Immigration advocates walk out on White House meeting

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

A group of Department of Homeland Security officials had a virtual meeting scheduled with a large group of immigration advocates yesterday. That’s nothing unusual since Open Borders Joe received broad support from opponents of our immigration laws all through the 2020 campaign. And he delivered for them as soon as he took office, issuing one executive order after another intended to weaken our immigration enforcement efforts and promote amnesty for illegal aliens. But something has clearly changed now. Before the meeting was slated to officially kick off, one of the advocates requested time to read a statement into the record. The statement was one of frustration with the administration’s perceived failure to support their agenda and it was followed by dozens of the attendees virtually “walking out” on the call. The current state of affairs is apparently an example of Joe Biden “playing politics” with his immigration policy.

Dozens of immigration advocates walked out, virtually, on top Biden officials Saturday in protest of the administration’s decision to continue border policies enacted during the Trump administration, according to several people who were in the meeting.

Advocates asked for time before the beginning of a video meeting Saturday morning with several Biden administration officials, including people from the Department of Homeland Security officials and the White House Domestic Policy Council’s Esther Olavarria. The activists read a statement accusing the administration of “playing politics with human lives,” and said they could no longer “come into these conversations in good conscience.”

“We have sadly reached a turning point,” they said, then most of the advocates exited the video call.

A group of people cutting a Zoom call short wouldn’t normally be the sort of headline I would feature for you here, but this story immediately struck me as some sort of sudden journey into Bizarro World. Anyone who has been even casually following the news about illegal immigration since Joe Biden took office should be surprised. We are seeing illegal aliens pouring across our borders this year in numbers not seen in generations. Huge numbers of them have simply been released into the interior of the country, some without even having a court date to appear in front of a judge later. (Not that most of them would show up anyway.) Biden’s head of DHS has “reprioritized” the missions of CBP and ICE to the point where it’s nearly impossible to deport most of them. And these activists think he’s not doing enough for their cause?

One advocate from New Mexico-based Colores United told reporters that Biden praised their work in public, but in private they have to “take out the metaphoric knives from our back.” Others echoed similar sentiments, saying that the Biden administration’s actions don’t match the speeches he gives in public.

There seem to be two primary complaints coming from these advocates. The first is the administration’s announcement that they would finally obey a court order and reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) next month, better known as the Remain in Mexico policy. But that’s allegedly only being done because a court issued a ruling saying that Biden had to do it. DHS claims they are simply “following the law” when it comes to the MPP.

The activists were also angry over Biden’s decision to invoke Title 42 when turning back some of the Haitian migrants at Del Rio and flying others back to their home country. But as we later learned, that was mostly hype done for the benefit of the cameras. The vast majority of the Haitian migrants wound up being released into the United States just like the other illegal aliens flooding across the border. If these people want something to complain about, tell them to just wait and see what happens if Donald Trump makes it back into office.

I will give the protesting activists credit for pointing out one thing that appears to be accurate, however. It’s hard not to get the sense the Joe Biden is currently trying to play both sides of this political hot potato when it comes to border security. He knows that the Biden border crisis has become known to most voters and they are not happy about it. His approval numbers on immigration and border control have plummeted, registering only 35% two weeks ago. And he’s dragging the rest of the Democrats down with him, so he’s apparently realized that he needs to try to do something to restore some semblance of order at the border. But at the same time, he has to keep talking like he supports open borders and all the rest of these policies so he doesn’t lose his base. It’s a tough line to walk.

In closing, I’ll offer a follow-up to those approval numbers from October 1st. Here are the latest results published by Scott Rasmussen this weekend. Check out the immigration policy approval rating in this one.