Politics Kinder and gentler: Republicans soften tone on migrant crisis

14:50  02 april  2021
14:50  02 april  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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As President Joe Biden faces growing criticism over what could be the biggest migrant surge at the southwest border in two decades, Republicans are trying to channel former President Donald Trump’s stout defense of immigration control without repeating what many voters saw as a too-harsh tone on the issue.

  Kinder and gentler: Republicans soften tone on migrant crisis © Provided by Washington Examiner

Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, called the conditions faced by migrant children intercepted at the border “tragic” and “horrific” after touring one of the facilities at which they are being housed. "In one enormous room, there are 2,200 cots. Each set out about 6 feet apart from one another. So, by any measure, conditions are better here than they are down at the border," Cruz said after visiting a Dallas convention center where unaccompanied minors are currently staying.

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  Pressure Builds for Joe Biden to Visit Border as Crisis Worsens The president is facing growing backlash as the number of migrants attempting to reach the border has already hit a 20-year high, while the amount of unaccompanied children crossing over increased by 63 percent in February. Leaked photos and reports have shown that facilities at the border are overcrowded.Republican lawmakers have blamed the surge on Biden's immigration plan, which largely reversed the hardline policies of former President Donald Trump.Officials have accused the Democratic president of undervaluing the gravity of the "crisis," and criticized him for not visiting the area.

“This is a tragic set of circumstances,” John Cornyn, Texas’s other Republican senator and a member of the GOP leadership team, said after a trip to a similar facility in Houston. Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican and Trump-style populist, described the situation as a “severe humanitarian disaster.” Forty House Republicans, led by Georgia Rep. Buddy Carter, protested in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, “The New York Times recently reported on the dire state of children in the CBP facilities, noting that they are being forced to sleep on gym mats in overcrowded facilities and go for days without showering.”


With few exceptions, Republicans haven’t softened their position on the border. They mostly blame Biden for attracting this migrant surge by signaling to the world that it would be easier to enter and remain in the United States once he took office. “Biden’s open borders agenda created this crisis in the first place, and now Biden is doubling down on the same destructive policies,” said a statement from the Republican National Committee on Thursday. “We know what these policies will lead to – a further surge, a worsening crisis, and a continuing boom time for smugglers, gangs and traffickers – and Biden is to blame.”

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  Video Shows Migrants Thanking Joe Biden for Support Before Apprehension at Border Migrant groups such as this one "want" to be apprehended by border agents because it will give them a chance to make their case to stay in the U.S. The migrants' support in the video shows how Biden taking office has painted a picture of improved chances to be accepted in the U.S., but the reality for migrants is far from their expectations. Migrants have surged to the U.S.-Mexico border since Biden promised a top-to-bottom revamp of the immigration system.

“President Biden’s reversal of President Trump’s immigration policies has caused a surge of illegal migrants at our southern border who are seeking better jobs — not fleeing from harm,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, in a statement. “My bill would require migrants seeking asylum to apply for protection before making the dangerous trek to our southern border. President Biden must change course and secure our borders now.”

Even as Biden said in his first press conference, called weeks after 100,000 people attempted to enter the country in a single month, that now wasn’t the time to come, he suggested unaccompanied minors were unlikely to be sent away. Twice as many children are now in Border Patrol custody as during the biggest migrant surges under Trump in 2019, and the figure also exceeds the numbers during the earlier “kids in cages” controversy.

Yet, most Republicans would like to be perceived differently than during either of those Trump-era incidents, especially the outcry triggered by the former president’s “zero-tolerance” policy that accelerated family separations in the summer of 2018. They are doing more to emphasize the risk to the young migrants themselves, including exposure to drug cartels, human traffickers, and the coronavirus, as well as the danger to their constituents from unchecked illegal immigration.

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“We’re doing a much better job talking about this than in the past,” a Republican strategist in Texas said. “Hopefully, it stays that way.”

It’s a fine line Trump himself showed Republicans they should walk. While he was widely criticized both for his substantive immigration position and also the way he talked about immigrants themselves, he won the biggest share of the Hispanic vote of any GOP nominee since President George W. Bush in 2004 — without aping Bush’s support for legalizing most illegal immigrants already in the country.

Election postmortems conducted by operatives of both parties concluded that ultimately Democratic support for "defunding" the police and socialism, even if not overtly shared by the top of the ticket, proved more alienating to a subset of more conservative-leaning Hispanic voters than Trump’s handling of immigration or talk of “rapists” from Mexico and “s--thole countries.”

What Republicans are attempting to do now on immigration post-Trump is not dissimilar to what Bush's father tried on other issues after succeeding Ronald Reagan: trying to retain the conservative core with a gentler touch.

Video shows smugglers dropping 2 children from 14-foot border fence into US

  Video shows smugglers dropping 2 children from 14-foot border fence into US Smugglers were caught on camera dropping two young children from the top of a 14-foot-high border fence separating the United States and Mexico, authorities said. Your browser does not support this video The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released video of two people bringing the children to the border barrier on the Mexico side on Tuesday night. One person is seen scaling the fence and dropping the children onto the U.S. side. After both children land on the ground, the person atop the fence climbs back down to the Mexico side before two people are seen running away. © U.S.

Kevin Roberts, executive director of the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, has argued his state should be allowed to use funds from the Biden-signed stimulus legislation to fund additional border wall construction. “It is an understatement to say that the situation at the border is a crisis,” he said. But Roberts also decried the conditions facing detained migrant children, adding he was “genuinely terrified and very sad for them.”

Republican voters are growing increasingly disturbed by what it is happening at the border. A March Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 22% of them believed immigration was the country’s biggest problem, up from 7% in February. An earlier survey by the same organization found that 77% of Republicans wanted more fencing along the southern border, up 6 points from 2015, and 56% oppose illegal immigrants being granted a pathway to citizenship, as Biden has proposed, up 18 points since 2018.

Roberts said polling commissioned by his organization in Texas found a similar trend. “Among Republicans and independents, the border crisis has moved” immigration from “being ninth or tenth most important to No. 1” since the end of 2020. Business-style Republicans who were not concerned about policy changes at the border are now “apoplectic,” he added.

Veronica Escobar Says Conditions In Migrant Shelters Unacceptable, But 'Not As Bad' As 2019

  Veronica Escobar Says Conditions In Migrant Shelters Unacceptable, But 'Not As Bad' As 2019 Democratic Texas congresswoman said the Biden administration is doing a better job at taking care of asylum-seekers than previous administrations. © DARIO LOPEZ-MILLS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images A Texas congresswoman said conditions for migrants are "not as bad" as they were in 2019. Young unaccompanied migrants, ages 3-9 watch TV inside a playpen at the Donna Department of Homeland Security holding facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley in Donna, Texas, March 30, 2021.


Some of Biden’s lowest approval ratings are on immigration. An NPR/Marist poll found that only one-third of respondents agreed with his handling of the issue compared to 53% who disapprove. Just 27% of independents and 5% of Republicans approve. The Associated Press/NORC found 55% disapprove of Biden on border security and 56% on immigration.

An ABC News/Ipsos poll found that 57% disapprove of how Biden has dealt with immigration while 54% believe what is happening at the border is a crisis — a word the White House has steadfastly refused to use. “I'm not trying to be cute here, but I think the fact of the matter is: We have to do what we do regardless of what anybody calls the situation,” Roberta Jacobson, Biden’s point person for the southern border, told reporters last month.

Tags: News, White House, Campaigns, 2022 Elections, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, US Senator Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, Josh Hawley, Republican Party, Immigration, Border Security

Original Author: W. James Antle III

Original Location: Kinder and gentler: Republicans soften tone on migrant crisis

US to keep migrant families in hotels as amid rush for space .
Migrant families will be held at hotels in the Phoenix area in response to a growing number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, authorities said Friday, another step in the Biden administration's rush to set up temporary space for them. U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema was told that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will occupy “several hotels along the southwest border, including in Chandler and Phoenix,” her office said in a statement. Chandler is a Phoenix suburb that's more than 150 miles (241 kilometers) north of the border.

usr: 2
This is interesting!