The Left’s Convenient Epiphany on Border Security


February 1, 2024

By Brian Lonergan

At the height of his boxing career, former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson famously said that “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” The same idea applies to politics and government. Those who argue most vociferously for certain policies are often forced to backtrack from them once those policies have been tried and fail.

Nowhere is this truer than it is with respect to immigration and border security policy. For several decades the anti-borders left has been relentlessly clamoring for laws and policies that weaken our borders and allow a seemingly endless flow of foreign nationals into the United States. They’ve gotten their wish, but we appear now to have reached a tipping point, as three years of Biden Administration sabotage of our borders has elevated immigration to the top concern of voters.

Sensing the existential threat to their careers, politicians and thought leaders on the left are scrambling to distance themselves from Biden’s immigration policy failures—failures that a growing number of Americans can see clearly with their own eyes.

The author of the current border crisis, Joe Biden, is now acting as if he just arrived in Washington and this situation is all new to him. He is shamelessly trying to blame his political opponents for the border disaster. According to Biden’s rhetoric, he’s been a border hawk all along, and it is only that rascally Republican opposition that is keeping a border security deal from being negotiated.

The man’s chutzpah cannot be denied. It was Biden, on day one of his presidency, who reversed most of the Trump immigration protocols that had resulted in a largely secured southern border. Even now, the Biden Justice Department is pursuing legal action against the state of Texas to prevent it from placing razor wire barriers to prevent the flow of illegal entries. 

Our nation has regressed from the rational genius of the founders to cheap appeals to emotionalism, pushing agendas the substance of which the public would otherwise reject.

The list of ways the current administration has undermined the security of this nation—both at the border and throughout the heartland—is extensive. Most recently, the Immigration Reform Law Institute filed a lawsuit against Biden’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to force the agency to release internal emails detailing the ways it halted the 287(g) program, which had been a useful tool in the deportation of illegal alien rapists, attempted murderers, gang members, drug dealers, and other criminals. The administration now claiming to be in favor of enforcing laws restricting immigration does not want the American people to know what it is doing behind closed doors.

At The Liberal Patriot Substack, John Judis wrote a commentary this week on immigration that could just as easily been written by a member of the Freedom Caucus. He extolls the virtues of E-Verify—long a wish-list item for supporters of immigration enforcement—and calls for greater border security.   

Yet even while calling for more sensible immigration policies, Judis showed deference to the leftist orthodoxy on border issues. Prolonged detention of illegal aliens, he argues, is a “mean-spirited, wackadoodle” provision. This puts one in mind of Senator Chuck Schumer’s choking back tears at a press conference, lamenting the Trump administration’s so-called “Muslim ban” as “mean-spirited and un-American.” Our nation has regressed from the rational genius of the founders to cheap appeals to emotionalism, pushing agendas the substance of which the public would otherwise reject.

In lieu of detention, which can only help deter others aspiring to violate our immigration laws, the Biden Administration offers catch-and-release on a grand scale. This has resulted in utter chaos, both at the border and in cities across the nation.

Judis also makes the call for the hiring of more immigration judges to shrink the backlog of cases for those awaiting rulings on their status. That is a great idea, but it is one the Biden White House, to judge by its actions, obviously rejects. The faux border hawk in the Oval Office has been purging the immigration court of judges appointed by previous administrations who actually enforce the law as written. Biden wants more immigration judges, he will proclaim in his stump speech, but only the of the sort who share his vision of a lawless, more dangerous America.

If success has a thousand fathers and failure is an orphan, then the Biden Administration’s immigration policy is an orphan no one can love, not even those who once nurtured it. The anti-borders left will never truly abandon its plan to bring America to its knees through unsustainable levels of illegal immigration. It will only change its spots temporarily, repackaging itself as the solution to the problem it created.

Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) in Washington, D.C, and co-host of IRLI’s “No Border, No Country” podcast.

Also published at Chronicles, February 1, 2024.

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