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It looks like the Biden administration finally realized it couldn’t keep running from the problem any longer. The White House has begun addressing the migrant crisis by ironically taking a slightly more Trumpian approach to the matter.
It seems the president has realized that failing to put forth solutions to this ongoing problem of his own making is not exactly helping him politically. However, it is worth asking: Is this too little too late?
The White House announced on Tuesday that it has begun expelling migrants into Mexico to stop repeated attempts to cross the border illegally. It is also employing other tactics designed to prevent these individuals from making it into the United States.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday that the administration started moving families caught entering the U.S. illegally to the interior of Mexico. The objective appears to be to move these individuals as far from the border as possible to cut down on repeated attempts to illegally cross the border.
We’ve also started initiating, as of last week, as of last Friday, expulsion flights into Mexico. The Department of Homeland Security started transferring certain families expelled under Title 42 by plane to the interior of Mexico. This is in order to attempt to cut down on recidivism and further spread of the Delta variant.
The press secretary also explained that the administration is also implementing “expedited removal,” which “allows an immigration official, generally a CBP official, to determine if a migrant is seeking protection or has an intent of applying for asylum.”
Psaki also indicated that the White House is using “lateral flights” to carry migrants from one area of the border to another, “where there might be more processing capability, or facility capacity, to expel migrants under Title 42.”
Well, better late than never, I suppose.
The administration is undoubtedly taking a positive step toward curbing the illegal immigration problem, which has drastically worsened since Biden took office. But why now? Why wouldn’t they do anything earlier in the year when it was clear that the situation was transforming into a full-blown crisis? The administration’s handling of the matter was so abysmal that even members of the activist media threw some criticisms at the president.
There might be multiple reasons explaining why the White House waited until now to take concrete steps to handle the problem. For starters, Biden was already taking heat from the far-left open borders crowd for reopening some of the facilities that were used to house unaccompanied minors under the Trump administration. After spending years clutching his pearls about “kids in cages” along with the rest of his fellow Democrats, Biden seemed to have a change of heart.
However, this move elicited criticism from the likes of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other hard leftists who would personally invite every migrant from across the globe into the country and grant them instant citizenship if she could. Perhaps Team Biden feared there would be more of a backlash from the progressive base if they actually tried to stop the flow of illegals attempting to gain entry into the country.
It is also worth speculating that perhaps the administration miscalculated when it came to public sentiment about the matter. In general, the Democrats have been woefully out of touch with the attitudes of the American people in several different areas. It is not difficult to imagine that they may have believed people didn’t take the immigration issue seriously enough for his mishandling of the crisis to harm him politically. If this is the case, it seems they have been disabused of that nation.
But realistically, they had plenty of evidence that Americans were not happy about the migrant crisis months ago. In April, an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll revealed that 56 percent of Americans disapproved of Biden’s handling of the border crisis.
In June, a Harvard/Harris poll showed that 63 percent of Americans believed that illegal immigration has increased under Biden, and 61 percent of respondents felt the surge of unaccompanied minors at the southern border is the president’s fault. This particular study also found that 80 percent of Americans believe illegal immigration is “somewhat serious” or “very serious.”
Last, but not least, an ABC/Ipsos survey found that 83 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of Independents, and 37 percent of Democrats do not approve of the way Biden is dealing with the border crisis.
The bottom line is that the administration seems to have at last realized that the immigration issue is set to become an enormous millstone around the neck of the Democratic Party during the upcoming midterm elections. Embracing open borders is not a smart move, and neither was the decision to all but ignore the immigration issue – it was never going to go away on its own.
The situation has resulted in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) being overwhelmed with processing asylum claims, taking care of unaccompanied minors, and preventing more illegals from sneaking into the country. When it comes to the children, in particular, reports of substandard living conditions and even sexual abuse have arisen in certain facilities. Delays in transporting minors to other detention centers and eventually uniting them with relatives already living in the states have been a stark example of the White House’s incompetence.
At this point, the Biden administration seems to be trying to rectify the issue somewhat. But at this point, it might be too late to shield them from the political damage this situation has caused Democrats.