Crisis at the border?

By Reade Brower | Apr 01, 2021

When politics gets in the way of straight talk, trouble brews.

That’s what is happening at our border, an immigration policy in disarray with nobody wanting to take responsibility. Trump supporters are using this as an “I told you so” moment and the Biden administration is ducking and weaving, trying to avoid the word crisis, not wanting to label this as a Biden misstep. Speaking of ducking the blame, if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, you guessed it, it is a duck.

With Biden going all-in on a coherent and full-out effort on COVID vaccinations, the attention on our border has suffered. Relaxing all the Trump initiatives, without a plan to take its place is as offensive as the Republican’s all out attack on “Obamacare” when they had nothing to replace it.

The immigration fix is not easy, but rhetoric aside, identifying and creating clear policy, with clear timelines (like 100 million — now 200 million — shots in 100 days) would take us out of “crisis” mode. Democrats saying it is not a crisis does not make it true. Parading down to the border, as 19 Republican senators did recently, is a political move unless their goal is to sit down with their counterparts and create bipartisan legislation. Time will tell where the motivation lies.

As for the policies themselves, they need to be left to smarter people than pundits. Trump’s “don’t let humanity get in the way” was wrong, wrong, wrong. Biden’s “hide your head in the sand” is equally wrong, wrong, wrong.

Andrew Sullivan, author of “The Weekly Dish,” had a very balanced essay recently. While calling Trump’s cruelty (to his detractors) or toughness (to his supporters) into question, Sullivan noted that Trump’s policy lowered “dodgy asylum claims” from 70%-90% to less than 30%. “The wall — for all its absurdities — was a visible sign” to dissuade immigrants and convince Americans that we must keep our friends from the south from entering our country illegally. Fear helps discourage immigration while motivating Trump’s rabid base.

Sullivan aptly notes “this really is a crisis and is undisputedly connected to Biden’s arrival,” reminiscent of the phrase, you can put lipstick on a pig, but you still have a pig, which is what you have when you blame today’s crisis on yesterday’s leader.

COVID has switched the paradigm; after effectively closing the border for the last year, we are now in an economy poised to encourage immigrant workers. It is not just a surge based on pent up asylum seekers. This is not entirely Biden’s fault, as the recent influxes have taxed infrastructure not in place during the past administration, which in turn has led to inhumane conditions.

The ball is clearly in Biden’s court now and he has not taken it head-on. In fact, it appears he has put out misleading CYA-type statements like he is sending everyone back who isn’t a minor. Sullivan cites only 13% were sent back, leaving this math expert to extrapolate that 87% have “snuck” through.

Sullivan also points to Biden’s claim unaccompanied children numbers are similar to Trump’s presidency, not backed up by the fact that a 61% increase occurred, not 28% claimed by Biden.

When you consider low single-digit percentages (just 2% to 3%) of illegal immigrants are deported each year, the notion that once you land in the USA, you are here to stay, is the crux of the matter. The other challenge for Biden is Americans are judging him harshly, so far, on his immigration (or lack thereof) policies and plan. In this category he is down 21 points with black voters, 16 points with Hispanic voters, while people supporting mass deportations have risen 7% since the beginning of the year and support for amnesty (once very popular) is falling like a stone in a lake.

What would serve us better than this “duck and weave” approach, and the notion that because it is humane it must be good — or at least better than Trump’s policies — is perhaps something as simple as hearing the truth. With COVID, Biden talks to us like adults, is positive, has a plan, explains the position of his administration and is realistic, leveling with the American people.

If he could just tell us what he is for, rather than tell us how bad Trump’s immigration approach was, perhaps Americans could get behind him. It is not what people say that we remember, it is how they make us feel, and if Biden could help us get behind him so people could see his vision and a controlled plan with goals and timelines, all this moralizing could be tolerated.

Actions speak louder than words; Democrats need to come out of the bunker and encourage Republican cooperation. Americans do not need just ideology; they want to believe in what our government is doing to solve this CRISIS.

***

“What for centuries raised man above the beast is not the cudgel but the irresistible power of unarmed truth.” — Boris Pasternak, poet and novelist (1890-1690)


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Comments (1)
Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Apr 01, 2021 08:45

The last paragraph says all: "Actions speak louder than words; Democrats need to come out of the bunker and encourage Republican cooperation. Americans do not need just ideology; they want to believe in what our government is doing to solve this CRISIS. "

Smarten up ladies and gentlemen in leadership, please. :)



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