Sunday the NY Times published an editorial headlined “Congress, Give Trump His Border Money.” The editorial opens with this line which I bet you never thought you’d see printed in the NY Times: “President Trump is right: There is a crisis at the southern border.” The Times editorial board goes on to say that Trump is wrong about the nature of the crisis but says it is a crisis nonetheless:
As record numbers of Central American families flee violence and poverty in their homelands, they are overwhelming United States border systems, fueling a humanitarian crisis of overcrowding, disease and chaos. The Border Patrol is now averaging 1,200 daily arrests, with many migrants arriving exhausted and sick. Last week, a teenage boy from Guatemala died in government custody, the third death of a minor since December. As resources are strained and the system buckles, the misery grows.
Something needs to be done. Soon.
As for what needs to be done, that’s obvious. Congress needs to put up some more money for dealing with this situation. Russell Vought, director of the White House’s budget office sent Congress a request for $4.5 billion in emergency funding. As the Times points out, this has nothing to do with paying for the wall. It’s money needed to cover existing programs that are about to burn through their budgets:
Funding for vital services is not expected to last through the fiscal year, Mr. Vought said. Most urgently, the program that deals with unaccompanied minors is expected to run dry next month, requiring resources to be diverted from other programs and leading to a further deterioration in conditions.
But Democrats have apparently decided that this is going to become part of their battle to abolish ICE. They are using this moment to squeeze the agency. The Times says now is not the moment:
The Democratic chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Nita Lowey of New York, said that the administration was seeking billions of dollars to “double down on cruel and ill-conceived policies” and bail out ICE for locking up more migrant families than it could humanely accommodate. But until better policies are in place, Democrats need to find a way to provide money for adequate shelter.
That’s as close as the editorial board gets to calling out the game Democrats have been playing on border security. There’s no mention of the fact that just a few months ago the idea there was a crisis at all was considered laughable by Democrats. Now that it has become undeniable, the Times is telling them to get it in gear and stop pretending there’s nothing to see here. But everything the Times is suggesting here is a short term fix for the immediate problem. The bigger problem is that Central American migrants have figured out new ways to take advantage of our asylum system using children as pawns to get themselves across the border.
The mayor of El Paso recently told Maria Bartiromo that there are reports children are being rented, for lack of a better word, as a way to help adults get across the border. Our system has created bad incentives and Democrats need to address that problem as well.
Update: Here’s a local news report from last week about ICE’s efforts to identify this type of family fraud: