The White House on the southwest border has been beaten up since Joe Biden became president. Every month, illegal entry attempts are higher than before as the migration surge hits a 20-year high. Former President Donald Trump could visit the border before Vice President Kamala Harris, whose trip to Central America to address the “root causes” of the crisis has been widespread. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, an ambitious Republican, could build a border wall.
Now the Biden team is starting to fight back. This week the White House released a leaflet allegedly showing progress in processing unaccompanied children in opposition to the Trump administration’s “caged children” debacle and improvements in uniting these minors with families and sponsors.
“The Biden-Harris government is working to rebuild our immigration system after four years of chaos and mismanagement,” the statement said. “The trend in border arrests in May is a reduction in individuals (unique encounters) and families below the 2019 high.”
They also play an insult, celebrate DACA Day – named after former President Barack Obama’s program to protect certain undocumented young immigrants from deportation that Trump unsuccessfully tried to end – and call on Congress to pass sweeping immigration reforms.
This is where Biden hopes to thrive where Trump, Obama, and George W. Bush all failed immigration (though Trump’s perspective on the issue was an outlier among the three). But his government continues to deny the extent to which a liberal approach to the border not only regulates but also encourages inflows.
So far, the White House has gone to great lengths to attribute the border situation to random fluctuations in migration and repeated cross-border commuters skewing the numbers to make them look worse than they really are. They minimize or deny the extent to which migrants react to the messages they send about their ability to enter and stay in the United States, even when others seem willing to acknowledge it.
The 1986 bipartisan amnesty, enacted by none other than a conservative symbol than Ronald Reagan, failed to stem the tide of illegal immigration. Until Biden and Harris can provide a more convincing answer as to why things will be different this time around, conditions in Congress – and on the border – will remain dangerous.
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