Amid a Flurry of Ums and Uhs, AG Nominee Merrick Garland Refuses to Say That Illegal Border Crossings Should Remain a Crime

Merrick Garland, who is President Joe Biden’s nomination for attorney general, refused to say that illegal border crossings should remain a crime.

His comments about the border came in response to a question from Sen. Josh Hawley at Garland’s confirmation hearing Monday.

“[I’d like to] talk a little bit more about the law enforcement challenges at the border, which I know a number of other members have brought up with you,” Hawley said. “Just a fundamental question: Do you believe that illegal entry at America’s borders should remain a crime?”

Garland responded as follows: “Well, I haven’t thought about that question. Uh, I just haven’t thought about that question. I think, you know, uh, the president has made clear that we are a country with borders and with a concern about national security. Um, I don’t know of a proposal to, uh, decriminalize but still make it unlawful to enter. I just don’t know the answer to that question. I haven’t thought about it.”

“Will you continue to prosecute unlawful border crossings?” Hawley asked.

Well, this is again, uh, a question of allocation of resources. Um, we will, uh, the department will, you know, prevent unlawful crossing. Um, I don’t know, you know, uh, I have to admit I just don’t know exactly what the conditions are and how this is done. I think if, um, um, I don’t know what the current program even is with respect to this. Um, so, I, I assume that the answer would be yes but I don’t know what [the conditions are],” Garland said.

Garland’s “hands off” approach to illegal immigration could form a crucial element of Biden’s “America Last” immigration policy, with federal law enforcement resources directed to left-wing policy priorities as waves of caravans infiltrate the porous borders.