HOLY CRAP! That notorious right-wing rag, the New York Times, has taken the official editorial position that there is, in fact, a crisis at our southern border. The article still argues against a border barrier and takes some cheap shots at President Trump but the underlying message is still yes, we need to do something. Excerpt:
President Trump is right: There is a crisis at the southern border. Just not the one he rants about…But as record numbers of Central American families flee violence and poverty in their homelands, they are overwhelming United States border systems, fueling a humanitarian crisis of overcrowding, disease and chaos. The Border Patrol is now averaging 1,200 daily arrests, with many migrants arriving exhausted and sick…On Wednesday, the White House sent Congress a request for $4.5 billion in emergency funding to help manage the surge. In a letter to lawmakers, the acting director of the White House’s budget office, Russell Vought, sought to convey the scope of the challenge. “In February, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered more than 76,000 illegal border crossers and inadmissible aliens, and in March that number exceeded 100,000 — the highest monthly level in more than a decade,” Mr. Vought wrote. He described what he said were “alarming numbers” of women and children jammed into Border Patrol stations never intended as long-term shelters.
Funding for vital services is not expected to last through the fiscal year, Mr. Vought said. Most urgently, the program that deals with unaccompanied minors is expected to run dry next month, requiring resources to be diverted from other programs and leading to a further deterioration in conditions…Nearly three-quarters of the funds, $3.3 billion, would be earmarked for humanitarian needs, with much of it flowing to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the agency responsible for unaccompanied minors. None of the money would go toward Mr. Trump’s border wall. Several hundred million dollars would, however, go toward shoring up border security operations, including increasing the number of detention beds overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. This, for Democrats, is a nonstarter…The Democratic chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Nita Lowey of New York, said that the administration was seeking billions of dollars to “double down on cruel and ill-conceived policies” and bail out ICE for locking up more migrant families than it could humanely accommodate. But until better policies are in place, Democrats need to find a way to provide money for adequate shelter.
Now, in for a penny, in for a pound, as the saying goes; you can’t fix this problem without improving border security. Long stretches of our southern border as simply wide open; other long stretches are sealed only by vehicle barriers that pose no impediment to pilgrims on foot.
Now, the Times does make one valid point, and that is what I will call the “assault weapon effect.” No, this doesn’t involve shooting at people. In another article, the Times also points out:
Yet, perversely, the president’s own anti-immigrant rhetoric has helped supercharge the pipeline of migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Smugglers lately have been buying radio ads in Central America, warning that Mr. Trump is about to shut down all immigration. If you ever want to go to the United States, they say, go now!
Remember what happened to AR-15 prices when President Obama was in office and a Democrat Congress was RRHEEEEEing about “assault weapons?” Prices on those rifles shot up and sales still set records. Well, the same thing is happening here; plenty of folks in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have decided to git while the gittin’s good.
And, for now, they’re succeeding, because our border control system is ineffective, our facilities are overwhelmed, and Congress refuses to act.
This will be the campaign issue of the 2020 election. And President Trump holds the winning cards here.