Biden’s Border Crisis is Predictable Right-Wing Babble, a Curtain That Covers Human Suffering
Depending on your political leaning and what television station you watch, the current situation at the U.S. border with Mexico is either an all-caps “CRISIS!” or an all-lowercase “crisis.”
Given much of the news coverage lately, it would seem the biggest immigration issue facing America in the early months of 2021 is which news network has the most accurate border-related chyrons.
This is all an enormous waste of time, of course. It’s a dumb game of semantics played by people unconcerned with the actual human beings living through the CRISIS!/crisis.
If Americans want to be honest with themselves, the real crisis we face is not “on” the border. It’s a crisis “about the border,” meaning our collective unwillingness to understand the myriad issues that lead to moments like this, when thousands of migrant children are stuck in overcrowded border facilities while thousands more people — men, women and children — are stranded in squalid conditions on the Mexico side of the line.
Fox News and Republican lawmakers are leveraging the suffering of children and what they would undoubtedly call “others” to make specious claims about the current number of migrants being apprehended at the border. This is a “BIDEN BORDER CRISIS!” and the people crossing the border are all coming at President Joe Biden’s invitation and they’re criminals and terrorists and blah, blah, blah.
Those claims, which will certainly not be impeded by facts, don’t align with reality. There has been an increase in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border since Biden took office — a significant one. But the increases started last year under then-President Donald Trump, and the border has seen comparable if not larger surges in border crossings and apprehensions in 2019, during the Trump presidency, and in 2014 under then-President Barack Obama.
“This isn’t a new flow that we’re just seeing because Biden is coming into office,” Jessica Bolter, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, told Vox. “The U.S. government still hasn’t figured out exactly how to manage this flow of families and children. And throughout the Trump administration, the government neglected to find a way to adjust U.S. border enforcement mechanisms in a way that protects their rights, but also exerts control over the system.”
To believe what’s happening now is all Biden’s doing is to believe migrants fleeing violence or hurricane devastation or poverty held off on deciding to make a wildly dangerous trek of hundreds if not thousands of miles until they got word Biden had been inaugurated.
“This didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t happen in the first 50 days of the Biden administration,” said Sawyer Hackett, a senior adviser to former San Antonio mayor and former Obama Cabinet member Julian Castro. “I think it’s extremely irresponsible to even accept that this is related to Biden. There weren’t people in Honduras or Guatemala who suddenly thought, ‘It’s time to start that 2,000-mile trek to the border.’”
The fact is, Biden hasn’t changed many of Trump’s draconian immigration policies yet.