From the Right



Disorder on the Border Remains a Problem for Biden Democrats

Michael Barone on

Certainly, through his 50-plus-year political career, Biden has not veered far from the prevailing opinion in his party. And within the Democratic bubble, it's natural to believe overturning any policy associated with Donald Trump is widely popular. It's natural to believe as well that sympathetic media will try to cover up any unfavorable news, as most media has on illegal immigration during most of the Biden presidency.

There's another factor operating here, one that helps to explain the increasing opposition to Israel and support for Palestinians among Democratic voters: the tendency, encouraged for two generations on college campuses, to see the world as separated between the oppressed and the oppressors.

In this paradigm, Trump and his America First followers are seen as the oppressors, and people illegally crossing the border are seen as the oppressed. And just as oppressors are always vicious, the oppressed are always virtuous.

In that background, eliminating border controls, as Biden did by multiple executive orders, wasn't politically dangerous. Mexican immigration has been low since 2007, and Vice President Kamala Harris could cure any ills that might prompt Central Americans to venture overland through Mexico to the Rio Grande.

But it turns out Biden-era illegal immigrants come from multiple places and often with malign motives. They're ready to pay off Mexican cartels to get a chance to game the system inside the United States. And they've surely been coming in numbers much larger than Biden policymakers expected.


The huge number of illegal crossings in late 2023, together with poll numbers, had the Biden administration contemplating a policy reversal, but Politico reports that's now off. The plan now is to blame Trump and House Republicans for opposing the bipartisan legislation of Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.). "Donald Trump broke the border," a Biden-Harris billboard proclaims.

This seems unconvincing. If there's anything Trump is known for, it's denouncing illegal immigration, and there was and is nothing to stop Biden from issuing executive orders reversing the day-one executive orders that opened the floodgates. Disorder works against incumbents, and it's hard to see how the disorder produced by Biden's "orange man bad" immigration policies will be blamed, by anyone but partisan Democrats, on Republicans.


Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. His new book, "Mental Maps of the Founders: How Geographic Imagination Guided America's Revolutionary Leaders," is now available.

Copyright 2024 U.S. News and World Report. Distibuted by Creators Syndicate Inc.




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