Politics Team Biden offers alternative reality on border crisis with no plan to fix it
Biden promised a 'fair and humane' immigration overhaul. What he inherited is a mess.
“It’s one thing to make promises. It’s another thing to execute on those promises.”Ask a Republican, and most will insist Biden is doing it all wrong: Dismantling Trump’s legacy is too radical. The president needs to keep the borders closed. A migrant crisis is brewing — or already here.
Crisis at the border? What crisis?
That's the communications strategy of the Biden administration in somehow denying the existence an out-of-control surge. Even President Biden's Homeland Security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, engaged in swampy double-speak when taking questions from reporters last week.
"The men and women of the Department of Homeland Security are working around the clock seven days a week to ensure that we do not have a crisis at the border - that we manage the challenge, as acute as the challenge is," Mayorkas said on Mar. 1.
Fact Check: Are COVID-Positive Migrants Allowed to Cross Southern Border Into U.S.?
As President Biden rolls back Trump-era immigration policies, some fear that a surge of migrants at the southern border will spread coronavirus across the country.In a press conference Monday, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said that there was no crisis at the border.
It's a challenge, you see. Not a crisis. Which totally explains why the administration was forced to open the very migrant facilities that candidate"horrifying scenes at the border of kids being kept in cages" and candidate Kamala Harris described as that constituted "a human rights abuse being committed by the United States government."
But don't worry, because White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki recently explained that the same migrant facilities that housed "babies in cages" are no longer that under the current administration.
When challenged about the double standard by Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy on February 24, Psaki bizarrely said, "I'm sure you're not suggesting that we have children right next to each other in ways that are not COVID safe. Are you?"
Border crisis creates new risks for Biden
President Biden is facing a growing dilemma at the southern border that shows few signs of abating: the number of unaccompanied minors crossing into the United States steadily increasing in recent weeks.Thousands of migrants have crossed the border in Biden's first six weeks in office, many of them unaccompanied minors. The influx has tested the administration's resources and ability to quickly implement its own strategy as Republicans sound alarms over what they have deemed a crisis of Biden's making. The Biden administration is rapidly adapting its approach to meet the need for space and staffing in a reflection of the seriousness of the situation.
"This is not kids being kept in cages," she later insisted while adding that the re-opening was only temporary. "This is a facility that was opened that's going to follow the same standards as other HHS facilities. It is not a replication. Certainly not."
Except it is. Literally.
As for keeping the facilities COVID-19 safe, Axios recently reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "is allowing shelters handling child migrants to expand to 100 percent capacity, abandoning a requirement to stay near 50% as a COVID precaution."
Whoops. Can someone circle back to Psaki on this?
SCOOP: The CDC is allowing shelters handling child migrants to expand to 100% capacity, abandoning a requirement to stay near 50% as a COVID precaution.- Axios (@axios)
In a related story,at the border town of Brownsville. The 108 positives represent 6.3 percent of the number of total migrants who have been rapid-tested.
U.S.-Mexico Border Trouble Gives Republicans Foothold After Democratic Stimulus Win
More than 3,000 unaccompanied migrant children were in Customs and Border Protection custody as of Monday.A record 7,000 unaccompanied migrant children were transferred to U.S. refugee agency shelters in February while there were more than 3,200 unaccompanied minors in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody on Monday, according to CNN. These numbers have placed strain on border facilities.
All were released with only an advisory to quarantine. That's nice.
"Our country is currently unprepared to handle a surge in migrants in the middle of the pandemic," Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said in a statement on Mar. 4. "Migrants are illegally crossing, potentially exposing border communities to the coronavirus and putting us at risk."
Biden recentlyfor exhibiting Neanderthal thinking for lifting a state mask mandate. Okay, so how exactly would he describe himself for creating super-spreader events in releasing thousands of migrants into the general population, with some literally carrying the highly contagious and potentially deadly COVID-19 that has already killed nearly 530,000 people in America?
Overall, about 80,000 people tried to illegally cross the U.S. border in January 2021, compared to January 2020. Also in a related story, when 68,000 people were brought into U.S. custody in 2014, then-President Obama"an actual humanitarian crisis."
But this is 2021, so instead of calling what's happening a crisis or humanitarian crisis, President Biden himself says there is no crisis at the border, while his DHS chief calls it "a challenge."
What the immigration 'crisis' debate is missing
All of the attention in Washington on President Joe Biden's first 51 days has been on his Covid-19 stimulus bill, which he signed into law on Thursday. © Alex Edelman/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: A U.S. Customs and Border Protection patch on the uniform of Rodolfo Karisch, Rio Grande Valley sector chief patrol agent for the U.S. Border Patrol, as he testifies during a U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on migration on the Southern U.S Border on April 9, 2019 in Washington, DC.
In a brief passing exchange with the media, Joe Biden is asked if there's a border crisis: "No, we'll be able to handle it."- TV News HQ (@TVNewsHQ)
According to border officials,at the U.S.-Mexico border minus a parent or even a guardian this year. Officials also say the number of minors arriving per day is quadruple the number from October.
So, what's the Biden administration's official plea to help slow down this crisis-that-isn't-a-crisis?
"We are not saying, 'Don't come,'". "We are saying, 'Don't come now.'"
Strong words. That should do the trick.
Add it all up, and this is a train wreck for the Biden administration.
Democrats led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) hate that kids are back in cages.
Republicans have a huge issue to run on in 2022, when only five seats are needed for the GOP to essentially retire Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as House speaker.
With the warm weather months coming and such weak sauce from the Biden administration on messaging, expect the surge to skyrocket.
It's a mess with no easy fix, particularly with a president and administration that turns to an alternative reality to deny its existence.
Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist for The Hill.
Southern border crisis might sink Biden immigration plan .
The uncontrolled surge of migrants at the southern border is being used as a major talking point against President Biden’s preferred immigration legislation and his approach to the issue generally. © Provided by Washington Examiner The Republican National Committee has characterized Biden’s policy as “open borders and closed schools,” hitting the administration on immigration and COVID-19 simultaneously. “Joe Biden’s policies are creating a crisis at the border,” said RNC rapid response director Tommy Pigott in a statement.