Once upon a time, even Democrats understood the Biden administration’s immigration policy is no way to run a country. Without a border, there is no country, and without security, there is no border.
The Washington Examiner reports that in Arizona a mayor has declared a state of emergency as a result of illegal immigrants at the U.S./Mexico border. The mayor is placing blame at the feet of the Biden administration, which has yet to call it a crisis.
Gila Bend Mayor Chris Riggs made the declaration after he was told that busloads of migrants would be dropped by the federal government in his town despite him saying that the town is not capable of testing them all for the coronavirus.
According to Mayor Riggs:
Border Patrol let us know that they were going to be dropping migrants that had been detained for 72 hours in our town, which we really didn’t understand because we have nothing here. We have no charity organizations that can help, no nongovernmental organizations that a lot of the larger cities and towns do have to assist these people.
And as of the 2nd [of March], Border Patrol advised us they’re basically going to drop people off here and [say], ‘They’re your problem.’”
In the early 1990s, President Clinton responded to a spike in illegal immigration by asking Congress for additional funding.
From President Clinton:
We must say ‘no’ to illegal immigration so we can continue to say ‘yes’ to legal immigration … protect our borders, remove criminal aliens, reduce work incentives for illegal immigration [and] stop asylum abuse.
These problems are still with us and in some cases have worsened, Jason Riley reminds readers in the WSJ.
No Democratic Party Resolve
What the political left wants:
- People should be allowed to enter the U.S. on their terms not ours.
- It is our collective responsibility to take care of them if they can’t take care of themselves.
According to economist Milton Friedman, open immigration and large welfare states are not compatible. Today’s progressives in Congress and in the White House, however, are eager to test that proposition, argues Mr. Riley.
Mr. Biden’s plans to expand the welfare state are the most ambitious since LBJ’s, though one significant difference is that Democrats today are borrowing money to fund it, and simply crossing their fingers that interest rates don’t rise.
Another concern is the left’s determination to sever any connection between work and benefits, something all the more worrisome since it is occurring while destitute foreign nationals with little education are being lured here en masse.
America has a long and proud tradition of admitting poor migrants who don’t stay that way. These newcomers have tended to be upwardly mobile because they came for the right reasons. Laws barring paupers date to colonial times.
The first major piece of immigration legislation, passed in 1882, prohibited entry “to any person unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge,” and a similar stipulation was included in a 1930 executive order signed by President Herbert Hoover.
Earlier this month, the Biden administration quietly announced that it would no longer enforce a policy that limited the admission of immigrants who were deemed likely to become overly dependent on government benefits. What could go wrong?
The question is how long this will remain true as America’s welfare state continues to expand and as liberals invite any and all to come take advantage of it, perverse incentives be damned. In countries like Italy and France, generous aid programs have attracted poor migrants who are more likely than natives to be heavy users of welfare and less likely to be working. It’s a mistake to think it can’t happen here.
ABC’s Cecilia Vega at Good Morning America obtained video of the detention centers at the border. Reported Ms. Vega from south of the border:
We met little kids, nine and ten-years-old traveling by themselves. Because there are so many kids just like them crossing the border right now, they will likely end up in a facility like this one behind me, severely overcrowded jail-like places not meant for kids.
For more on the green light given to smugglers and human trafficking groups, read “Mayhem at the Border.”
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