It’s one thing to refuse to turn away a child seeking asylum and abandon them to an uncertain fate in Mexico, especially a young and vulnerable child who’s on their own. It’s another thing to advertise your willingness to accept children, knowing the incentives that’ll create in Mexico and Central America among parents.
And it’s another thing still to assure those parents that the U.S. is building a system that’s designed to accept their children en masse and process them in a safe and efficient way. All they need do is be patient and wait a few months until we have the bureaucracy in place. Then, seemingly, the entirety of Latin America’s youth can be sent north and waved into the U.S. on asylum grounds.
Did Obama’s administration ever say anything like that? I’d put nothing past O on immigration but I don’t recall his team actively encouraging a mass migration of unaccompanied children the way Alejandro Mayorkas has. The head of Homeland Security, charged with enforcing America’s borders, has spent his first weeks on the job aggressively signaling to would-be migrants that our borders will no longer be enforced against children arriving there. Watch:
It cannot be the policy of the United States that all impoverished children are welcome, but that does seem to be the policy. Even Republicans who are moderate on immigration are getting nervous:
The solutions are obvious but will require an understanding that the Biden Administration’s early policy choices – to abandon Trump’s successful border policies – was a mistake.
It is time for DHS Secretary Mayorkas to change course or change jobs.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 18, 2021
Anti-Trump righties who might otherwise be expected to defend Biden’s policies are nervous too. Yesterday Jonathan Last begged Biden to do something about the border, knowing that eventually voters will prefer a government run by a warts-and-all Trumpist GOP to one run by Democrats because at least the former won’t agree to absorb entire populations from other countries. David Frum also recently nudged Biden to recognize that he has a problem and that progressive messaging will only make it worse:
[S]ome Biden moves have actually lent credibility to the traffickers’ false promises. First, Biden put forward an immigration bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were present in the United States as of January 1, 2021. This sent the message to prospective migrants contemplating illegal entry that a very generous amnesty was at hand, even for recent arrivals, even for those with no asylum claim at all.
Then, on his first full day as president, Biden suspended Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers. Under the new policy, asylum seekers will be allowed to live and work in the United States while their case is heard—a process that can take years. During the Obama administration, fewer than a third of the asylum applications adjudicated each year were granted. More than 1.1 million people inside the United States are awaiting a ruling on their asylum claims. Those who perceive themselves as likely to lose may stop showing up in court, making them more difficult to deport if their claims are denied.
Add to that Mayorkas’s repeated broadcasts encouraging child migration from abroad — “don’t do it now but you’ll be able to do it soon, and if you do it now your child will be well cared for anyway” — and you have a de facto PR campaign for border trafficking being run out of the White House and the Department of Homeland Security. I’ve never seen anything like it.
When Democrats get wrecked in the midterms because they decided it was America’s responsibility to accept the impoverished youth of the world, they won’t be able to say they weren’t warned.