Patterico's Pontifications

1/9/2024

Biden Administration Vexed by Their Self-Defeating Border Policies

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:44 am



[guest post by JVW]

Noah Rothman spells it out:

Biden is so bereft of “options” for dealing with the crisis-level surge of migrants crossing the southern border that he had no choice but to sidle up to Mexico, asking for the approximate level of cooperation from Mexican authorities that was provided during the pandemic.

As NBC reported, when asked to enthusiastically support Biden’s preferred border policies, Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador made some demands of his own: $20 billion in assistance for Mexico and its neighbors, an end to the blockade of Cuba, lifting all sanctions on Venezuela, and the extension of work and residency permits to no fewer than 10 million illegal immigrants already inside the U.S. The unfeasibility of López Obrador’s demands explains a flourish in NBC News’ reporting, in which its journalists pointedly reminded readers that the Mexican government “would prefer that President Joe Biden win re-election in November,” and the border crisis only complicates that objective. It’s all rather unseemly.

It’s no surprise that the leftist President Obrador would seek to benefit Mexico from his American counterpart’s befuddlement at a crisis which the Biden Administration greatly exacerbated through kowtowing to the soft borders lobby in his party, but the fact that the Mexican president would demand changes in U.S. policy towards Cuba and Venezuela, two failed states which are ideologically opposed to the United States, suggests strongly that he sees the Biden Administration as hopelessly weak and is willing to press his advantage well beyond his own interests. But he clearly understands that Mexican cooperation can have a strong effect on our own border security. Mr. Rothman explains:

Less than a week after the White House leaned on Mexico City to preempt more border crossings on its side of the Rio Grande, a show of good faith by Mexican authorities has led to a decline in apprehensions along the border by about 75 percent. Arrests were down to 2,500 last week compared with more than 10,000 in late December. “In the Border Patrol’s busiest area, arrests totaled 13,800 during the seven-day period ending Friday,” the Associated Press reported, “down 29% from 19,400 two weeks earlier, according to Tucson, Arizona, sector chief John Modlin.”

It turns out that inattentiveness on the Mexican side of the border plays a great deal into how much traffic we get on the U.S. side of the border. Yet the U.S. itself can do much more to prevent, apprehend, and return illegal border crossers. Mr. Rothman reminds us that last autumn when the Biden Administration caved to GOP concerns in order to reach a debt-limit deal and tightened border enforcement, the number of apprehensions of Venezuelans making illegal crossings fell by nearly half. We have the manpower and resources to make this permanent, but we do not have a President who has the will to make it happen because he is in thrall to his party’s most shrill activists where illegal immigration is concerned. Moreover, the Administration is putting undue emphasis on the “root causes” nonsense so popular among progressive thinkers. Mr. Rothman explains exactly what is the problem with that [emphasis added by me]:

But the focus on “root causes” appears to have come at the expense of the Biden administration’s approach to mitigating immigration’s “push factors.” Foremost among those factors is the deterrent to illegal migration represented by the certainty that would-be border crosses will not succeed in reaching their destination, and that, if they do, they will find themselves facing expedited deportation.

The border issues are causing massive headaches for Team Biden. The main subject of Noah Rothman’s essay is NBC News’s ridiculous framing of its report that Joe Biden is a man without any good options for controlling illegal border crossings, when in fact he has plenty of tools at his disposal but lacks the will to stand up to a loud and aggressive part of his party’s base. The self-made dilemma that he is facing is that his inaction is irking other important parts of his coalition, and sharp criticism from Southwestern Democrats like Katie Hobbs in Arizona and Catherine Cortez-Masto in Nevada suggests that they sense that voters in their state are not pleased with the status quo.

Congressional Republicans are demanding a commitment to more stringent border security in exchange for blessing the $1.59 trillion budget deal that Speaker Mike Johnson hammered out with Senator Chuck Schumer and Team Biden over the weekend. Time will tell if they manage to wring some concessions out of the Democrats, but something tells me that the GOP won’t be too broken-hearted to lose this fight and continue to force Joe Biden and his party to own the mess at the border.

– JVW

24 Responses to “Biden Administration Vexed by Their Self-Defeating Border Policies”

  1. “The experienced professionals are back in charge.”

    JVW (1ad43e)

  2. I mean, how close are we to the breaking point at the border?

    If I were Abbot, and other southern states, what’s to stop them from engaging in Constitution crisis??? Like, hire private security firms to man the borders and deportations?

    whembly (5f7596)

  3. Democrats warn biden left base will not tolerate tough border policy on top of strong support of Israel and he will need every democrat vote. DNC rightly fears left base will come at them harder then they did after 2016 if biden loses. Remember he answers to the people who will vote for this slug not the people who wont. Democrats could care less what abbot and his running dogs think. Jill stein and green party is waiting to siphon off democratic votes and unlike 2020 green party is on ballot in az, mi, pa. and wi. Maybe ga. too.

    asset (1cae31)

  4. But the focus on “root causes” appears to have come at the expense of the Biden administration’s approach to mitigating immigration’s “push factors.”

    This is confused. “Root causes are “push factors.” I think he means “pull factors.”

    Foremost among those factors is the deterrent to illegal migration represented by the certainty that would-be border crosses will not succeed in reaching their destination, and that, if they do, they will find themselves facing expedited deportation.

    Not succeeding is an anti-pull factor.

    But what expedited removal will do is, while reducing total border crossers, ensure that what is left will transformed from conditional legal admission to completely illegal and unrecorded immigration.

    We have the manpower and resources to make this permanent,

    Sez who? We don’t have the resources and we don’t have the manpower because Congress has not appropriated the money for it. And has no intention to.

    They talk like it’s like flipping a switch.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  5. The irony of your comment, asset, is that Donald Trump won the election in 2016 because he beat Hillary Clinton among independents by a 47%-41% margin, mostly because Hillary played to her angry progressive base and alienated centrists in the Midwest. In 2020, Trump lost to Joe Biden because he lost independents by a 57%-43% margin, mostly because Trump played to his angry populist base and alienated centrists in the Midwest, and Sun Belt.

    So no matter what Karl Rove and David Axelrod have desperately have wanted us to believe for the last quarter-century, you can’t win an election simply by playing up to your base in the hopes that they massively turn-out. The pandering you do to your core voters can’t come at the expense of moderates, and that’s why Biden’s gamesmanship at the border is so potentially dangerous to his reelection prospects.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  6. While Abbott has reinforced the border between Texas and New Mexico

    https://www.texasmonthly.com/news-politics/new-mexico-border-wire-abbott

    ….he’s not interested in enforcing the law qua law.

    He’s doing nothing about the importation of marijuana and its derivatives from New Mexico to Texas (illegal under both federal, and Texas law, and for that matter, New Mexico law) nor people crossing from Texas to New Mexico to obtain and abortion (admittedly possibly unconstitutional to prohibit, although traveling from the Ireland to the United Kingdom to obtain an abortion was prohibited in the past in Ireland)

    He’s trying to make a case against immigration itself, and trying to get other states to take his position as well, by “proving” it causes economic pain.

    So of course he will do nothing to ameliorate it, like notifying other states when buses that he sends are coming, or when NYC threatens to confiscate buses carrying indigent people (and only people who are intended to become a public charge) coming outside of certain hours and places (according to an old law which requires the person transporting such persons to support them or take them back on pain of various penalties – maybe unconstitutional

    On appeal from the Superior Court of Yuba County, the Supreme Court unanimously vacated the verdict and declared the law unconstitutional, as violating the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. Justice Byrnes wrote the majority opinion. In concurring opinions, Justices Douglas joined by Justices Black and Murphy, and Justice Jackson held that the law violated the Privileges or Immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.[3]

    (The privileges and immunities clause only applies to U.S. citizens, and the status of asylum seekers is unclear
    -without that Abbott is relying on the interstate commerce clause)

    Anyway, Abbott, in response, instead of challenging that application of a dead law in court, arranges to drop them off at various points in New Jersey near train stations. I bet that they are not paying their fare either, which means New Jersey transit and PATH might be challenged.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  7. @6 Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 1/9/2024 @ 1:35 pm
    Sorry Sammy, NYC is a sanctuary city.

    Abbott is highlighting how inane the virtue-signaling Democrats by pointing out that they don’t expect to bear the costs if illegal immigration.

    So, maybe enough New Yorkers can join in with the border states to convince the Biden administrations to change their policies.

    whembly (5f7596)

  8. The Republicans want an election issue – in fact, they think that immigration will be the issue that will elect Trump. I saw a video clip to that effect (Mike Johnson saying that the border?) but can’t find it.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  9. whembly (5f7596) — 1/9/2024 @ 1:53 pm

    Abbott is highlighting how inane the virtue-signaling Democrats by pointing out that they don’t expect to bear the costs if illegal immigration.

    No, it’s the alleged costs of immigration period, although when put on the spot they say they are for legal immigration. Which is a lie.

    And they are so much so into making their “point” that most of the time they don’t speak about the handing out of no-bid contracts for shelter etc.

    https://amac.us/newsline/society/the-profiteering-migrant-industrial-complex/

    Under the 1981 agreement, the city could give migrants vouchers or debit cards to pay bodegas, fast-food outlets and street vendors. Migrants staying at the Roosevelt Hotel can be seen bringing in bags of food after they’ve trashed the city-provided meals. The current meal service is a scam draining the city’s resources while enriching the burgeoning migrant care industry.

    Long before the migrant crisis, shelter operators were already taking New York taxpayers for a ride. In 2021, the New York Post detailed how the CEO of CORE Services Group, a nonprofit with multimillion-dollar contracts with the city, made over $1 million a year for himself under the veneer of running a charity. He set up for-profit subsidiaries to provide food, security services and building maintenance, which paid him and his family members hefty salaries.

    The migrant crisis gives profiteers an opportunity to go in for the kill. At a New York City Council hearing last March, an Adams administration official was asked why meals for migrants cost so much more than meals provided to homeless New Yorkers. The slick answer was that “emergencies are going to cost more.”

    It costs $394 per day to shelter and feed a migrant, compared with $254 for homeless New Yorkers under the care of the Department of Homeless Services. More than 50% more than already inflated costs….

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  10. The Republicans want an election issue – in fact, they think that immigration will be the issue that will elect Trump.

    Of course, but the Democrats aren’t any different. They claim to want a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants who were brought here as small children and have grown up here. All good and well, but anyone with a modicum of political sense knows that they only way they stand a chance of getting that is to agree to much stricter border security going forward. And that of course upsets the applecart of bringing in new generations of future voters to offset the shrinking size of their main voter base (those darn college-educated progressives are only having one kid per couple, if they have any at all). So rather than take that risk, Democrats are fine with keeping the so-called Dreamers in an undetermined status and just blaming Republicans for their instrangence.

    Their immediate problem is it turns out that outside of the Democrats’ very narrow open borders lobby, there are lots of people in that party who are not too fond of illegal immigration when it’s their communities which are called upon to deal with it, as witnessed by the whining that all of these alleged “sanctuary cities” are doing.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  11. It costs $394 per day to shelter and feed a migrant, compared with $254 for homeless New Yorkers under the care of the Department of Homeless Services. More than 50% more than already inflated costs….

    As with most of progressive benevolence, there are an awful lot of unionized government-funded workers who personally make their living off of this sort of virtue-signaling altruism. Immigration support is a good racket, but progressives have only just started trying to fully fund the homeless industrial complex. California is leading the way in that initiative, as we so often stupidly do.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  12. https://abc7ny.com/nyc-crime-asylum-seeker-murder-migrants/14289204/

    Down to creating gangs and knifing each other. Just what Biden asked for.

    Disgusting how abc lies and calls them asylum seekers and not economic migrants or illegal aliens which is what they are.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  13. Sammy,

    are you ever going to answer whether you believe that Israel should follow the same illegal alien rules you demand we follow?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  14. Governor Lujan-Brisham in NM is probably overjoyed that few illegals come her way, mainly do to the inhospitable desert and the differently inhospitable White Sands missile range to the south.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  15. Perhaps Trump should make some equally unreasonable demands, like they give us Baja California in exchange for letting some immigrants stay.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  16. Democrats are just as interested in eliminating illegal immigration as Republicans – perhaps more so, considering the GOP refuses to make a deal so they can keep immigration an election issue. More immigrants have been detained under Biden than Trump; and you don’t care because it’s Democrats and not Republicans that are doing so, just as Obama deported more immigrants than Trump ever did.

    Sam G (8d2ed1) — 1/2/2024 @ 9:55 am

    BuDuh (0e1819)

  17. Biden won the nomination in 2020 precisely because he had no backbone. He’s everybody’s bi*ch. The problem is that all his factions want him to cleave only to them; which he can’t do. It’s a coalition of primadonnas, all id and no ego.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  18. More immigrants have been detained under Biden than Trump;

    More mass shooters have been arrested under Biden than Trump, so Biden clearly encourages mass shootings.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  19. More immigrants have been detained under Biden than Trump

    You really cannot get more dishonest than this.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  20. Governor Lujan-Brisham in NM is probably overjoyed that few illegals come her way, mainly do to the inhospitable desert and the differently inhospitable White Sands missile range to the south.

    Also the fact that El Paso has pretty tight border entry controls, which certainly spares Las Cruces, Deming, and Silver City. Crossing the border from Nogales or Auga Prieta into the deserts of Arizona is no picnic, but I would imagine it would be far better than chancing those remote areas in Luna or Hildago Counties.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  21. As long as so many Americans indulge in political tribalism, it behooves neither side to compromise and solve the problem. The Democrats can benefit by portraying Republicans as hard-hearted and racist, and the Republicans can gain by claiming the Democrats are tolerating an invasion because they are big-government bleeding hearts who want to pad their constituency and destroy America.

    Now, there are bits of truth in the arguments of both sides, but voters don’t seem to like politicians who are nuanced. A large chunk of voters prefer their politics in comic-book form, where the superheroes and the villains are clearly delineated.

    norcal (1de4a7)

  22. “As long as so many Americans indulge in political tribalism, it behooves neither side to compromise and solve the problem.”

    Mention illegal immigration and suddenly the Guardians of the Rule of Law go AWOL.

    lloyd (ea9ac2)

  23. Nearly 2,000 migrants being sheltered in a tent shelter in New York City are being transferred to a nearby high school, where the students will have to pivot to remote learning due to the disruption it is causing – sparking outrage from residents and local politicians.

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/nyc-high-school-students-forced-into-remote-learning-as-2000-migrants-sheltered-in-school-instead

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  24. NY Congresswoman Clarke (D) saying the quiet part out loud about the border:

    “I need more people in my district just for redistricting purposes.”

    Video at the link: https://twitter.com/EndWokeness/status/1744344100797628632#m

    BuDuh (0e1819)


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