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Border fiasco could hurt Demos at mid-terms

  • Saturday, August 28, 2021 1:30am
  • Opinion

In 2019, former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said that the first thing he did when he arrived at his office was to check the previous day’s border apprehension totals. Under 1,000 was, Johnson said, “a relatively good day,” and over 1,000 was “a relatively bad number” because that “overwhelms the system.”

Imagine then how Johnson, a vital cog in President Obama’s easy-on-illegal-immigration administration, would evaluate the current border disaster, precipitated by President Biden’s refusal to enforce immigration law.

In July, Border Patrol detained 210,000 illegal immigrants, 6,700 people every day. Broken down another way, the 210,000 represents 80,000 families, people in family units, and 20,000 unaccompanied minors, all record totals, but exclusive of the 37,000 that eluded capture.

Agents fear that, if anything, the totals are underrepresented because the incoming migrant flood is so great, they can’t account for all of them. In early July, for example, a group of 500 Haitians simultaneously swarmed the border. Instead of performing their professional duties, agents have been diverted to childcare tasks.

As terrible as the official numbers are, Andrew Arthur, a former House Judiciary counsel, retired immigration judge and a Center for Immigration Studies Law and Policy Senior Fellow, calculates that the true number far exceeds the reported total. Arthur estimates that the actual year-to-date crossings total is 1.6 million, about equivalent to Philadelphia’s population.

After seven months in the White House, and despite horrible immigration polling, an issue that cost the Democrats the 2016 presidential election, the Biden administration just doesn’t care about voters’ opinions or how sustained open borders will alter sovereign nation America.

Like it or not, open borders are here to stay for the simplest reason. No one in the Biden administration, least of all the president and his Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, wants immigration laws enforced.

The law is crystal clear on borders: immigrants who do not have a legal right to be present in the U.S. “shall be detained pending a final determination of credible fear of persecution and, if found not to have such a fear, until removed.”

That is, as former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Andrew McCarthy wrote, “even those who credibly claim to fear persecution if returned from whence they came — the infinitesimally small percentage of legitimate refugees among the hordes now seeking entry — are supposed to be held in custody until that claim is fully adjudicated.”

Analysts claim that today’s immigrants represent tomorrow’s Democrat voters, an assumption that may be overly optimistic. Statistics show that, because Democrats have failed their traditional minority coalition, they’re trending conservative.

Biden and the woke, progressive Congress offer nothing to those minorities to generate enthusiasm. Open borders directly harm blacks, Hispanics and other minorities — more job competition, overcrowded schools and more expensive housing are a few among the many challenges that importing millions of poor people represent to America’s struggling classes.

If anyone in the Biden administration were asked directly what tangible benefits open border provide to the average blue-collar American, he couldn’t provide an intelligent answer.

The New York Times recognizes the risks ahead for Democrats. An op-ed headline read, “Democrats Are Anxious about 2022 — and 2024,” and explained Hispanic and black voters’ defection from the party.

A Democratic pollster speculated that the reason for the shift in minority voting patterns is “because Democrats don’t keep their word,” a reference to the party promising that better things are around the corner, but never delivering. Although the pollster didn’t admit the obvious, illegal immigrants are prioritized over citizen minorities.

President Trump’s strong 2020 showing in Southwest border communities should set off alarm bells for Democrats. Zapata County is 93% Hispanic and hasn’t voted Republican in a presidential race since it went for Warren G. Harding a century ago. In 2020, however, Trump won the county and performed strongly throughout the traditionally Democratic Rio Grande Valley.

Biden’s border fiasco is a strategic mistake that will damage Democrats in the 2022 mid-terms and beyond.

Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at jguzzardi@pfirdc.org.

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