Biden’s Pattern of Dereliction at the Border - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Biden’s Pattern of Dereliction at the Border
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Arizona’s shipping-container border wall (FOX 10 Phoenix/YouTube)

It has become a pattern. The federal government won’t protect the southern border of the United States, as is its charge, so the governor of a state affected by illegal migration takes things into his own hands to safeguard his citizens. The federal government, in response, its voice amplified by sycophants in the press and social media, accuses the state of infringing on the federal government’s province and demands that it halt its intervention.

It happened in Texas when Gov. Greg Abbott started, last April, stopping trucks at the border for an extra inspection and checking them for illegal cargo, whether people (remember the 51 persons who suffocated in such a truck) or drugs. It happened when he authorized the Texas National Guard and his state troopers to apprehend illegal crossers and deposit them at ports of entry, thus usurping the feds’ role. The outrage from that was multiplied tenfold when he started depositing them, not at ports of entry, but in parking lots in self-righteous sanctuary cities — Washington, D.C.; New York; Chicago; and Philadelphia — giving officials there a quick glance into his world.

It happened when the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, did Abbott one better and dropped planeloads of illegals off at Martha’s Vineyard, on the doorstep of the lefty rich.

And it happened on Wednesday when the Justice Department sued Gov. Doug Ducey and the state of Arizona for erecting a shipping-container wall on the southern border designed to hinder, or at least discourage, illegal border crossers.

To the Left, the border situation is the successful implementation of a purposeful policy of no activity. It’s what they want — open borders.

The suit is the latest action in a squabble that began last August, when Ducey, in reaction to Biden administration negligence at the border, started stacking empty shipping containers, two high, reaching about 17 feet, at breaches in border barriers near Yuma, in western Arizona. Recently work has shifted to the southeastern corner of the state, in Cochise County, where 900 containers have been double-stacked along a 10-mile stretch. When the government told him to stop in October, alleging that the containers were erected on federal land and thus illegal, among other complaints, Ducey dug in his heels and sued the federal government, contending that the state had the legal authority to fill in gaps where the federal government had not yet erected barriers, even though they had plans to do so.

Now the administration is suing, alleging that the containers represent “unlawful trespasses” on government land, as well as presenting public-safety risks and environmental harms. The suit also contends that the containers interfere with federal agencies’ ability to carry out their duties and are hindering the government’s ability to build its own border barriers.

The state, in a letter sent earlier in the day Wednesday, defended its installation of the temporary barriers. When Biden, on day one, halted construction of the border wall, southern Arizona quickly succumbed to a humanitarian crisis and agricultural impact, as migrants swept through the area, leaving garbage and destroying crops. The containers also clogged a number of popular crossing routes, narrowing the entry vortex for migrants. Said John Modlin, chief of the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, “If Yuma has 10 gaps and people were crossing all 10 gaps, it’s much more difficult for us to deal with than if Yuma has one or two gaps and the majority of traffic is crossing through those gaps.” As for the contention that Arizona is messing with Biden’s border wall, the announcement from the Department of Homeland Security of impending action on such construction came down in December 2021, a year earlier, with no intervening activity.

The letter summed up Arizona’s situation:

Arizona’s border barrier was always intended to be a temporary solution until the federal government erects a permanent solution. In fact … construction has ceased. Arizona agencies and contractors stand ready to assist in the removal of the barriers, but the federal government owes it to Arizonans and all Americans to release a timeline on when construction will begin and details about how it will secure the border while construction is underway.

Yes, the shipping-container wall was always a temporary solution. You might even call it a publicity-seeking effort. In the Yuma sector, the barrier has a utilitarian purpose, but the area the containers are blocking in Cochise County is not heavily trafficked by border crossers, or by anyone else. It, and the buses and flights to the East Coast commissioned by Abbott and DeSantis, could be characterized as a publicity stunt. But something that has publicized this crisis is better than nothing that publicizes it, which, if you remove Fox News from the picture, is where we’re at now.

Ducey, Abbott, and DeSantis are reacting to a border crisis that has grown immeasurably graver over the past two years. The border saw 2.4 million encounters in the 2022 fiscal year, up from 1.7 million last year. Since October, there have been 500,000 such encounters. As for “gotaways,” in 2022 there were over 600,000 that were known, up from 390,000 in 2021. Migrant deaths have also risen, from 557 in 2021 to over 800 this past year.

If that is not a crisis, the word “crisis” has no meaning. But it is a crisis only when viewed from the right. The Left dismisses it as right-wing hyperbole, a Fox News story, worthy of attention only among fevered conspiracy theorists. It constitutes exaggerated and unsubstantiated claims useful for fundraising purposes but not worthy of extended, or even cursory, mainstream press coverage.

To the Left, the border situation is the successful implementation of a purposeful policy of no activity. It’s what they want — open borders.

There’s no other way to look at it. Biden on day one ended the building of President Donald Trump’s wall, in a splashy ceremony, metaphorically throwing open the southern border. He has, since taking office, attempted to eliminate deterrents and lessen restrictions to mass immigration. He terminated agreements with Northern Triangle countries — Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador — to handle asylum requests before migrants got to our border with Mexico. He pulled Border Patrol personnel off drug-interdiction duty and transferred them to processing jobs — of illegals and asylum seekers. He’s cut way back on deporting illegals currently in the country and has been continually attempting to neuter the two programs that have effectively cinched the flow of illegals from the south — “Remain in Mexico” and Title 42 — all done with no plausible replacements. Only the courts have kept these measures in place.

Now that we are within days of Title 42’s end date, the lifting of which is forecasted to triple the daily border encounters, some liberal politicians feel enough political heat to acknowledge the crisis. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pilgrimage to Mexicali to moan for a day about Title 42’s expiration is also a publicity stunt, and the statements of Arizona’s two senators, Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, about the effect removing the Trump-era policy will have on the border surge come conveniently late in the game and seem also primarily for political consumption.

But if they get the attention of the administration and result in a tightening at the southern border, I guess we can be thankful for small favors.

READ MORE from Tom Raabe:

A Tale of Two Crises: The Gas Pump and the Border

Biden’s Border Cover-Up Becomes Border Standoff

 

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