Pavlich: The border crisis Biden said we could afford
While many in Washington have moved away from daily discussion about the crisis at the U.S. southern border, the severity of the problem has not subsided. In fact, it’s getting worse.
In Texas, thousands of people every day are crossing into the United States and turning themselves in to Border Patrol agents for processing. In Arizona, individuals who have no interest in being detained by law enforcement are making their way into the country undetected. Both points of entry are controlled by vicious cartels.
“The media has done a fantastic job documenting and talking about the unaccompanied juveniles that have entered into the United States but a bigger factor and a scarier factor are the gotaways. Gotaways are those individuals that were able to get into the United States, avoid apprehension,” National Border Patrol Council Vice President Art Del Cueto said during a recent interview with Fox Business. “For the fiscal year, for the entire nation, it’s been over 150,000 gotaways. In Arizona for the fiscal year it’s been over 55,000 gotaways…those are individuals you have no idea what country they are from. You have no idea what their intentions are, why they’re coming into the United States.”
For the cartels, human smuggling has become significantly more lucrative and an expensive commodity, raking in upwards of $20 million per day. Because Border Patrol is overwhelmed by unaccompanied minors and family units, gotaway and drug smuggling routes are wide open for business. When the gotaways make their way into cities and communities across the country, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been directed not to pursue them.
Outside of shuffling children from one detention center to another, the Biden administration has done little to address the problem or to stop the illegal flow of people into the U.S. For anyone who has been paying attention, this was inevitable.
“The idea that a country of 330 million cannot afford people, who are in desperate need and who are justifiably weak, and fleeing depression is absolutely bizarre,” Biden said during a campaign stop in 2019.
For years, “abolish ICE” has been a rallying cry on the left. In April, ICE deportations hit an all-time low, indicating that while the agency still exists, the new administration is severely limiting the ability for agents to carry out their work.
“I think there’s no question that we’ve got to critically re-examine ICE and its role and the way that it is being administered and the work it is doing,” then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) told MSNBC in 2018. “And we need to probably think about starting from scratch.”
Three years later and Vice President Harris has been tapped to handle the ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, but still hasn’t visited. She’s also failed to hold a single press conference on the issue.
But while the Biden White House takes a far left policy position on the issue, Democrats in border districts and states are dealing with the reality of the influx.
“I’ve been down to the border, Douglas and Yuma. I’ve talked to sheriffs and mayors and the two sector chiefs and their leadership teams. We’ve got a problem,” newly minted Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) said this week. “I’m just going to call it like I see it.”
“There is a crisis at the southern border. From recent conversations with local community leaders, law enforcement, and local Department of Homeland Security [DHS] officials, it’s clear that their resources, staffing and capabilities are strained,” Arizona’s Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Kelly recently wrote in a letter to the White House. “We know the National Guard can provide important assistance on the border and note that there are approximately 500 Guardsmen already deployed to the Yuma and Tucson sectors. As such, we request you reimburse the state of Arizona for the deployment the Governor announced yesterday to support border security and continue to increase DHS personnel who can further assist with the processing of migrants, securing the border, and executing important security missions.”
The Biden administration has little interest in solving the problem at the border because it doesn’t see it as a problem. Instead, as Biden said before becoming president, he views it as an issue the United States can “afford.” Democrats who haven’t given into the demands of their left flank know that isn’t true.
Pavlich is the editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.