Biden’s Border Cover-Up Becomes Border Standoff - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Biden’s Border Cover-Up Becomes Border Standoff
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responds to Peter Doocy’s question about the southern border, Aug. 29, 2022 (Forbes Breaking News/YouTube)

The cover-up of the southern border crisis took an interesting turn last week. That’s the crisis in which 2 million illegal aliens have come across the border in the last fiscal year and about 5 million since President Joe Biden assumed office; the crisis that allows between 1,000 and 2,000 “got-aways” into the United States every day, unapprehended, to filter out into the country wherever they will.

Witness last week’s exchange between Fox News’ Peter Doocy and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. Doocy asked why tennis star Novak Djokovic is not allowed in the country to play in the U.S. Open because he’s not vaccinated for COVID but thousands every day walk across the southern border in an unvaccinated state.

Jean-Pierre said the analogy was false; those were “two different things.”

Doocy pressed: “But so how is it two different things? Somebody unvaccinated comes over on a plane. You say that’s not OK. Somebody walks into Texas or Arizona unvaccinated; they’re allowed to stay? Why?”

Jean-Pierre returned: “But that’s not how it works.”

“That’s what’s happening,” Doocy said. “I know that’s not what you guys want to happen. But that is what is happening.”

“But that’s not … it’s not like somebody walks over and …”

“That’s exactly what’s happening,” Doocy repeated. “Thousands of people are walking in [in] a day. Some of them turn themselves over, some of them are caught — tens of thousands a week are not. That is what is happening.”

Either the press secretary needs a refresher course at the Joe Biden Institute of Creative Prevarication, or the White House’s cable package does not include Fox News, which showcases columns of illegals traversing the border every day.

Corroborated Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the Border Patrol’s union, “We’re talking about thousands of people that are swimming and walking into our country every single day.”

Jean-Pierre, however, deferred to canned defenses of Biden policy — they’ve installed new border technology, bolstered efforts to curb human trafficking, increased funding to the Department of Homeland Security, and installed more immigration judges, among other efforts — before pivoting to the administration’s go-to bogeyman: former President Donald Trump. The border crisis is a Trumpian creation, she claimed. “By contrast, core to the prior administration, immigration strategy was to build a wall and they couldn’t even accomplish that in the four years … which is also a policy that just does not work,” she said. “It is not that simple. It’s not just that people are walking across the border. We have a plan in place…. We are fixing a broken system that was actually left by the last administration.”

Biden himself doesn’t seem to care a whit — he’s never been to the border.

It’s back to Trump. To recap the record: Trump, although stymied at nearly every turn, by friend and foe alike, aggressively pursued the wall, building or replacing 452 miles of fencing on the border. He took great pains to curtail illegal immigration, employing two programs: “Remain in Mexico,” wherein most asylum seekers were required to stay in Mexico while their cases were adjudicated, and Title 42, which allowed the administration to quickly turn back illegals on the grounds of public health, specifically COVID fear.

By trumpeting the wall constantly — whether extolling “a beautiful, big, and gorgeous wall,” to employ Trump-speak, or simply talking about his plans — and championing migrant-discouraging programs, the president deterred thousands, possibly millions, of illegals from even attempting the harrowing trip up through Mexico. Words backed up by action reaped rewards.

Trump numbers reflect the effectiveness of his strategy. Apart from a surge midway in 2019 — the high point, 144,116 apprehensions in May — the monthly apprehension figures were kept around or below 50,000 throughout Trump’s presidency, with a low point of about 17,000 in April 2020. In contrast, in all but a few months of the Biden presidency, apprehensions were about 150,000 per month. Now, we’re over 200,000 a month.

Biden went out of his way to kill any momentum built up under Trump and to metaphorically throw open the southern border. In a splashy ceremony, on Day One he ended the wall — no more construction — and tried to halt deportation for 100 days. The response was immediate. By March 2021 — a month and change after his inauguration — more than 172,000 had been apprehended at the border, 71 percent more than in February.

In the time since taking office, Biden has been trying to lessen restrictions. 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. (Back in May 2022, weeks before Biden’s attempted lifting of Title 42, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that without that legislation, the apprehensions could rise to 18,000 a day. The actual number for May was about 7,400 a day.) Biden terminated agreements with Northern Triangle countries — Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador — to handle asylum requests. He pulled Border Patrol personnel off drug-interdiction duty and transferred them to processing jobs — of illegals and asylum seekers. He publishes big initiatives without the needed groundwork that send the message to illegals that, if they can get into the country, they can stay.

“Thousands” have been deported. Write Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent Thursday in the Washington Post, “The borders are anything but open; the Biden administration is pursuing, arresting, and deporting people seeking to come to the United States by the thousands.” “Thousands” seems less impressive when knowing that this fiscal year — there’s a month to go before it ends — has seen 2.1 million “encounters” at the border. One stretch of border, the Del Rio sector, is set to exceed 400,000 detainees by the end of September — 10 times more than in 2020. (READ MORE: Broken Border, Dysfunctional Government)

Biden himself doesn’t seem to care a whit — he’s never been to the border — and his deputized border czar, Vice President Kamala Harris, has spent only a few days in Latin America since attaining office and, on the border, but one, in El Paso, 800 miles from the “action.”

For months the administration resisted even calling it a “crisis” — it was a “situation,” or a “challenge,” even a “hemispheric challenge” — and when Biden, early on, slipped up and did call it a “crisis,” his people were quick with a “clarification”: He was talking about Central America, not the Mexican border. For a while the emphasis was on families and kids — couldn’t turn them away — until the columns shown on TV comprised almost exclusively young adult males. Much was made of illegals seeking political asylum, until it became apparent that a majority were simply seeking economic betterment from conditions in the home country.

All manners of reasons are trotted out for the crisis. COVID, of course — a safe fallback still, and possibly forever — has driven them out of their home countries. Plus, depending on the season, the surge is “seasonal” — it’s cyclical, happens every year. The U.S. labor shortage, coupled with a sluggish Mexican economy, offers a tantalizing reason to migrate. The new surge from countries other than Mexico complicates border enforcement, making it more difficult to deport these migrants and slowing things down.

New air service between Cuba and Nicaragua is one reason for an influx of Cubans. Rising repression in President Daniel Ortega’s regime in Nicaragua accounts for Nicaraguans making it to the border. Shrinking job opportunities in Costa Rica — a heretofore attractive landing spot — deter migrants from that Central American country.

It is glaringly obvious that the reason for the southern border crisis is the Biden administration’s open invitation — by its words and lack of action, both during Biden’s presidential campaign and since — to migrants to come on in.

Last week they tried to tell us that what we see daily on the tube is not really happening. But who are you going to believe? Karine Jean-Pierre or your lying eyes?

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