Biden's border shrug isn't nearly enough

First, the president implied that what’s going on right now at the border is anything approaching normal. Think tanks, the media, and immigration authorities disagree. They say the projected surge for this year will be larger than ever and that unaccompanied minors are arriving at the border at rates that far outpace the administration’s ability to provide the resources to care for them. In fact, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said recently that U.S. officials are on-pace to encounter more people at the border “than we have in the last 20 years.”

Second, Biden was also off-base when he said that this “happens every single, solitary year.” A surge happened in 2014 and 2019, but it didn’t happen to any measurable degree in the five years in between or in the two years since. Sure, immigration from Mexico happens “every single, solitary year” as people looking for work migrate north for greater economic opportunities. But what’s happening at the border is not that. The arrivals are asylum-seekers being pushed out of Central America, not immigrants from Mexico being pulled into the United States by the promise of a job.

Finally, while Biden didn’t use the exact word “seasonal” in describing the surges, that’s what he implied when he said they tend to happen “in the winter months of January, February, March.” In fact, both the 2014 and 2019 surges began in the spring and peaked in the summer. When the house is on fire, you jump out a window immediately. You don’t wait until the weather improves.