Who’s Afraid of the Southwest Border? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Who’s Afraid of the Southwest Border?
Joe Biden discusses "our situation on the southwest border" Jan. 5 (Yahoo Finance/YouTube)

The one thing we know about President Joe Biden’s border policy is that migrants don’t fear it. Those who get caught often cross the border with Mexico illegally again — and get caught again.

As for Biden, he has avoided the border during his first two years in office. That’s about to end. The president told reporters Wednesday he intends to visit the southwest border as he participates in the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico City on Jan. 9 through 10. Details to come.

According to the Real Clear Politics average of polls, Biden finished 2022 with a modest 36.8 percent of voter approval for his immigration policies, and 58.4 percent disapproving.

The fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 saw a record 2.76 million undocumented immigrant encounters at the border with Mexico.

Many appear to be frequent travelers.

According to statistics compiled by the nonpartisan Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (or TRAC), nearly 60 percent of Border Patrol arrests involve repeat offenders — a quarter of arrests are for migrants with three or more prior offenses. One migrant has been arrested for unlawful entry 81 times.

Clearly a fear of law enforcement is not deterring repeat offenders.

It will be interesting to watch how the president navigates questions about the porous border when he visits the scene.

The standard rhetoric from the White House has featured talking points like this one: “To truly fix our broken immigration system, we need Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform measures like the ones President Biden proposed on his first day in office.”

What does that even mean?

As Mark Krikorian, executive director of the pro-enforcement Center for Immigration Studies, observed, immigration foes toss out terms like “comprehensive immigration reform” — which has all the usefulness of other stock phrases like “root causes of crime.”

It’s a stall. The lack of specificity tells you everything you need to know.

In March 2020, then President Donald Trump invoked Title 42, a public health measure, to turn back illegal migrants at the border in order to prevent the spread of COVID.

Of course, Biden said he opposed the Trump policy and moved to terminate it. But then in later December, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Title 42 could remain operational pending arguments next month from 19 states that support the policy.

The next time you hear Biden complain about the conservative Supreme Court, remember that small mercy.

Debra J. Saunders is a fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership. Contact her at dsaunders@discovery.org.


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