Biden – What Exactly is Happening at the Border

Picture of border wall

By: T. Jeffersonian

First of all, allow me to remind both the Biden Administration and their Republican and Liberal Democratic political opponents, that defeating the Coronavirus and returning the United States to pre-pandemic normalcy are their priorities. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan does increase our national debt to a staggering $32 trillion, however, 72 percent of Americans approved of the American Rescue Plan. All Republicans in Congress voted against that Plan. While Biden and top administration officials have crisscrossed the United States to tout the benefits of the recently passed American Rescue Plan, Republican opponents have been travelling to the Mexican border – and blaming Biden for what they see as an overburdened system and Presidential actions that are encouraging more illegal entries.

The nature of the crisis is hardly novel, as most recent U.S. Presidents have grappled with immigration-related challenge during their times in office. Immigration and border security were the lynchpin of Donald Trump’s successful presidential bid in 2016. Biden was critical of Donald Trump’s since-rescinded decision in 2018 to separate the children of migrants from their parents – and the former President’s draconian immigration enforcement policies in general. After Democrats attacked Trump for putting children in cages – a result of his family separation policy. Republicans are now returning the favor, accusing Biden of implementing policies that put unaccompanied minors in similarly harsh situations. Republicans see highlighting the current border issues as a pathway back to Power in future elections, including the 2022 mid-term Congressional elections. For conservatives, immigration is the quintessential wedge issue – engaging their base and exacerbating divisions within the Democratic Party. For Biden, however, this comes at a moment when he would prefer to focus elsewhere.

Recent immigration trends at the border began when Donald Trump was still President through policies separating illegal migrant children from their parents. The total of all migrant children in 2020 was 37,000. In 2019, before the Coronavirus pandemic slowed migrant movement, it was 75,000. Within hours of becoming President Joe Biden reversed Trump Administration policies of turning away unaccompanied children at the border, instead opting to process them and place them with sponsoring families in the United States. Since that reversal, about 15,000 unaccompanied youth migrants have been detained at the border in January and February 2021 alone. At the current pace of well more than 7,500 unaccompanied minors per month, the 2019 mark will be easily surpassed by the end of 2021. As of this week, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency were currently housing 4,200 children in detention facilities along the border and admitting an average of 565 children – mostly between the ages of seven and 13 years of age – per day. Migrants travelling from Central America consistently report that they are
doing so because they believe the Biden Administration will not separate them from their children and will give them all amnesty. President Biden’s attempts to discourage the journey have, so far, had no appreciable effect.

Currently the Biden Administration is blaming Trump for the current problem. Blaming the predecessor is an age-old political maneuver that tends to have a limited shelf life. If the situation on the border does not improve, this big problem will be squarely in Biden’s lap. The President’s political adversaries on the right appear to be relishing the opportunity to use the situation on the border to their advantage. They are stoking the problem beyond what is reality.

Democratic Party divisions have also been on display in recent days, as Biden’s more liberal supporters have grown restless over the Trump-era policies and provisions that have yet to be rolled back by the new administration. For now, the U.S. border with Mexico remains largely closed. Some unaccompanied children have been permitted entry into the United States; however, most others have been turned away with all their asylum requests
delayed. While the Trump-era ban on entry from certain majority Muslim nations has been lifted, the visa-approval process for foreign workers is still suspended because of Coronavirus travel restrictions, and temporary visas for students are facing significant backlogs. Patience among some on the left is wearing thin.

The longer we slow-walk that restoration of pre-pandemic normalcy and how we permanently will address the migrant issues at the border – whether they are adults or children – the worse this problem will continue to get. Given his policies, Biden has done all that he can reasonably do to discourage migrants from travelling to the United States. If he does not let them in, migrant children will fall prey to human traffickers on the south side of the border. If he becomes too draconian, fathers and infant daughters will continue to
drown in the Rio Grande, smother to death in cramped conditions while being smuggled, or be used by the cartels to mule drugs.

The current problem is one of capacity to process and support the growing numbers of migrants who are going to continue to come to the United States. Rather than drowning us with more political words and do nothing, both liberals and conservatives should move their Congressional offices to the border to augment U.S. Customs and Border Protection. We need more people there to do legitimate work as opposed to concocting another caravan invasion lie.

The sky is not falling. The border is not failing. Biden stay focused on defeating Coronavirus and returning America to pre-pandemic normalcy. Republicans perhaps help the Democrats. Stop lying by sensationalizing threats that do not exist. Americans are fatigued! We are fatigued with Coronavirus. We are fatigued by political liars on both sides. We are starting to get incredibly angry about these political distractions away from what are the most important to us.