It sounds like Joe Biden has lost one of his most vocal supporters. Robert Francis (Beto) O’Rourke is slamming Biden for his handling of the southern border, specifically the humanitarian crisis in Del Rio. You know times are tough for bumbling Joe when hyper-partisan Beto takes him to task for acting like Trump.
Biden isn’t acting like Trump on the southern border, of course, because if he was, there would be no Biden border crisis. Biden has gone out of his way to undo every successful program, policy, or agreement put into place by the Trump administration on the U.S.-Mexico border except for one. That policy is Title 42 and it is one that addresses public health. When the coronavirus pandemic began to spread across America, the Trump administration dusted off Title 42, a policy that hadn’t been used in decades. Title 42 allows for the immediate expulsion of illegal migrants due to concerns for public health, in this case, the spread of COVID-19, by Border Patrol. They are sent back across the border into Mexico. The policy worked well with the Remain-in-Mexico agreement Trump struck with the Mexican government.
Beto isn’t pleased with how Biden is handling the border crisis. He is particularly bothered by the fact that Biden has left Title 42 in place. By lumping Biden in with Trump, Beto lobs the epitome of the ultimate sick burn from the radical left-wing of the Democrat Party – you’re just like Trump. If Biden was not an open border enthusiast, he would be using all of the tools used by the Trump administration to stop the flood of illegal migrants from crossing the border. Instead, he is busy trying to prosecute the Border Patrol and shut them down from doing their job.
O’Rourke penned an op-ed for El Paso Matters. He starts out by saying the Haitian migrants are ” in filth under the city’s bridges, corralled and charged by mounted Patrolmen like they were animals” and goes on to say this should have been predicted, given that it is a disaster over a decade in the making. He recalls the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and the migration of Haitians to Chile, Brazil, and other countries who were happy to receive an influx of cheap labor.
None of this should have been a surprise to our government. We have diplomatic missions in each of these countries and an unrivaled global intelligence network. Immigration and undocumented border crossings have been a consistently pressing challenge for years. How could we not see this coming?
And once the Haitians arrived, why was our government so slow to respond, leaving the people of Del Rio and the Border Patrol to their own devices? The disregard for border communities, and the over reliance on already stressed federal law enforcement, produced conditions that ultimately led to the unforgettable and unforgivable scene of mounted officers charging into the mass of unarmed immigrants.
Unfortunately, stung by the outcry and caught without a plan, the Biden administration used a cynical Trump-era policy (known as Title 42) to immediately, and without due process, repatriate Haitians back to the country they left a decade ago, one whose streets are now ruled by gangs and criminals.
So antithetical to our values and our common humanity, that the administration’s own envoy to Haiti resigned in disgust, writing that we shouldn’t be sending these refugees back to “a country where American officials are confined to secure compounds because of the danger posed by armed gangs in control of daily life.”
Beto seems to have more confidence in the capabilities of the intelligence community than many of us do these days. He is right, though, to question what the hell took so long for the Biden administration to act once the surge of Haitians arrived. He essentially left the people of Del Rio, a city of 35,000, to fend for itself and seek help from the State of Texas. Biden and DHS didn’t do anything until reports began coming out and video showed what the camp under the Del Rio International Bridge looked like. Biden could no longer bury his head and ignore the chaos in Del Rio.
O’Rourke takes the administration to task for a lack of leadership. He wants Biden to “convene the countries of this hemisphere” to solve problems that interconnect our countries. Fat chance. Biden has shown he has little ability to form relationships with other foreign leaders and he is too eager to pass the job off on Kamala who cackles inappropriately and does nothing to help. They are focusing on long-term solutions, as past administrations have attempted to do, yet the crisis right in front of their faces goes unattended. He brings up Trump policies, which worked, as a bad thing for Biden to follow.
We need our government to dispense with cynical Trump-era policies and follow current U.S. law to ensure due process for asylum seekers. We need to hold accountable those who would treat immigrants as less than human — whether they were separated from their families and placed in cages under Trump or corralled like cattle as they brought food to their families under Biden.
And as important and interesting as the rest of the world might be for those in D.C., while you’re making submarine deals with Australia, the countries and people that we’re actually connected to by land, history, family and culture are left without serious U.S. attention, involvement or leadership. And these are the consequences.
The Americas must be the foreign policy priority of America.
Ouch. He wants Biden to stop dealing with the likes of Australia and European countries and focus on Central and South America. I bet Emmanuel Macron has the same thought these days.
Not so long ago, Beto campaigned for Biden during the 2020 election cycle. He called him ‘kind, caring, and the antithesis of Trump’. Biden even said he’d make Beto his Gun Czar, he was so enamored with Beto’s idea of sending anti-gun goons door to door to confiscate legal weapons from gun owners. Looks like ole Beto is as frustrated by Biden’s dereliction of duty as the rest of us are – maybe not for the same reasons, but the White House can’t be pleased with Beto’s defection from the team.