Sheila Jackson Lee: Biden's border plan doesn't look like it's working at this time

A leftover from yesterday. We’ve reached an interesting new phase of the definitely-not-a-crisis happening at the border if even left-wing Democrats are on TV acknowledging that things aren’t going great.


A fuller quote via Breitbart:

“[N]ow Jonathan, we have a situation that is a humanitarian concern,” she said. “We do have issues with any number of children. The numbers are coming up, but I will say that the Biden administration has met with members of Congress. They have a plan. The plan does not look like it’s working at this time, but you have to get it implemented.”…

“[W]e need to put in more resources so that our asylum protocols can go quickly and those that do not meet the standards — they have to be returned safely and securely,” Lee continued. “But what the administration is saying that they’re not going to cage children. They’re not going to turn children back to their deaths. They’re not going to have young girls, 13 years old, subject to rape and pilage. And so it does look a little unseemly. But these are human beings. And so, they’re not coming to endanger our lives. They’re coming basically to save their lives.”

I’m curious to know how long she thinks we should stick with a “plan” that’s not working.

Also, which part of the “plan” specifically does she believe is failing? According to the Washington Post, Team Biden was warned during the transition that they’d see a huge surge at the border if they undid Trump’s policies limiting asylum applications. They undid them anyway, at least with respect to unaccompanied minors. And they didn’t “phase in” the policy change or otherwise delay it in order to prepare housing accommodations for the masses of children that would soon come across once kids were allowed in. They changed it immediately and now they’re scrambling to cope, predictably:


Details: The maximum amount of time a child is legally supposed to be held in border patrol custody is 72 hours. But as of Saturday, 3,314 unaccompanied children had been in custody longer, with 2,226 for more than five days and 823 for more than 10 days

The trend is accelerating. On last Monday, only 185 migrant children were being held in border patrol custody for more than 10 days.

If you saw the photos this morning, you know what that overcrowding looks like. Again: Team Biden was warned that this would happen and chose to proceed anyway, so how is the “plan” not working?

Sounds like everything’s going according to “plan” to me.

One ironic consequence of the new “kids in, adults out” standard for admission is that it’s led to family separations at the border. Under Trump, separation was briefly an official policy of the U.S. government; kids were separated by the feds from their parents when they all crossed over together. Under Biden, because families with older children can’t get in, a family waiting on the Mexican side of the border has to decide whether to separate voluntarily or not.

Since the shift in policy, some parents and guardians have made the devastating decision, calculated only out of desperation, to send their children off ahead of them, alone, to cross the border.

The result is a new form of family separation — but instead of happening at the hands of federal agents in American government facilities, it’s taking place, family by family, in camps like the one Janiana lives in. The fact that minors won’t be expelled like everyone else has rapidly spread by word of mouth across the length of the border. And while many families choose to stick together, the pressure to separate weighs heaviest on the most vulnerable — families who fear death, whether from persecutors who have followed them to the border, or from extreme hunger.


As Mitt Romney put it:

We can either keep the status quo, start barring unaccompanied kids too so that families stay together in Mexico, or start admitting entire families into the U.S. Which do you suppose Biden’s pro-open-borders administration will settle on once they have the bureaucratic capacity to process more asylum-seekers?

If Sheila Jackson Lee were right that things aren’t going according to plan, one would expect some hint from the White House of an impending course change. There’s none that I’m aware of, no sense that something needs to be done to discourage kids from coming. Jen Psaki was asked again at today’s press briefing whether what’s happening down south is a “crisis” and corroborated my theory that the White House simply doesn’t see a problem with absorbing thousands of kids from Mexico and Central America despite lacking the capacity right now to process and house all of them. It’s not a “crisis” for America to help children fleeing persecution, Psaki pompously intoned. If there’s any limiting principle to this policy, like a cap on new admissions beyond a certain point and insistence that future asylum-seekers apply in Mexico instead, either I’m unaware of it or we’re a long ways away from reaching it.


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