Biden's shocking betrayal of veterans in the name of managing his border fiasco
The Biden administration's handling of the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border is an ongoing disgrace, and recent reports suggest that this White House still hasn't reached rock bottom.
The White House is considering diverting doctors and other personnel from the Department of Veteran Affairs (V.A.) to the border once Title 42 ends (at whatever point that may be), in order to help handle the expected influx of migrants.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary Alejandro Mayorkas confirmed this possibility during testimony before the House Appropriations Committee late last month.
"The resources that the medical personnel from the Veterans Administration would allocate to this effort is under the judgment of the secretary of Veterans Affairs, who prioritizes the interests of veterans above all others for very noble and correct [sic]," Mayorkas responded when pressed by lawmakers at the hearing.
There are expected to be as many as 18,000 illegal aliens arriving at the U.S. border each day once Biden finally terminates the Trump-era Title 42 program. The move had been expected to happen on May 23, but a federal judge called a halt to the lifting. The Biden administration is appealing that ruling.
And if the administration wins, the border will almost certainly become overwhelmed, and the White House is going to have to divert resources from other agencies to help deal with the problem.
That the administration is even considering diverting resources from our veterans to illegal aliens illustrates its misplaced priorities. It's especially appalling for the administration to consider stripping resources from the V.A. at a time when veteran suicide rates have skyrocketed.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of suicide and mental illness rose throughout the country, and our veterans were hit especially hard. According to a recent report from the Army, suicide rates among soldiers last year were the highest since before World War II, and the number of total suicides among soldiers was the highest in 20 years. The problem of veteran homelessness is also still being largely neglected, even though numbers have improved overall in the past decade.
There are still roughly 40,000 homeless veterans on our streets. Veterans make up roughly 11 percent of the nation's homeless population, despite making up just around seven percent of the nation's overall population. The rapid rise in suicides and homelessness that occurred during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected our country's veterans. To strip them of resources during this time in favor of illegal aliens would be unconscionable.
Right now, 40,000 veterans are homeless, and an average of 17 are committing suicide on a daily basis. Until both those numbers go down to zero, no V.A. resources should be allocated to the border.
It's likely that resources from other agencies will have to be surged to the border to help mitigate the catastrophe that Biden has created, but the focus of the V.A. should be entirely on helping veterans, not illegal aliens. However, the Biden administration has established a clear pattern of prioritizing illegal aliens over Americans, particularly during crises.
Right now, as American women and infants face baby formula shortages, illegal aliens are being given hard-to-find formula by the U.S. government, according to Republican Rep. Kat Cammack of Florida.
"They are sending pallets, pallets of baby formula to the border," Cammack said. "Meanwhile, in our own district at home, we cannot find baby formula."
Other areas where the administration has prioritized migrants over Americans include COVID-19 and foreign policy. Shortly after the Biden administration announced an end to Title 42, they announced that they were extending mask mandates for traveling Americans. The rule was eventually tossed by a federal judge but, if the White House had its way, illegal aliens would have received relief from COVID-19 restrictions earlier than Americans.
During the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan last year, the administration left hundreds of Americans behind. Now, even as Americans remain stranded under Taliban rule, Biden has turned his focus toward pushing Congress to grant citizenship to tens of thousands of unvetted Afghan refugees.
In almost every policy area over the past 16 months, the Biden administration has chosen foreign nationals over American citizens. But taking resources from our veterans would be a new low, even for this White House. That cannot be allowed to happen.
Dale L. Wilcox is executive director and general counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.