The record influx of illegal immigrants on the southern border — and the White House’s refusal to refer to it as a ‘crisis’ — was the biggest story of the young Biden presidency at the start of the year. Even though the number of illegal crossings continued to swell, hitting over 200,000 migrants a month, the scandal practically disappeared during the summer. The media distracted Americans with fear-mongering about the new Delta variant of COVID-19 and warmongering about the undeniably disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The Biden border crisis has now returned with a vengeance. This week, more than 10,000 Haitians descended on the border town of Del Rio, Texas seeking entry to the United States. Photos and drone videos show the massive crowd of migrants huddled in squalid conditions under the Del Rio International Bridge. The migrants set up camp as border agents became overwhelmed with the sheer number of illegal border crossers they needed to process.
Department of Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited Del Rio on Monday to survey the situation and gave a press conference. Reporters repeatedly asked how the Biden administration was caught off guard by this massive number of Haitians and Cubans. Mayorkas repeatedly suggested that there was no way for DHS to be properly prepared, as the situation was fluid and unpredictable. However, according to National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd, DHS was warned that the Del Rio bridge could be vulnerable to law enforcement operations back in June 2021.
‘It was recommended that DHS immediately address the issue by setting up a temporary outdoor processing site as had been done previously under similar circumstances in the Rio Grande Valley at the Anzalduas Bridge,’ Judd wrote. ‘Instead of following sound advice, which would have avoided the current disaster, DHS ignored the suggestion.’
Mayorkas previously said about the border during a March 1 press conference that there was no crisis and reassured migrants, ‘We are not saying don’t come, we’re saying don’t come now because we will be able to deliver a safe and orderly process to them as quickly as possible.’
This has been the recurring message from the Biden administration as it has tried to fashion itself as the compassionate alternative to Trump’s ‘inhumane’ border policy: we promise we will let you in, but please line up in an orderly fashion. It is more reminiscent of a kindergarten teacher corralling the kiddos after recess than it is a sovereign nation deciding who gets to live within its borders.
The mass of Haitians is just the latest migrant group to call the administration’s bluff. Although DHS has sent additional agents to Del Rio and has approved speedy removals of some illegal migrants, plenty of these Haitians will be allowed into the US. Bill Melugin, a national correspondent for Fox News, reported that many family units will be processed and released into the United States with a future court date. As we learned during the Trump administration, a significant portion of this group will not show up for their court dates. The ones that do will likely be found ineligible for asylum.
This cycle will continue unabated unless the Biden administration decides to change its policies. There doesn’t seem to be any sign of that happening, as administration officials continue to find convenient scapegoats for the migrant surges. Some favorites include the warm weather in the springtime, climate change, regional poverty, the pandemic and Trump. On Monday, the White House and the media talked little about the American citizens at risk security-wise and economically by hordes of unvetted and unvaccinated illegal immigrants. Instead, they bleated spurious claims that border patrol agents were whipping Haitians.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said video of the agents, which actually showed them commanding their horses with reins, was ‘horrific’. There are few things more cynical than giving airtime to a media hoax that denigrates border patrol agents while those same agents work to clean up your mess.
During the same press briefing on Monday, Psaki insisted ‘it’s not the same thing’ that Americans have to show proof of vaccination to stay employed but illegal immigrants do not need to do so in order to cross the border.
The Spectator wrote in its April 2021 editorial that the border crisis ‘could turn into the defining problem of [Biden’s] entire presidency’. The administration’s hopelessly out-of-touch responses to its latest ‘challenge’ in Del Rio, Texas give even more weight to that prediction.
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