In this installment of our weekly conversation, PF Whalen and Parker Beauregard of The Blue State Conservative consider the current crisis at our southern border, President Joe Biden’s utter mishandling of that crisis, and how it relates to the larger debate on immigration.
PF: The current situation at the border is dreadful. According to CNN, “over 3,700 migrant children are being held in Border Patrol custody, with about 2,800 of them awaiting placement in shelters for minors.” Only three months ago, the situation would have been referred to as “kids in cages,” because Donald Trump was president. But with Biden the narrative has changed. Nonetheless, the situation is troubling, and likely to get worse.
To be fair, there are really no good options with the children, but then again, there weren’t any good options for Trump either. Kids are arriving at the border unaccompanied; what are we supposed to do with them? Just release them into the country with nowhere to go? The problem for Biden is that this issue was a key part of his campaign, and he was extremely critical of President Trump. He told voters his administration would treat kids differently; more humanely. Yet the fact is, the Biden Administration is handling the situation almost exactly as Trump handled it, only with far more people to deal with.
Biden is keeping kids in the exact same facilities that President Trump did, which were the exact same facilities that President Barack Obama used. The conditions aren’t nearly as poor as they depicted them to be under Trump, but the problem still needs to be corrected.
A root cause analysis is pretty straightforward. How did the children get here? They came from Mexico. Many came up through Honduras and Guatemala, but they came to us from Mexico. So how were unaccompanied kids wandering northward through Mexico, undetected by the Mexican government? President Trump accurately identified the Mexican government as a key piece to solving the puzzle, and took an approach of accountability with them. If Biden wants to fix the problem, he’ll need to use a similar strategy.
Parker: The “kids in cages” narrative is frustrating on a lot of levels. It goes without saying that it is most frustrating for the kids themselves that have to be detained. They cannot and do not comprehend the macro issues playing out. They did not sign up for any of it, and even with the basic concept of coming to the land of freedom and handouts, could still not fathom the actual process of illegal immigration. It is more sad and heartbreaking, really.
There is also a very real political frustration. In the Democrat primaries, Biden was selling absolute lies about the Obama administration not owning any responsibility in the building of detainment facilities. Again in the presidential debates with Donald Trump, he continued pretending that every migrant child was only abused under the evil Republican’s watch. These lies maintained momentum and ginned up more anger toward Trump, even though the latter asked the straightforward question of “Who built the cages, Joe?” No one was listening or interested in the answer.
Electorally, it is highly likely that many voters were swayed by the optics of the entire affair. After years of Democrats proclaiming themselves the party of immigrants and years of libeling Republicans as xenophobic, hearing the words “cages” and “Trump” in the same sentence was enough to convince voters that he was Satan reincarnate and that Biden would have every kid crossing the border on a unicorn or crossing the Rio Grande with a rainbow-colored bridge. Worse than anything, because the duped, uninformed, and ignorant masses voted Trump out of office, the reality is that America now has one of its worst border crises in decades.
As usual, Democrats’ ignorance of human nature and reality has set up conditions to encourage additional border crossings and bog down an already-swamped system. In this scenario, nobody wins.
PF: You nailed it: it’s their ignorance of human nature. We can’t blame people for wanting to better their lives, and America has always been a beacon of hope for such folks. We should continue to allow immigration and even high levels of immigration when it makes sense. But the process needs to be orderly and humane, and immigrants need to follow our laws just like citizens. Yes, we should strive to be compassionate, but our first obligation must be to our own, national sovereignty and the safety of Americans. It’s common sense, and shouldn’t be controversial.
It’s hard to find any aspect of the current crisis and cite it as an example of Biden handling things well. He’s botched the communications aspect by refusing to call it a crisis and pretending as if everything is fine. He has yet to shift his rhetoric to potentially deter migrants from heading north. And he’s even managed to aggravate the Mexican government, who are rightfully claiming that Biden’s policies may lead to an increase in crime on the other side of the border.
It’s another example of that ignorance of human nature. If we have a porous border, and if our president’s policies prioritize sanctuary and speedy processing over national security, it will open the door, quite literally, for those that mean us harm. Mexican drug cartels are run by some very intelligent people. They will recognize Biden’s softness on the border as an opportunity they can exploit. Less security means easier access to America’s illicit drug market; and easier access to that market will mean an increase in violence and other crimes. Go soft on crime and you welcome crime. It’s human nature.
Parker: There is a larger conversation on border control as a whole, but the issue of minors is extremely important and relevant. The only reasonable and humane response to the humanitarian crisis at the border is physical separation and detainment of children. Whether young people are unaccompanied or accompanied is also immaterial; until relationships can be verified and minors can safely be returned to the custody of a known adult, there is simply no other option.
Protecting children is one of the greatest responsibilities of adults and societies. Now, from a political perspective all administrations have known this. Barack Obama expanded facilities, Donald Trump continued the practice, and Joe Biden is picking up where his predecessors left off. They all know one basic truth: We need to know who is here and with whom they have come. In terms of protecting minors, the abhorrent reality is that there too many disgusting human beings exist. These people prey on minors to buy, trade, sell, and sexually abuse. Children that are alone, have no means, and have no prospects are especially vulnerable to these criminals.
How many news stories do we need to see where young migrant children end up in the sex trade? After the arbitrary 72 hours, children are released by the thousands to unknown families. Many will inevitably land in unimaginable conditions. Even if they aren’t minors, the same logic could be applied to young women. How many female “adults” need to be trapped in the sex trade before the media and politicians repond to the overall humantiran crisis? Porous borders might make for a larger voting bloc and expanded workforce for multinational corporations, but the human cost is extraordinary.
PF: It’s tragic; it truly is. And the sad part is that the tragedy is due almost entirely to power-motivated politics.
My overall opinion of President Trump is that he was an excellent president who let silliness stop him from achieving greatness. He could have been so much better and done so much more; but not on the issue of immigration. Trump’s performance and rhetoric on immigration was outstanding. There are plenty of people we can blame for this current, ongoing crisis, but Trump isn’t one of them. And while Democrats deserve the most blame, there are plenty of Republicans who are deserving as well.
In 2017, we had Trump in the White House and Republican-control of both houses of Congress. But neither Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell nor House Speaker Paul Ryan could get a bill passed. Yes, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were being obstructionists, and yes Ryan and McConnell would have had to offer unappealing concessions for compromise, but they misplayed their hands.
We need immigration. Immigration is the lifeblood of American industry. If we are to continue with economic growth, existing American citizens don’t have the birth rate needed to sustain it. But we need that immigration to be on our terms, and to be for the benefit of our country: America first. Immigration which is beneficial to both our country and the immigrants coming here is achievable and it can happen without sacrificing national security. We shouldn’t expect Democrats to play along with the solution, at least not without being prodded, but that’s where the GOP must play their role. Republicans need to be the prod. Make your case to the American people for common sense, reasonable immigration reform and let’s put this issue to bed once and for all.
Parker: Nothing better encapsulates the foolishness of the current approach toward immigration (where nonaction makes ours the de facto approach) than polls of recently naturalized citizens or green-card carrying immigrants. They want a system in place that rewards their patience, efforts, time, money, and adherence to rules.
The entire narrative has been crafted to portray conservatives, Republicans, and anyone else in favor of common sense border security and immigration policy as xenophobic and selfish. Like all leftist positions, this too is a gigantic lie. Nations exist because of borders. The same could be said of unique cultures and societies. What remains of my freedoms, opportunities, and lifestyle exist because of what America has stood for these past two centuries. It is simply incompatible to expect those remnants of yesteryear to remain if we continue allowing rampant immigration to change the landscape of this country.
Strong border control and immigration policy would preserve human dignity and life, as well as ensure that immigrants to this country are coming here to better themselves and this nation, rather than just leech off others’ success through welfare. In terms of protecting minors, this is absolutely essential. In terms of preserving our country, this is paramount. The crisis – and it is a veritable crisis – at our border, which will both lead more young girls into sexual bondage and create pushback toward immigration as a whole, is the direct result of inaction and ineptitude by Democrat leadership. Through their stated and unstated speech, they have encouraged even more of this unchecked immgration to occur, swamping an already swamped system. How is any of this good?