Timeline: How Biden Created the Border Crisis and Encouraged Illegal Immigration

Craig Bannister | January 31, 2024
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Since Day One of his presidency, Pres. Joe Biden has vigorously used his office to enable, encourage and validate illegal immigration to the U.S., causing the current crisis at the southwest border, a timeline analysis of his presidential actions to-date demonstrates.

Just three years in, Biden already has “the most active immigration presidency” in U.S. history, with more than five hundred immigration actions, the Migration Policy Institute reported on January 19, 2024:

“By taking 535 immigration actions over its first three years, the Biden administration has already outpaced the 472 immigration-related executive actions undertaken in all four years of President Donald Trump’s term.

“The Biden administration’s 535 executive actions through January 17, as calculated the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), were issued in one of the most turbulent migration periods within the Western Hemisphere and indeed globally in recent history.”

The following timeline provides a small sample of the Biden Administration’s most aggressive pro-illegal immigrant actions, beginning on Day One of his prolific first year in office:


  • Ordered a halt to the emergency construction of a wall on the southwest border. (January 20, 2021)
  • Issued an executive order “Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” (DACA), signaling his support for allowing illegal aliens to remain in the U.S. (January 20, 2021)
  • Revoked Trump-era executive orders promoting border security. (January 20, 2021)
  • Announced a 100-day moratorium on deportations and immigration enforcement. (January 20, 2021)
  • Implemented a policy requiring use of alternatives to removal of illegal aliens, allowing them to remain in the U.S. (February 1, 2021)
  • Issued an executive order to end the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases made their way through U.S. immigration courts. (February 2, 2021)
  • Exempted unaccompanied alien children (UAC) from Title 42 expulsion requirements that allowed the U.S. to quickly turn back migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, for the sake of protecting public health. (February 17, 2021)
  • Biden’s DHS Sec. Mayorkas delivered remarks effectively explaining the border is open for illegal immigration because the new focus would be on “processing” illegal aliens, instead of deporting them, and creating new “lawful pathways” for illegal aliens to remain in the U.S. (March 16, 2021)
  • Began releasing illegal aliens into the U.S. on the honor system, if they promise to self-report themselves to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at a later date. (March 20, 2021)
  • Canceled further wall construction being led by the Department of Defense. (Apr 30, 2021)
  • Expanded asylum eligibility to include gender and domestic relationships. (June 16, 2021)
  • Released at least 50,000 aliens, asking them to self-report to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (July 2021)
  • Authorized the use of “parole plus alternatives to detention” (ATD) in the Del Rio Border Sector. (August 5, 2021)
  • Announced an expansion of alternatives to detention and of taxpayer-funded services to illegal aliens who are fighting removal proceedings. (August 17, 2021)
  • Released more than 100,000 aliens into the U.S. on the self-report honor system. (August 31, 2021)
  • Falsely accused Border Patrol agents on horseback in Del Rio, Texas of whipping aliens at the border. (September 24, 2021)
  • Issued a memorandum encouraging the use of prosecutorial discretion to decline removal of deportable aliens. (September 30, 2021)
  • Distributed more than $300 million in federal law enforcement grants to sanctuary cities, financially rewarding cities whose policies encourage illegal immigration. (Fiscal Year 2021)
  • Canceled border wall contracts led by DHS related to the Laredo and Rio Grande Valley Border Sectors. (Oct 8, 2021)
  • Issued a memorandum prohibiting enforcement of immigration laws in schools, health care facilities, recreational areas, social service and emergency facilities, ceremonial locations, and at demonstrations and rallies. (October 27, 2021)
  • Formally created a program for alternatives to detention plus parole, resulting in “catch and release” for hundreds of thousands of aliens into the U.S. interior after they were encountered at the border. (November 2021)



  • ICE’s principal legal advisor issued a memorandum recommending termination of cases in immigration court and directing ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) trial attorneys to prioritize their enforcement efforts. (Apr 3, 2022)
  • Reversed Trump-era “public charge rule,” allowing aliens who are likely to become a burden to taxpayers to receive immigration benefits – such as a visa, admission, or adjustment of status. (September 9, 2022)
  • Sued the State of Arizona to force the state to remove shipping containers placed to close gaps in the border wall. (December 13, 2022)



  • Announced that DACA recipients are now eligible for Obamacare benefits and Medicaid, giving taxpayer-funded healthcare to illegal aliens. (April 13, 2023)
  • Terminated use of Title 42 policy expulsion authority. (May 11, 2023)
  • Ended the DNA testing program used to verify that adults crossing the border with a child are actually related to the child. (July 7, 2023)
  • Sued the State of Texas to remove floating barriers placed in the Rio Grande River. (July 24, 2023)
  • Rebranded “Alternatives to Detention” as “Release and Reporting Management,” through which ICE provides social services “individualized to each participant’s needs” to illegal aliens. (August 2023)



  • Sued the State of Texas for enforcing a recently enacted state law allowing Texas judges and magistrates to order illegal aliens to return to their home country. (January 3, 2024)


“Since his first day in office, President Biden and his administration have worked to systematically undermine America’s border security,” House Speaker Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) said earlier this month, in a statement announcing release of a report listing 64 times the Biden Administration has “undermined border security and encouraged illegal immigration.

The report provides source links for each of the 64 immigration actions by the Biden Administration, including those presented above.

Thousands of Encounters at Border