Millions of migrants have flooded border states over the past 18 months, straining local services and law enforcement like never before, but when a relative handful arrive in Washington, DC and New York City, progressive mayors cry foul and demand help from the federal government. Apparently, they believe someone else should pay the cost of their own policy positions.
Over the past decade, progressives have consistently advocated for lax border policies, if not entirely open borders while simultaneously raging against any attempt at security or enforcement of our laws. Variously, we were told that a border wall would be useless, a complete waste of money. Policies that keep migrants in Mexico while awaiting their refugee claim were cruel and inhuman. Raids conducted by border agents within the United States to remove criminal illegal aliens were equally terrible atrocities. Expulsion at the border wasn’t acceptable either: Any migrants encountered should be allowed to remain in the country until their court date, even if only a small percentage actually show up in court. As then-candidate Joe Biden put it on his campaign website, “Trump has waged an unrelenting assault on our values and our history as a nation of immigrants.” The outrage against any proactive border policy that kept illegal immigrants out of the country was accompanied by a desire to extend services to those within the country. During the 2019 Democrat Presidential Primary, all 10 candidates expressed their support for taxpayer funded healthcare for those here illegally. The Associated Press described the unanimous show of hands as “Democratic presidential candidates moved the idea of full health insurance for people who are not legally in the United States into the political mainstream.” The ultimate winner of the contest and soon to be the winner of the Presidency, Joe Biden, repeatedly insisted migrants would be welcome under his administration, saying “I would, in fact, make sure that there is, we immediate surge to the border, all those people seeking asylum they deserve to be heard, that’s who we are, we are nation that says if you want to flee and you are fleeing oppression you should come.” The message was clear: The door to the United States and ultimately citizenship would be more open than ever before with Democrats in charge.
President Biden moved quickly to make good on these promises, signing a series of Executive Orders rescinding President Trump’s policies and quickly causing a massive wave of illegal immigration on the southern border. Millions upon millions of people have entered the country over the last 18 months, producing record numbers almost every single month. Since October of last year, there have been 1,746,119 encounters at the border. This astronomical number already eclipses the 2021 fiscal year total of 1,734,686 with a full four months left to go. If last year was any indication, we can easily expect to top 2.5 million border encounters for the first time ever. The Biden Administration has at times pretended they were focused on stemming this tide. Vice President Kamala Harris claimed the border is not open, telling migrants “Do not come.” She was also appointed as something of a border czar with the goal of solving the “root causes” of migration, whatever those may be. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has also claimed that the border is secure. He made this ludicrous declaration again last week, saying “Look, the border is secure. We are working to make the border more secure. That has been a historic challenge.” They say this while simultaneously fighting in court to rescind the last remaining Trump policy stemming the tide, Title 42. This provision allows the expulsion of migrants at the border for public health reasons as a result of the pandemic. The plan was to return to the pre-pandemic status this May, until it was blocked by the courts. Few doubt removing Title 42 would increase the numbers even further. As a Trump Administration official, Tom Homan put it, “The only thing saving the Biden Administration from an out-of-control border like you’ve never seen before is Title 42. They’re going to get flooded and can’t contain it. If they can’t handle what they got, how in the hell are they going to handle thousands of single adults coming across every day?”
The policies favoring more open borders have been accompanied by incidents where the administration reflexively attacked Border Agents without any knowledge of the facts. Most infamously, President Biden himself along with Vice President Harris condemned agents ridiculously accused of whipping Haitian migrants, complete with the accusation that the scene was reminiscent of slavery. “Of course I take responsibility,” the President said. “I’m president, but it was horrible what you saw.” “To see people treated like they did, horses barely running over, people being strapped — it’s outrageous,” he continued. “I promise you, those people will pay. There will be an investigation underway now and there will be consequences. There will be consequences,” adding that it was “an embarrassment, but beyond an embarrassment, it’s dangerous.” Vice President Harris claimed, “I’ve been very clear about the images that you and I both saw of those law enforcement officials on horses — I was outraged by it, it was horrible, and deeply troubling.” She continued, “There’s been now an investigation that is being conducted, which I fully support, and there needs to be consequence and accountability.” She added the requisite allusion to slavery, saying it “evoked images of some of the worst moments of our history where that kind of behavior has been used against the indigenous people of our country, has been used against African Americans during times of slavery.” The accusations were of course completely and totally false. Border Agents are not armed with whips and the Inspector General determined no laws were violated, but that didn’t stop a months-long investigation that somehow determined that there were “failures at multiple levels.” “It’s clear from the investigation that decisions made by some of the agency’s leadership, and the lack of appropriate policies and training, all contributed to the incident,” Customs Commissioner Chris Magnus said at a press conference announcing the outcome of the investigation and the release of a 511 page report. “But there is no justification for the actions of some of our personnel, including unprofessional and deeply offensive conduct.” Think about that: Nine months of investigation into an incident that harmed no one, was taken wildly out of context with no evidence whatsoever, complete with creation and issuance of 511 pages of nonsense. What do you think that signals to Border Agents looking to aggressively pursue illegal border crossers?
Texas, the state which shares the largest stretch of border with Mexico, has been on the receiving end of most of this surge, with millions of migrants flooding over the Rio Grande. The Governor, Republican Greg Abbott, decided recently that he’s had enough, and began bussing migrants to destinations outside his state in April. “As the federal government continues to turn a blind eye to the border crisis, the State of Texas will remain steadfast in our efforts to fill in the gaps and keep Texans safe,” he explained. “By busing migrants to Washington, D.C., the Biden Administration will be able to more immediately meet the needs of the people they are allowing to cross our border. Texas should not have to bear the burden of the Biden Administration’s failure to secure our border.” This, of course, was something of a political stunt in an election year. The governor was undoubtedly aware that he could not secure or fund enough buses to remove all of the migrants from his state. So far, some 1,700 migrants have been sent to Washington, DC, a small drop in a big bucket to paraphrase the old adage. The real goal was to call attention to the issue and generate headlines, which the plan certainly did, even if the media pretended to be too obtuse to understand it. Hence, we were treated to nonsensical claims the scheme backfired because migrants loved it, as if Governor Abbot secretly desired to ship them to World War II style internment camps. Others, like The Washington Post insisted his goal was “to humiliate Texas migrants.”
All missed the point entirely, as irony is not a strong suit for the media these days. This became clear once the buses started arriving in DC and the progressive mayor, Muriel Bowser, immediately demanded it stop, suggesting that illegal immigrants were good for Texas, but not the nation’s capital. Recently, she lamented that migrants are being “tricked” into coming to her city. “Well, this is a very significant issue,” Mayor Bowser told Face the Nation. “We have for sure called on the federal government to work across state lines to prevent people from really being tricked into getting on buses.” She added, “I fear that they’re being tricked into nationwide bus trips when their final destinations are places all over the United States of America.” On a side note, am I the only one who finds it unclear how illegal immigrants are bound for destinations across the country when they are not supposed to be here in the first place? Whatever the case, Mayor Bowser insists that is true of her city, saying they are “largely asylum seekers who are going to final destinations that are not Washington D.C.” In other words, they are not supposed to be there and she fears the influx of less than 2,000 people is overwhelming homeless shelters. She also believes the federal government should come in and help pay any associated costs, “Local taxpayers are not picking up the tab. They should not pick up the tab. We really need a coordinated federal response. We know that it’s done for refugees who come to the states from all points of the world and the same has to be done in the situation,” she said.
Mayor Bowser is not the only local progressive official concerned. Her counterpart in New York City, Eric Adams, expressed similar sentiments, saying these migrants were placing a “real burden” on the city. He too called on the federal government to help, asking for President Biden to send “additional federal resources immediately.” “If we do not get these urgently needed resources, we may struggle to provide the proper level of support our clients deserve, while also facing challenges as we serve both a rapidly growing shelter population and new clients who are seeking asylum,” he said in a prepared statement. The New York Post verified the arrival of these migrants by speaking with shelters in New York such as Bellevue where approximately 200 migrants have taken refuge. “The shelter was offering them s–t like hygiene products,” a man said. “They’ve been coming through like crazy. At lunchtime, some would pull up. At dinner time, you see six or seven come in together. A bus takes them back and forth to somewhere else.” Another resident added, “They come every day since I’ve been here. I said, ‘Where you coming from, amigo?’ They say Venezuela.” “They really don’t speak English that much.” Of course, some are concerned that we should be taking care of our own first. “If we can’t take care of the homeless here, how can we take immigrants?” Jeffrey Harris, who has been sharing a room with migrants said, “They get all the resources in the world, but the ones who are here and homeless seem like they are forgotten about.”
Ultimately it’s easy to sympathize with the homeless in these cities, but impossible to extend the same empathy to the leadership. These are the very same people advocating for lax border policies and the associated sanctuary cities with massive benefits for illegal immigrants, but when a relative handful show up in their town they cry foul, demanding help from the federal government. What do they think the situation looks like in Texas, Arizona, or California where there are hundreds of times more migrants present, and thousands arriving every day? Some have described this as the NIMBY, Not in my Backyard, phenomenon, but it’s far worse than that. Mayors Adams and Bowser were perfectly fine with unchecked illegal immigration wreaking absolute havoc on the lives of Texans. They had no problem with Texas homeless shelters being flooded or overrun. They cared nothing for the residents. They expressed no desire for the federal government to provide additional resources, but 200 migrants in Bellevue is treated as a catastrophe. Rarely do we see such a crystal clear illustration of how progressives do not believe they should be subject to their own policies, however extreme or radical. Illegal immigration is for somewhere else, some city outside theirs, the bill paid for by a third party while some other citizens have to suffer. All they have to do is strut and preen about their moral superiority, but once it directly affects them, all bets are off. This is the same impulse driving the defund the police mantra while some of the strongest advocates are protected by armed guards, or demand the police do more over the slightest disturbance. It’s the same phenomenon pushing electric cars people can’t afford while the power company is telling you to decrease your electricity bill in any event. No matter what the topic, the cost of the policy is born by someone else. You pay. They preen.