As some Democrats are finally feeling the pain of their open borders policies, President Joe Biden is hoping people don’t notice that he might not disagree with his predecessor on immigration as much as one might think. The White House is reportedly completing a section of the border wall that was a key plank in former President Donald Trump’s platform. On the campaign trail, Biden was a vociferous critic of the physical barrier. But now, it appears he has come around.
Open Borders Dems Learning Their Lesson?
The Biden administration recently approved a plan to finish a section of the wall on the southern border near Yuma, Arizona. “The plan includes filling four major gaps in the wall that continue to allow the Yuma area to be one of the busiest corridors for illegal immigration crossings,” according to Fox News. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas gave the approval, which began under the Trump administration, to “deploy modern, effective border measures” and to improve “safety and security along the Southwest Border.”
Border Patrol has detained illegal immigrants over 160,000 times between January and June of this year. The agency has been stretched thin over the past year and a half because of the migrant crisis that began shortly after Biden took office. Caravans of migrants surged at the southern border, and thousands have crossed into the country illegally. The Yuma sector is one of the busiest in terms of illegal crossings. “Del Rio and Rio Grande Valley in South Texas were the only other sectors with more traffic along the entire U.S.-Mexico border,” Fox News also reported.
The White House’s move is a departure from its previously stated stance on Trump’s border policies. Indeed, while he was seeking the presidential nomination in 2019, Biden penned an op-ed for the Miami Herald in which he savaged his predecessor’s immigration approach. He was particularly scathing on the border wall.
“It’s imperative that we secure our borders, but ‘build the wall‘ is a slogan divorced from reality. It won’t stop the flow of illegal narcotics or human trafficking, both of which come primarily through legal ports of entry,” he wrote. “Nor will it stop asylum seekers fleeing the most desperate conditions imaginable, and who have the right to have their cases heard. Nor will it stem the numbers of undocumented, most of whom over-stay legal visas.”
But this change of heart comes as at least one Democratic politician is dealing with the fallout from Biden’s open borders policies. Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser has been quite busy addressing the influx of migrants being bussed into the district from Texas and Arizona. The governors of these states have taken to transporting these individuals to the nation’s capital rather than forcing their residents to shoulder the burden.
Bowser recently requested that the National Guard assist the District in handling these new arrivals, saying that it was reached a “tipping point.” In a request submitted to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on July 19, Bowser noted that “over 4,000 individuals arriving on nearly 200 buses” have reached DC since April. “Our collective response and service efforts have now become overwhelmed,” she wrote. “[O]ur homeless services system is already under great strain; and tragically, many families arrive in Washington, DC with nowhere to go, or they remain in limbo seeking onward destinations across the United States.”
The mayor asked Austin to provide 150 DC National Guard personnel to launch a “24/7 operation” to manage the influx. She requested that the DC Armory or “another suitable federal location in the National Capital Region” be used as a temporary processing center.
As of July 28, around 3,500 migrants have been transported to DC from Texas and Arizona. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey have come under fire for this policy, which started in April. Democrats accused the two leaders of engaging in publicity stunts. However, this approach has gained much praise from those concerned about the situation at the southern border – a problem the Biden administration seems to be unable, or unwilling, to address in a meaningful way.
It is possible that the White House is finally coming to terms with the reality that it must do something to stem the flow of illegals into the United States. Even though the activist media has not highlighted the situation as they would have under Trump, people are still very much aware that the problem has worsened considerably.
But the fact that Biden’s team isn’t publicly touting this move demonstrates that it might be worried about getting more scrutiny from the open borders crowd. Of course, the reality that members of the administration publicly criticized the idea of a border wall previously might also be playing into this approach. Either way, the president will need to do more to deal with this crisis if he wants to be taken seriously. With November and 2024 on the horizon, Democrats must actually start solving some problems if they want to remain relevant on the national level.