ensuring that only lawful citizens are counted when determining the sizes of congressional districts and the Electoral College map used for presidential elections. It’s hard not to see the political agenda behind three years of silence from the White House on the millions of migrants crossing our southern border, and that is precisely the issue that will be pivotal in the 2024 elections.

The current levels of illegal migrants represent a national security crisis. In New York, gangs openly sell fake IDs and green cards to migrants. Hundreds of thousands of migrants in the city are seeking under-the-table jobs, wreaking havoc on its economy. Venezuelan migrants allegedly recently robbed phones from 62 women. In one video, another migrant assaults police officers in Times Square after hitting two store workers and biting one of them. The situation in New York is so dire that the National Guard is now deployed at subway stations due to rising crime.

All of this was unimaginable just a few years ago. Another Venezuelan who illegally entered the US has been charged with the murder of Leiken Riley, a 22-year-old medical student found dead on the University of Georgia campus last month. An illegal migrant from Guatemala was convicted of sexually assaulting a child and was re-arrested by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement after being released by a Massachusetts court. Last December, another “undocumented male subject” killed a high school cheerleader in Texas. An illegal immigrant from Mexico killed a Washington state soldier earlier this month. And the list goes on.

One thing is clear, the US needs more migrants — legal migrants, especially highly skilled foreign workers. Our annual H-1B visas account for about 22 percent of all temporary visas, with 65,000 visas approved each year and an additional 20,000 for the upper limit. These numbers should be increased. Overall, over 200,000 applicants apply for H-1B visas each year. With the current annual quota, only about 40 percent are accepted, so qualified foreign-born workers are giving up on applying and seeking to work and contribute in other countries. We are at risk of missing out on an opportunity that will help our country continue to lead technological advancement globally. We need to expand quotas for legal immigration, yet we allow millions to enter the country illegally — most of whom are barely qualified, and some of whom have criminal records and should not be allowed entry under any circumstances.

Newsweek notes that US Citizenship and Immigration Services needs more funding to cope with processing legal immigrants, including work permit applicants. Redirecting funds to process illegal migrants while hundreds of thousands of applicants wait for their papers to be processed in our daunting, multi-year (and quite corrupt) immigration process is not only unfair but also unacceptable. Some people, like the man who killed Leiken Riley, simply shouldn’t be here. Period.

Reinstating the “Remain in Mexico” policy is one action the administration should immediately take to stem the influx of illegal immigrants. The intended purpose of asylum — protection from arrest and extradition especially granted to political refugees — must be the guiding policy for all asylum seekers. People living in Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado — states far from the southern border — now identify illegal migration as a key issue for the 2024 elections. And with heinous crimes spreading across our country, they have a point, wrote Dr. Toperich for Newsweek.

Text author: Dr. Sasha Toperich, Senior Executive Vice President of the Transatlantic Leadership Network From 2013 to 2018, he was a Senior Fellow and Director of the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Gulf Initiative at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.

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