July 3, 2021
By Brian Lonergan
You may have missed it, but the person a heartbeat away from the presidency, Kamala Harris, finally visited the U.S.-Mexico border area recently. If you did miss it, it’s probably because Team Kamala cynically scheduled the trip on a Friday in the belief that most people would forget about it after the weekend. As it turned out, they had good reason to hide it.
Instead of being yet another carefully choreographed media photo op, the trip was illustrative of everything we have seen thus far from the Biden administration on immigration: recklessness, weakness, radicalism and contempt for the American people and their interests. The question at this point is not so much what can be done about the Biden immigration enforcement collapse right now, but how many decades it will take, if ever, for the country to recover from the damage Biden, Harris & Co. are causing. It’s that bad.
Much like her recent gaffe-plagued diplomatic mission to Guatemala, Harris’s El Paso odyssey was tainted before it started. The selection of El Paso as the venue had many scratching their heads, as the southernmost tip of Texas near McAllen is where the real crisis is happening almost 800 miles away. A member of Harris’s own party, Rep. Henry Cuellar from Laredo, revealed the true motive when he said that the selection of El Paso was a “politically safe move.”
Cuellar is now considered a pariah in many Democratic Party circles for daring to publicly call out the Biden administration for creating the border mess. In order to keep message discipline on the trip, Harris brought along friendlies like Rep. Veronica Escobar, whose district includes El Paso. She greeted the media on the tarmac in El Paso by welcoming them to “the new Ellis Island, the capital of the border” while Harris looked on approvingly.
The comparison of El Paso to Ellis Island is historically inaccurate, as the latter welcomed legal immigrants who were thoroughly vetted for communicable diseases, quarantined if necessary, and often required documentation of the immigrant’s identity and country of origin. None of those things are happening with the consistency required along the southern border today.
Calling El Paso the new Ellis Island also gives a terribly mixed message to foreign nationals seeking to come here. While in Guatemala, Harris strayed from the administration’s narrative when she warned people in the Northern Triangle “do not come” to the U.S. border. Now she smiles when Rep. Escobar compares El Paso to the historic gateway to millions of immigrants a century ago. Many of the migrants at our border today are poor, undereducated and possibly carrying infectious diseases. Thanks to Harris’s ham-handed messaging, they are confused as well.
Once into her four-hour visit to various facilities in El Paso—but not the actual border—Harris spoke consistently with White House talking points, offering up a word salad of partisan comments that revealed their actual agenda. “We inherited a tough situation,’ she said, blaming the Trump administration for the border crisis. “In five months we’ve made progress.”
To describe what the Trump administration handed off to Biden-Harris at the border as a “tough situation” is valid only to someone who views our national sovereignty and the interests of the American people with utter contempt. Under Trump, initiatives like the Remain in Mexico policy and ending catch-and-release were highly effective at controlling the worst elements of our immigration problems.
Similarly, to call what the current occupant of the White House has unleashed at the border “progress” requires a complete suspension of disbelief. Ignore the images of overcrowded facilities and overwhelmed border agents. In some warped, citizens-of-the-world-unite perspective, this is progress.
For all the left’s caterwauling about Trump purportedly separating families and incarcerating children, the reality is that the Trump policies to deter migration likely saved many lives of those who chose not to make the dangerous journey north. They also spared untold numbers of girls from the horror of sexual assault that is common among those relying on human trafficking cartels to facilitate passage.
By reversing virtually all of Trump’s border protocols, Biden and Harris have opened the door to the death, sexual violence and mass detention that comes with the anti-borders agenda. Harris and Homeland Security Director Alejandro Mayorkas can talk like benevolent leaders of a migrant resettlement nonprofit, but it doesn’t hide the fact that their policies are bringing unspeakable misery to the very people they claim to be helping, not to mention completely ignoring the negative impact these policies have on American citizens. There is nothing compassionate about that.
Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.
Also published at: Brian Lonergan, Kamala’s El Paso Junket Perfectly Sums Up Biden’s Toxic Border Agenda, American Thinker, June 25, 2021.
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