Is Biden admin right to offer paid leave to fed employees fostering illegal children?
- On Wednesday, March 24, there were over 11,000 unaccompanied migrant children in the custody of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The majority were teens, but hundreds were children under 12-years-old.
- In early April, the Biden administration asked thousands of federal workers to help care for undocumented migrant children, offering them four months of paid leave.
- The New York Times along with Texas Gov. Abbott projected that there “could be more than 35,000 migrant children in need of care by June.
- The number of illegal aliens in the US dropped to 10.3 million in 2019, a 12% decrease since 2010.
- According to US Customs and Border Protection, the number of migrant apprehensions have been increasing for the last 10 years, and reached a high of 96,974 in February 2021.
There is no such thing as an 'illegal' immigrant, particularly in the case of children, who cannot be held at fault in any case. Regardless, seeking asylum is legal, and turning away asylum seekers is a greater breach of laws than crossing a border without the correct paperwork, regardless of one's reason for doing so. Speaking of laws, children are not supposed to be held by DHS for longer than 72 hours, while officials say that 'on average, it takes 34 days before a child is reunited with their sponsor.' The latter in reference to the fact that many of those who are currently crossing the border already have relatives in the US and are merely waiting to be reunited with them. The proposal is only for four months of paid leave, not something permanent, and would hopefully allow those who participate in helping the system catch up. It would also help bolster the numbers of available foster families, which are not currently keeping up with demand. Besides this, it would be cheaper and more humane than continuing to build 'overflow facilities' that also require staffing and other logistical considerations.
It should also be considered that the US's past and ongoing actions have contributed massively to destabilization in the regions of Central and South America. Especially since we are at least partially responsible for their displacement, doing what we can to help these children while their families are found, or other arrangements can be made, is simply the right thing to do.
Offering paid leave for federal employees to foster illegal immigrant children sends a loud and clear message to those considering crossing the border unlawfully: that the United States welcomes illegal immigrants and that our government will go out of its way to care for the children who ended up in the US, to no fault of their own, but are nonetheless here illegally.
Yet that is what the Biden administration plans to do, after failing to heed warnings from the Trump administration of the 'likely surge of arrivals in the spring.' Now that such has occurred, immigration shelters are at '103 percent of capacity,' and there is nowhere for the excess number of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) to go.
However, the United States is already facing an economic burden after the country suffered being at a standstill during the pandemic, three rounds of stimulus checks, and countless individuals receiving unemployment benefits. Similarly, federal employees should remain in their positions to serve the American people, not the children of illegal immigrants.
The fact that so many undocumented children require fostering is a direct result of lax immigration policies. While facilities currently housing illegal aliens at the border are said to be 'inhumane, unsustainable, and dangerous,' it is even more inhumane to rescind President Trump's strict and effective immigration policies. In doing so, Biden's policies prompted an astronomical 243% increase in immigrants from the previous year, despite them having nowhere to go upon arrival. It would befit the Biden Administration to secure the border so that this type of dilemma does not occur, as the burden has unsurprisingly been put on the American people and economy.