Blood on their hands


It was bound to happen sooner or later. With the lawlessness and lack of leadership that pervades this nation, it was bound to happen. It has already been happening in other parts of the country and has been happening for quite some time now. However, unless it hits close to home, it’s easy to say, “Thank God that kind of thing doesn’t happen here.”

It is easy to shake our heads and turn off the television and go to bed in the secure belief that, in our world, such things never happen. But they do. And, finally, they did.

The young college co-ed prepared to do what she had done many times before. She enjoyed jogging and the weather was good. Jogging, no doubt, helped relieve the tension and stress of her college coursework.

She was preparing for a career that would likely result in her being able to save lives, minister to the sick, perhaps help bring babies into the world, and be with people and their families as they lay dying.

Her major was one of the more demanding in the university system. She had many more hours required of her than the average student, Not only did she carry a full load but her chosen field also demanded labs and clinicals.

Twenty-two-year-old Laken Riley was a nursing student. She had attended the University of Georgia before transferring to the nursing program at Augusta Medical College’s Athens, Georgia’s campus.

Her middle name was “Hope,” and she was a Christian active in Woodstock City Church. She had participated in countless mission trips. And then she went for her jog on the University of Georgia campus.

Laken’s body was found near where she had jogged. Police launched a vigorous investigation and arrested twenty-four-year-old Jose Antonio Ibarra, a Venezuelan national who, police say, illegally entered the United States through El Paso, Texas and was later arrested, and released after a “child endangerment” charge in New York.

Iberra has been charged with numerous felonies in the murder of Laken Riley, including Felony Murder which carries with it the possibility of the death penalty in Georgia. Police say she died of blunt trauma. Simply put, she was beaten to death. Other charges may be added depending on the results of Laken’s autopsy.

While everyone should be horrified, no one should be shocked or surprised. Since January 2021, under the current president’s administration, according to, nearly 10 million people have broken the laws of the United States and have illegally crossed the southern border.

Among them are people on the terror watch list, cartel members, gang members, and other assorted criminals, malefactors, and murderers. The so-called sanctuary cities, whose leaders boasted that illegal aliens would find a welcome there, predictably have been overwhelmed and are now begging the taxpayers to bail them out.

In 2021 and 2022, the border patrol arrested over 18,000 “criminal non-citizens.” In 2022 alone, reported that there were between 500,000 and 600,000 “got-a-ways” who are now somewhere in the country, and nothing is known about them. What certainly is unknown is how many predators were among the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, about which nothing is known.

Texas Governor Greg Abbot has demonstrated that illegal immigration can be stopped. Democrat mayors along the border are calling for relief and action. In 1972, Vicki Lawrence released the song, “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.” Part of the song’s lyrics are “…the judge in the town’s got bloodstains on his hands.”

One cannot really fault people who want to come to America. This is still the Land of Opportunity for hardworking people who enter the country legally. It is also the Land of Opportunity for bad actors who are criminals and dangerous people.

It is the government’s job to secure the safety of its citizens, and, in this regard, feckless and incompetent politicians have failed miserably.

While Iberra may have brutally taken the life of a young woman with a brilliant future, the fact is he should have never been in the country, never should have been released by the border patrol, never should have been able to commit crimes in New York, never should have been released from NY custody, and should have never been in Georgia.

Laken Hope Riley should have never been in danger from a vicious predator while she jogged on the University of Georgia campus. She should have never died.

But that which shouldn’t have happened was bound to happen and this time it hit close to home. In a real sense the “lights went out in Georgia” when Laken was murdered. Georgians feel the loss.

She certainly hasn’t been the only victim of criminals who have illegally crossed the border, but this one was just down the road a bit. Those who have failed to do their duty and secure the borders, deliberately it seems, have blood on their hands.

[David Epps is the Rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King ( Worship services are on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. and on livestream at He is the bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-South ( He may be contacted at]


  1. Obama faced the same surge of illegal immigration, with a significant response action: The guy deported 400,000+ during his administration. This is where Biden has failed. If asylum laws force you to parole people for a hearing, they should be immediately deported after the immigration judge deems them ineligible for asylum (which most are). Enforce existing laws, that is where the Biden failure lies.

  2. David, your article in the Citizen concerning the death of the Georgia Student by an illegal was right on point! A country without borders is not a country at all! Thanks for speaking out and God bless you!

    • “A country without borders is not a country at all!”

      YES. Wouldn’t that be a beautiful world … where everyone belongs, and no one is illegal?

      I didn’t wade into this discussion primarily because my opinion of the “crisis at the border” is so far to the left of, I fear, everyone here … I don’t believe in a border at all. What even is the point of it? Especially in the USA. We’re a land of immigrants. How cruel of us to pull up the ladder so no one else can come in.

  3. Fr. Epps—Tragically, you have made a valid point. Our border policy failed Laken Riley. To our shame. And if we are culpable in Laken’s death–if indeed her blood is on our hands–it is mingled with many others.

    With all due respect, I wonder if you even considered an opinion piece on the horrific deaths of Johnathon Augustin and Yorlei Rubi. These children drowned along with their mother while trying to cross the Rio Grande. Johnathon was 8. Yorlei was 10. According to reports, TX military officers prevented federal border patrol officials from aiding them.

    Or did you pen a few lines at the deaths of Jismary (3 years old) or Jean Carlos (5)? Both died after becoming ill while being bussed from TX to Illinois (by order of Gov. Abbot, who you commend in your column).

    Did you share the tragedy of 8 year old Anadith, whose death in a border patrol detention facility was deemed “clearly preventable”?

    Nothing can diminish the death of Laken. It should never have happened. The same can be said of so many others, on both sides of our borders.

    It is past time for us to be united in demanding a solution that provides safety and security at home, without sacrificing our own humanity in caring for our neighbors. To paraphrase the Old Testament prophet, let us by all means do justice, but also love mercy and walk humbly.

    There is enough spilled blood to go around, Fr. Epps. We need look no further than our own hands.

      • Dear Jax—Thank you, my friend.
        Of course it saddens me to realize that anyone is uncaring, in the face of such suffering.
        But what really perplexes me is how “old white guys” who are also Christians are so callous. In this case, Fr. Epps.

        How can any follower of Jesus the Christ defend the use of coiled razor wire floating across the Rio Grande with the singular purpose of entangling humans?

        Draconian tactics such as this one are unworthy of us as human beings; as well as of our calling as Christ’s ambassadors.

        Keep the faith.

    • Suz – we mostly agree for once. These are tragic deaths that should not have happened, although the illegals bear the responsibility for being in the situation in the first place.

      So what do we do about it? There is one person – – Joe Biden – – who started this open border crisis, and one person – – Joe Biden – – who has the unilateral power today to make a difference. He can reverse what he did early in his presidency, direct federal agencies to enforce our laws with deportations, and publicly declare our border closed.

      Tomorrow, Biden has an opportunity in the State of the Union address to accept responsibility for failed border policies, and to take a different path. I would respect him if he were to do that.

      Unfortunately, we are most likely to hear him shift blame and deny the facts of the open border. While we can, and should, speak out publicly against Biden’s policies, our next opportunity to correct this tragic mess in DC is by voting for those who will do something about it.

      • Hello, MyCatBill—
        Really? I am not at all sure that you and I agree on this!

        You lost me after the deaths were tragic and “should not have happened, although…”. There is always an “although”, it seems.

        “the illegals”, may I say, are human beings, like you and I. Though less fortunate than us, having been born in another country. Please at least give them a modicum of dignity, even in death. They have names.

        As for bearing the responsibility for being in the situation in the first place—all the ones I cited (except for the mother) were children. Under 10 years old. Surely they were not to blame for where they were taken; nor even capable of understanding why.

        As for blaming their parents for being “in the situation”– the one they fled from must have been a worse one. I cannot imagine what horrors would prompt such a journey. With the values of America as their hope. Only to end as it did.

        And, no–I do not blame only Joseph Biden. Nor do I wish our border publicly declared closed.

        I believe it is possible to find a solution that will save lives, on both sides of the border.

        Okay! You can go back to disagreeing with me now!

        • Suz – I thought we could agree on a few things regarding our clearly broken border control system. Alas, you have proven resistant to facts and logic yet again.

          We have a full-blown financial, criminal, sex trafficking, fentanyl poisoning death and national security timebomb on our hands. One person, Joe Biden, opened the doors to our border crisis. Period.

          Yes, they are coming from worse places. Cuba, Venezuela’s prisons, China, Russia . . . probably every dysfunctional place on earth. That is no reason to allow them to jump the line and process every legal immigrant must pass through.

          If you dance in the middle of the freeway, you may make it out alive, and you may not. But you took the risk and you alone are responsible for the result.
          So yes, anyone who places their children into a swift river after dark with no life vests bears the responsibility for their deaths. No one else made them do it.

          The worst part of it is we haven’t seen the peak of the border crisis yet. There will be more deaths, rapes, thefts and car-jackings, more overrun cities cutting services for citizens, more children forced into involuntary sex and labor, and more people poisoned to death by fentanyl.

          And Heaven forbid, but we are set up for major terrorist events with thousands of illegal military age men we know nothing about from countries that hate us now roaming within our borders.

          Yet you are more concerned with a reference to people who have chosen to illegally cross our borders and break our national laws as “illegals”. You go ahead and use their names, all 10,000,000+ of them. I’ll wait.

          You seem like you are well-intentioned, Suz. But your (and Biden’s) single focus on benefitting people who should not be in our country has devastating consequences, at great cost to Americans for whom citizenship is supposed to be a benefit.

          Can we now focus our efforts and votes on repairing America from mistaken policies like this?

          • MyCatBill—You ARE right, my friend! You and I DO agree on something…I am well-intentioned and I do, indeed, have a single focus on benefitting people (both those who “should not be in our country”, as well as those fortunate enough to call it home).

            Why should one exclude the other? Why must we choose?

            Our country is wealthy enough (and I believe good enough) to help anyone in desperate need. A hallmark of the United States is that we at least try (see the proclamation on Lady Liberty).

            Well-intentioned and focused on benefitting others. I can live with that.

          • Suz – No borders? No citizenship? You may be well-intentioned, but you apparently are uninformed, and lack common sense and reasoning.

            You use locks and walls to secure your property and yourself, so you understand the need for security and defined property rights. That makes your position highly hypocritical, in addition to putting the border crisis we see today into hyperdrive.

            LEGAL immigration, as enshrined on the Statue of Liberty, is necessary. ILLEGAL intrusion into our borders is a crime and a threat to national and individual security.

            We are not a “wealthy country”. The US cannot afford to support the needy amongst our own citizens, let alone pay for Bidens’s 10,000,000+ illegals. Our country has $34,000,000,000,000+ in debt and is adding a trillion dollars more every 100 days. Financial disaster is dead ahead.

            Various commenters and myself have laid out the consequences to Biden’s open border, which you incredibly ignore. Most Americans understand the added dangers and costs of his actions that we will bear for decades.

            Sadly, Laken Riley will not be the last citizen to die tragically due to Biden’s (and your) open border. Can you live with that?

          • As I said, I didn’t wade into this because I don’t believe in borders, but I dislike seeing my cat Bill call Suz uninformed and unreasonable and then declare, “Laken Riley will not be the last citizen to die tragically due to Biden’s (and your) open border.”

            First, there is no “open border.” Suz listed the names of the victims of razor wire across the river — this makes clear the border is (tragically) not “open.”

            Second, if the border is more pliable than it was during the Trump administration (and I am not convinced that it is barring the pandemic border closings), it’s because President Biden, rightly, reversed the way President Trump had clamped down on asylum seekers.

            Third, there are no clear data on illegal immigrants committing more crimes than citizens — they’re probably committing less. Google this article, “Comparing Crime Rates Between Undocumented Immigrants, Legal Immigrants, and Native-born US Citizens in Texas,” and you will see that “The study found that undocumented immigrants had substantially lower crime rates than native-born citizens and legal immigrants across a range of felony offenses. Relative to undocumented immigrants, U.S.-born citizens are over 2 times more likely to be arrested for violent crimes, 2.5 times more likely to be arrested for drug crimes, and over 4 times more likely to be arrested for property crimes” among other things. The study highlights Texas because TX prisons, unlike other states, record the immigration status of inmates, as I understand it. (And if anyone WANTS to point the finger at illegal immigrants it is MF’in Texas, so if they can’t, no one can.)

            Fourth, just because someone doesn’t buy your mean-spirited logic that the USA can’t afford to take care of itself, let alone anyone else, doesn’t mean she’s uninformed or unreasonable. It means she understands that a nation with as much wealth as we have in the USA, if properly governed by the people and for the people with progressive taxes on the richest people and corporations, could easily fund social services that would give everyone the equal opportunity we promise them.

            Fifth, Lady Liberty does NOT make a distinction between “legal” and “illegal” immigrants. That is poppycock and ridiculous for any cat Bill to say. No human being is illegal! Here is what Emma Lazarus’ poem says, and what we in PTC should be ashamed to quote if we are arguing that someone ought to build a wall:

            Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
            With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
            Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
            A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
            Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
            Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
            Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
            The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
            “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
            With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
            Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
            The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
            Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
            I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

          • Jax – Just when I think Suz has reached the pinnacle of progressive illogic and nonsense, here you are to double down on it.

            Laken Riley will not be the last innocent citizen harmed by an illegal. Just today, the FBI gave a national security threat assessment warning of just such a likelihood. See “FBI director warns of ‘dangerous individuals’ coming across southern border”

            The border is open. The example Suz gave was of children drowning in the Rio Grande, no razor wire involved. And 10,000,000 plus illegals crossing since Biden changed policies say you are wrong.

            Your use of the term “pliable” to describe the border is laughable Orwellian-speak for “open”.

            Illegals should commit fewer crimes than citizens, because the total committed by illegals should be ZERO. If they were not here, they would not be committing crimes against citizens. See how that works?

            Plus, illegals already have at least one crime on their personal rap sheet from breaking the law by intruding into the US, and most citizens don’t have one violation.

            It is not mean-spirited to speak about the debt crisis ahead. $34,000,000,000,000 in debt is a fact, and facts don’t care about your feelings. There aren’t enough “rich” to tax to fix this problem, and corporations only pass the additional costs on to you and me.

            The US is one of the most generous countries on earth, taking in millions of the “huddled masses” through LEGAL immigration. What you advocate will result in more of the chaos we are seeing now, which is unsustainable.

  4. Laken Hope Riley’s murder is tragic. I want to think of Laken Hope Riley as a martyr, whose death will be the turning point to secure our borders and once again welcoming immigration. Yes, there is blood on President Biden’s hands, and the hands of every President, from President Bush in 2001 through President Biden. They have all had opportunities to secure our borders. The laws are in place, though Congress can do much better; we need to resource Executive action to control immigration.

    I tried my best to find statistics to show President Biden was doing a better job at reducing illegal immigration than President Trump. I could not. I think an audit will prove me right in suspecting President Trump benefitted from the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing him the political cover (Title 42) to shut down our borders.

    • Hiya Visionaryjax—Thank you for the beautiful defense! I am sincerely grateful that you took the time.

      As I often say, Father Richard Rohr defines a mature Christian as a person who sees Christ in everything and everyone. I can attest that this viewpoint makes for a very expansive and hopeful lifestyle…but it also makes for a very irritating debater!

      I see no point or any benefit from choosing sides–we are all one in Christ (no matter what side of the border we are on). And worrying about meritocracy only keeps us from doing the right thing. Which is always to Love.

      Love beyond reason and common sense and logic or even facts. Yes, I CAN live with that (and I think when I take my final breath, looking back, that thought will make me smile).

      Thanks again, Vjax.

  5. Epps column is partisan

    I agree with Reverend Epps (“Blood on their Hands”) that we need national leadership and it’s sorely lacking. But it is both parties, not just Joe Biden as Epps states. And, now it is the GOP stopping reform, not the Democrats.
    Yes, Democrats have not been strong enough in enforcement. However, a bipartisan group of Senators got together and proposed a reform bill giving the GOP everything they have been wanting and giving the President the authority he needs to cut illegal immigration. But Trump put pressure on House Speaker Johnson (GOP) to kill it so that he could keep it as a campaign issue. So, he did- and the bill died.
    On immigration, former President Trump is duplicitous… no surprise. His deception is consistent with his long-standing record of using “alternate facts” to prove whatever weird point he chooses to make. Let’s look at that record.
    Anyone who has seen the photo spreads (in the British version of GQ) of a half-naked Melania Knauss on Trump’s own plane knows what the future President saw in her. So, how did Melania of Slovenia gain entrance into the good old USA and obtain citizenship? According to Washington Post reports earlier this year, the “Einstein visa” was her route to becoming a citizen.
    This specialized EB-1 visa is given to top people in their field and completely short circuits the usual visa process. Per the Washington Post it’s given to people who have: “an extraordinary ability, are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a multinational executive or manager.”
    Prior to meeting Donald, minor-league model Melania was on a series of temporary work permits beginning in 1996. But after dating playboy Donald (starting in 1998), she was suddenly deemed to be very special, obtained a top immigration attorney and miraculously got “Einstein” status in 2001. In fact, in 2001 only 5 people from Slovenia were admitted under the EB-1 category. According to the Washington Post report, only .003% of immigrants (3 in 1000), were accepted that year through this program, which was established to bring top scientists, Nobel laureates and the like into the country… not little known, undistinguished runway models whose primary talent is dating a narcistic showman.
    As indicated in the Washington Post, David Leopold, past President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, stated: “What did she submit? There are a lot of questions about how she procured entry into the United States.”
    Then, after she became a citizen, her parents were brought over from Slovenia in 2006 as “permanent residents”. But, by then Melania was a Trump, not a Knauss. They are now citizens themselves, no surprise.
    Strange, I have never heard our former President say that it was wrong for Melania to bring them over under the “chain migration” provision that he says is just awful and wants to abolish, tweeting “CHAIN MIGRATION cannot be allowed to be part of any legislation on Immigration!” It’s funny how that works, isn’t it?
    At a time when our former President decries illegal immigrants as “animals”, it is vital to understand how he plays by a different set of rules when it comes to immigration. And it did not start with the Melania situation.
    Very little is made of the documented fact that Trump Tower, where Trump lived before the White House, was built in 1980 by Polish illegals. Per Time magazine (8-25-16): “Trump sought out the Polish workers when he saw them on another job, instigated the creation of the company that paid them and negotiated the hours they would work.”
    To make matters even worse, the contractor failed to pay the workers what they were owed. Eventually, the matter ended up in court, no rarity for Trump related ventures. The Polish illegals won the case and were paid $254,523 by the contractor, but the matter was not yet completely resolved, with their pension fund money still up in the air. Eventually, Trump settled.
    Criminals who “infest our country” is how Trump describes illegal immigrants. If that is true, why did he seek out illegals to work on his Tower? When will he inscribe “built by an infestation of rapists, criminal and animals” on the front of the Tower? Are the laws just for us and not him? Wait, that is exactly what he is saying with his latest “immunity” claim.
    As President, Trump falsely declared that he could do nothing about his policy of separating babies from their mothers at the border? And then he falsely blamed it on Democrats saying it is not his policy but their law. And then he suddenly reversed course. And said he is correcting a great injustice, while never admitting that it is his own policy that created the great injustice in the first place?
    We need immigration reform. But it won’t happen until we have real leadership in the GOP. And that means a change in the House in 2024, not a change in the President.

    • Anyone who has read this column is aware that I am not a Trump fan. He was my last choice for the Republican nomination in 2016, 2020, and 2024. The only other choices I was given by the other party was a Leftist. And I agree that the Congress is so divided that not even national security can force their agreement on illegal immigration. Having said that, this current mess belongs to one man who could have prevented it and, at any time could have stopped it by reversing his disastrous immigration policies. The Vice-President who is laughingly assigned as the “Border Czar” has avoided this issue as though it was a timber rattlesnake. The Secretary of Homeland Security has repeatedly announced to a public that he apparently thinks is utterly bereft of any brain cells that the “Border is secure,” as 8-10 millions flood over the southern border in three years. Deflecting the issue by bringing up Trump’s many failings, does nothing to change the fact that this current crisis is the making of the current administration. Which they could change tomorrow.
      David Epps

      • I agree with you Mr Epps. It’s undeniably clear that Biden made the border problem much worse and then lately blames it on Trump for opposing, rightfully so, the weak Senate bill that the House also rightfully opposed.

        The only thing we commenters agree on is that Congress needs to pass real and IMO restrictive immigration reform. I think it’s obvious that the current Republican Party would be more willing to pass such legislation than the current Democratic Party. The voters will have their say in November.

      • Fr. Epps–May I ask why some version of a disclaimer is offered before people admit they will, however, support Donald Trump?

        It goes along the lines of, “I am not a Trump fan. He is certainly not my first choice. He is an immoral and profane person. I wish he wouldn’t make divisive comments and call names. Yes, he lies (but what politician doesn’t?), his admiration of dictators is troubling..but I will vote for him”!

        Is it offered as an excuse for hypocrisy? Or an explanation for the apparent lack of integrity? A denial of responsibility? Or a mea culpa?

        It reminds me of the old gibe about Mussolini. “The dictator may have done many brutal and tyrannical things…but one has to admit–he made the trains run on time.”

        In my opinion the only proper response is, “I’d rather walk”.

        • It is a moral rationalization process Suz that they are engaged in whereby they suspend or separate their judgements on another’s objectionable or immoral action from their own morality, if they feel ultimately that the means do indeed justify the end. Many are engaged in this. Some will also support others however or those causes bound to that person, thinking this redirection or wall of separation distances themselves from that individual. But in doing so, on both accounts, it only makes a statement about their own morals.

        • It’s called compartmentalization, the way out for Father Epps to justify the unjustifiable. This is why Christianity (Epps style) is going to the drains and young people are leaving the church by droves.

  6. There is no doubt that the brutal death of Ms. Riley is an affront to every decent person. However, Rev. Epps’ column and the comments to follow are quite disingenuous in pointing fingers.

    Congress is the major culprit in our border fiasco, not President Trump, Biden, etc. The law states that anyone who presents themselves at our border and pleads for asylum must gain a hearing – one that may be years away. Congress could immediately change this law, and then the executive branch could legally stop everyone from crossing our border without previous permission (like a visa).

    Congress uses immigration as a political football to score on the other team without any concern whatsoever of the consequences to regular Americans. Bipartisan bills such as the 2007 one touted by George Bush and the recent once by President Biden were not even given a vote in Congress. It is shameful.

    Even though this is a tragic incident, it should be noted that percentage-wise, immigrants (legal and illegal) are much less likely to commit violent crimes than our native citizens. Pointing to this tragic murder and condemning all immigrants is analogous to singling out a violent shooting and condemning all gun owners.

    None of the Presidents in the 21st century has been effective in eliminating border crossings and will have only limited ability if Congress does not act. Feel free to be angry, just direct it to the correct “bloody hands,” and don’t be distracted by the political shenanigans your favorite cable news channel is shilling for.

    • You make some very good points about the ineffectiveness of Congress to pass legislation. But President Biden intentionally and needlessly used Executive Orders to undo President Trump’s previous and more effective actions. Biden’s actions encouraged the onslaught that we see now and he has allowed millions of unvetted immigrants into our Country. So yes, all previous administrations and Congresses share some responsibility but Biden needlessly and intentionally made the problem much worse. Only now that the media is no longer covering up for this Administration’s dangerous open border policies is President Biden starting to ‘talk’ about using his authority to secure the border. The voters will have their say in November to determine who they think will best secure our border, though with millions of illegals here already that is going to be a tough problem to solve. Hopefully we can get a Congress and a President who will work together to pass any needed laws and provide the funding necessary to address this worsening issue.

    • “Congress uses immigration as a political football to score on the other team…”

      Only Congress????

      Wasn’t it candidate Biden who said ” “I would in fact make sure that there is… We immediately surge to the border, all those people who are seeking asylum…”

      He stated this to score points against the other democrat contenders and Trump.

    • No argument that many politicians use immigration as a wedge issue, and I give none of them a pass. My contention is that only Congress can ultimately fix this once and for all. Thus, fretting about which executive orders any president invokes or rescinds is a cynical side issue. Each 21st century president has had at least one session of Congress in which his party has controlled both houses of Congress, and yet Congress has repeatedly failed to deliver an answer when it was clear that the president would sign it.

      Keep your eye on the center ring of this circus, not some side show.

    • STF – Clarity is important here, and you are fuzzing things up by repeating Biden talking points. Fact: Biden issued over 50 executive orders early in his term that had the effect of opening the borders wide, and to not enforce existing laws. See also “In Flurry Of Executive Orders, Biden Reverses Some Of Trump’s Immigration Policies” January 20, 2021

      Seven to 10 MILLION illegals and plunging poll numbers later, Biden is now trying to pin the tragic results of his actions on Congress. Congress earns its own scorn every day, but they are not the owner of this crisis.

      Last year, the House passed H2 that has actions to close the border and fix asylum and immigration problems, but Senate Leader Chuck Schumer has sat on it for over a year without bringing it for a Senate vote. You missed that.

      The recent Senate-based immigration bill you cite would not close the border, instead it gives more money to move more illegals into the country faster. It also put into law that a president cannot take border restriction actions until 5,000 or more illegals are crossing everyday. That’s madness – – up to 1,825,000 illegals a year and no action. Thank goodness it died.

      Bottom line: there is no disconnecting the actions Biden took to open the border from the subsequent flood of illegals and resultant crimes (like the murder of Laken Riley), billions in expenses and “red flashing lights” terrorism risk. He owns it.

      Biden has failed at his first duty to keep Americans safe, but he still has the pen to reverse course and enforce our immigration laws. He can and should do that immediately.

      • Hi Penny – I stick by my contention and give no pass to the Democrats or Republicans in Congress. This has been an issue long before Trump or Biden was elected because Congress has not changed the asylum laws. This means that the chief executive is forced to make work-around rules. This is no way to govern.

        • STF – Thank you. You just made my point exactly. The open border is Biden’s crisis, not Congress’s.

          The fact that the asylum process has been a mess for decades means it didn’t happen suddenly on Biden’s watch. Obama and Trump faced the same set of laws, yet the border was secure by comparison in their terms in office.

          Trump tried to improve border security, and was fought by Democrats every step of the way. Biden not only stopped what Trump was doing through his executive orders, such as by ending “remain in Mexico”, Biden added “catch and release” into our interior, along with cutting dozens of other restrictions on illegal entry.

          Worse yet, Biden and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas disregard existing immigration laws, even allowing illegals who commit crimes to remain in the US. And they are fighting Texas’s attempts to enforce border laws!

          Biden’s “work-around rules” were not forced upon him. He chose this path, whether he remembers it or not, and he owns the results. It is truly, “no way to govern”.

          • Excellent response. I think most Democrats know that Biden made the border situation much worse but won’t admit it for political purposes. That to me is putting Party over American security.

          • Hi Penny and FBI – Apparently, we have very different aspirations for our Republic. I favor a democratically-elected republic Congress that works together politically through compromise to make federal law. I fear an imperial presidency of either party where a strong man is required to execute his will. Because our Congress is currently weak and unwilling to compromise for the good of “we the people,” the recent presidents have exercised far too much power.

            It takes only a glance at the 20th century histories of Russia, Italy, Germany, etc. to see the risks of trusting a power-hungry strong man to take care of his country.

            I’m no apologist for the current president. Biden has done a very poor job at the border, but it is neither his nor any other executive branch officer’s job to set immigration policy. I am very concerned about Trump’s clear assertion that he will unilaterally set and enforce a policy.

            You have far more faith in an authoritarian (from either side of the aisle) than I do.

      • My.02, Spot on excellent reply. There’s no logical denying that Biden’s undoing of Trump’s executive orders made the border situation much worse for America. Why did he do that? And he’s only now saying he ‘may’ take some executive action because he sees it’s costing him political damage.

  7. There are times when we have to set aside politics because something is just flat out wrong in the US with clear persons responsible, and our 3+ year open border crisis is one of them. Here we have President Joe Biden, ‘Border Czar’ Kamala Harris and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas absolutely failing to uphold their Constitutional duty to protect the United States and its citizens.

    Biden opened the border in words and Executive Actions during his first week in office, and he, Harris and Mayorkas have failed to enforce existing immigration laws since then. Removing fences and “Catch and Release” start the process, while “Sanctuary Cities” are a legal fiction that enables the scam on citizens to continue.

    The impact of Biden’s open borders policies on the US is awful: so far 7,000,000+ illegals that we know little about have been released into our country, including tens of thousands of military age single men from hostile countries like China, Iran, Venezuela, Russia and Cuba. This national security threat is now looming within the US.

    The financial costs are in the tens to hundreds of billions of dollars. The human costs are just beginning to be more widely reported: 112,000 fentanyl deaths in 2023 from drugs smuggled across the border, spikes in human trafficking for sex and forced labor, and social unrest from those who aren’t committed to live as Americans.

    Crime is also rising quickly, from theft to rape to murder, as Father Epps covered in the tragic death of Laken Riley. Her death was foreseeable and preventable. Sadly, I expect Riley will not be the last death due to the mass influx of illegal aliens, whether by single actors or from terrorists freed to roam the country.

    Since Biden’s in a campaign, he will pretend to care about the border, only to pass responsibility off on others. I’m not buying it. He can change policies now to secure the border as quickly as he opened it in Week 1 of his presidency.

    It is past time to secure the border and deal with the massive issues of unchecked illegal entry into the US. It is time for us to set aside political parties and act as we once did, as Americans looking out for each other.

  8. A horrible tragedy that was very likely preventable if this current inept Administration had enforced the border instead of allowing millions of unvetted illegals into our Country and putting more and more Americans at risk. I use the term inept meaning they could have better secured the border but failed to. If that was intentional to secure more power for the Party in charge that makes it even more heinous. While Congress miserably failed in its responsibility to pass border legislation it was President Biden who undid all President Trump’s past border reforms and thereby sent the message that our border was open. At anytime ,as Speaker Johnson clearly pointed out, President Biden had the authority to stem the illegal immigration but failed or refused to. Yes father Epps, you are right to say those who have failed in their duty to secure the border have blood on their hands. The voters will decide who will do that duty in November.