Biden should not worry one bit about the Republican strategy to thwart lawful migration
All the usual GOP suspects…
Kevin McCarthy stood at a podium on Monday, in El Paso, where he scrupulously lamented his lies and falsehoods about how the Biden administration is not striving to remedy our broken immigration system. His rhetoric captured the perfect applause for his constituents, who have no trepidations of dismissing migrants as terrorists and criminals.
McCarthy said the following:
“You saw it in their eyes,” McCarthy said, referring to the agents. “They talked about, ‘They’re on the list.’ … The terrorist watch list.” (Elfrink, WAPO, 3/16/21).
“We asked them what countries are people coming from,” he told reporters. “Yemen, Iran, Sri Lanka, that’s what’s coming across. They even talked about Chinese, as well.” (Elfrink, WAPO, 3/16/21).
Following what I consider a puerile display, Rep. Ruben Gallego, who represents the Phoenix area and is the chairman of the subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations, said he had never heard this before.
“Weird as the Chairman of the subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations and a border state member of Congress haven’t heard anything about this,” tweeted Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Democrat who represents the Phoenix area. “Gonna ask for a briefing. Pretty sure he is either wrong or lying.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection didn’t immediately respond to messages from The Washington Post early on Tuesday about whether anyone on the watch list has recently been caught at the border. McCarthy’s office also didn’t immediately return a message. (Elfrink, WAPO, 3/16/21).
I never assumed the Republicans would stop their “mendacious tactic” after Trump left, but I figured they would at least have an opportunity to restructure their behavior, little by little. But as we all have grown to understand — since January 20th — they have no desire to change a thing. Republicans have placed their future circumstances in the hope voters will feel the same way: callous and transgressed. Their objectives, regarding an immigration policy, are embedded in this notion: if they continue peddling these falsehoods, then the same phenomenon that occurred with Trump the last four years can live within the party forever.
The Democrats and Biden need a twofold strategy to combat this horrendous plan to indoctrinate millions of voters. The first part of the strategy lies in the simple fact that being untruthful is unacceptable. While entrenched Trump supporters may not accept any variance from the lies and distrustful rhetoric, swing voters are different. Democrats must always hold solace that these voters will be influential every election cycle. The second part of this strategy is also very necessary. It’s pretty straightforward: Democrats just need to ignore Republicans at this point. If the party wants to represent what I call “fringe” ideals of the past, which have been occasioned by the older “Populist” voters and then sentimentalized to the younger generations (albeit a very small minority), then let them.
As usual, what also strikes me as the greatest form of superciliousness, is the neglect of Republicans to acknowledge the awful and detrimental immigration policy enacted by the Trump administration. We must not forget how many individuals were affected by their policies. They are quick to judge Biden, who is just shy of 60 days into his Presidency, but they cared very little as migrants poured into the country in previous years and Trump separated infants and toddlers from their mothers.
Republicans repeatedly asked Mayorkas how he would describe the situation at the border after DHS on Tuesday said the U.S. is “on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years.”
“If we want to speak of language, then let me speak of language,” Mayorkas said in an exchange with Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) during an appearance before the House Homeland Security Committee.
“I will share with you how I define a crisis. Crisis is when a nation is willing to rip a 9-year-old child out of the hands of his or her parent and separate that family to deter future migration. That to me is a humanitarian crisis,” he said, referencing former President Trump’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border.
Mayorkas said the Biden administration would not back away from its pledge to keep a “fair and humane” immigration system. (Beitsch, The Hill, 3/17/21)
While it’s reprehensible to have children detained in holding cells and to see such an increase in unaccompanied children crossing the border, it’s still much better than the alternative—which entailed expelling families to Mexico to live in dangerously adverse conditions. We must not forget the neglect the Trump administration expended to avoid providing support to these Central American countries. Did the previous administration just expect these migrants to live in these countries until they were slaughtered by the cartels? I’m not advocating the United States go to war with these cartels, but I do believe it’s the responsibility of the government in these countries to fight their problems. Still, without the proper resources, how are these Central American countries supposed to curtail the cartels?
Republicans have blamed Biden for the surge, saying his sweeping away of restrictive Trump-era policies sent a signal that migrants should head to the United States.
The White House and Democrats have pointed to what they say was a broken system inherited by Biden at the border, while saying the new administration needs time.
Several administrations led by presidents in both parties have struggled to deal with regular surges at the border, as partisan differences in Congress have prevented action on a comprehensive immigration reform proposal. (Beitsch, The Hill, 3/17/21).
Immigration reform takes cooperation and patience, not inhumane practices that just disenfranchise more people and accentuate future expeditions to achieve the freedom every human being deserves. McCarthy and the populists can continue to tout their rhetoric about how Biden can’t fix the immigration system, even though their only plan is to eradicate people inhumanely and unsuccessfully. At the end of the day, and as I read time and time again, the individuals fleeing these countries are paying thousands to coyotes to get them from their home country to the border, safely. They will not surrender. Furthermore, they are not truculent, either. They don’t want to cause harm to our country; they just want a new life. They want lawful migration; they respect the asylum process. Fixing such an operose task is not adequate with lies and xenophobia. Let’s start by remedying the problem through compassion and intellect.
1. Elfrink, Tim. “Democrats question Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s claim that terrorists are crossing the border: ‘He is either wrong or lying’.” March 16, 2021. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/03/16/mccarthy-terrorists-border-gallego-escobar/. Accessed March 17, 2021.
2. Beitsch, Rebecca. “Mayorkas defends border policy as GOP points to ‘crises’.” March 17, 2021. The Hill. https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/543640-mayorkas-defends-border-policy-as-gop-claims-crisis?rl=1. Accessed March 17, 2021.