Clearly, Joe Biden isn’t taking any states for granted, either in the primary or the general election. (Assuming he clings to his lead and secures the nomination.) One state with a buttload of DNC delegates and critical electoral college votes is Florida. Crazy Uncle Joe was down there this weekend trying to shore up his support in the Hispanic community by touring the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami.
Normally you’d expect a candidate addressing Little Havana’s residents to be talking about our policies regarding Cuba, but Biden had his eyes cast further south than that. He proposed that we open the doors to the people of Venezuela who are fleeing starvation and oppression under their dictator, Nicolas Maduro. (CBS Miami)
“We need to grant temporary status for Venezuelans to come here now. It’s not an argument,” he said.
It’s a topic that impacts families in our area. Biden also mentioned a multi-million dollar financial package he was working on toward the end of the Obama Administration to help Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
“On the condition that you deal with the corruption of your society,” Biden said.
On the surface, it’s easy to see why Biden’s Venezuela proposal would generate some sympathy, particularly in the Hispanic community. Americans have been sending donations to provide relief for the suffering citizens of Venezuela for years now. The conditions there are horrible and the collapse of their socialist system has effectively turned what was once the most prosperous nation in South America into a third world country.
But before we open our hearts (and our doors) to Maduro’s victims, we should ask Joe Biden exactly how he plans to accommodate all those in seek of shelter. As of June, it was estimated that more than four million people had fled Venezuela and are currently displaced. Once the word gets around that America has hung out the vacancy sign, that could turn into an extremely popular option.
If only a quarter of the refugees decided to head for our shores, that would be a million new arrivals in a short period of time. We’re already looking at cutting the number of asylum seekers and legal immigrants we take in because the system is overwhelmed. What are we going to do with a million new Venezuelan refugees?
And it’s not just a question of volume. While I’m sure most Venezuelan refugees are good people simply looking for relief, it’s long been known that the country has been heavily infiltrated with members of drug cartels from other regions, as well as fighters arriving from Cuba and even al Qaeda. Even if we could make room for them, somebody is going to have to vet them all. This was an easy idea for Biden to toss out as an applause line, but the realities would be far more complicated.
Biden also took a moment to suggest that he wanted a comprehensive aid package for Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. These countries are the source of a large number of migrants showing up at our southern border and stabilizing those governments might decrease the human tide heading north. But they are also notoriously corrupt and dangerous countries. Throwing money at the problem without evidence that they’ve reformed their ways would probably just wind up enriching the drug cartels.
In short, Joe Biden is pandering for the Hispanic vote in Florida. But his plans, well-intentioned as they might be, have significant shortcomings. Voters should demand more details from Biden rather than simple bumper sticker slogans.