by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Biden wants a total and complete shutdown of the border until he can figure out why he’s kept it open for so long.
Late last week, the president touted an imminent border deal with Senate Republicans. “It would give me, as President,” he wrote in a statement, “a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed. And if given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law.”
He’s referring to a provision in the deal that reportedly would compel him to use a Title 42–like authority to stop illegal immigrants after average daily crossings reach 5,000 over a period of seven days, or 8,500 in a day. It’s worth noting that during much of this crisis the crossings have been fewer than 5,000 a day (only in the last several months did they routinely reach an even more unfathomable level) and President Obama’s Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson famously said 1,000 crossings a day overwhelm the system. It’s also easy to imagine ways to game the deal’s provision, especially given that the administration is already working to launder would-be illegal crossers through new legal avenues created for the purpose.
We’ll withhold judgment on the deal until we’ve seen all the details, but it’s not too early to comment on the brazenness of Biden’s posture. He created the border crisis and has long denied it existed. But now that he wants to get more Ukraine funding (which would be paired up with the border deal) and is perhaps worried about the politics of the border crisis, he’s admitting that the border is “overwhelmed” and is making the Trump-like pledge to shut it down. Please.
Biden inherited a border that was under control via humane and lawful policies that had been put in place by the Trump administration, most importantly Remain in Mexico. He then tore them all down and has spent years cynically and dishonestly blaming the resulting chaos on his predecessor.