Biden’s Border Bungle — Stupidity or Strategy?
Joe Biden’s talking tough (sort of) on immigration all of a sudden. But his past rhetoric, campaign platform, recent executive actions, and the boots-on-the-ground evidence strongly suggest that he’s actually trying to facilitate a mass invasion of illegal immigrants into the United States, no matter what the cost or impact.
Since his election, the number of border crossings and apprehensions has exploded to the highest levels in 20 years. Some of these migrants have even arrived sporting T-shirts with “Biden, please let us in!” emblazoned on them. So it’s pretty obvious that the nations to our south are well aware of the president’s secret objective.
And there’s only so much the leftist Big Media and Big Tech can do to cover this invasion up or spin it to the Democrats’ favor. This is especially true when an increasing number of Democratic politicians are publicly sounding off about the disastrous crisis — or “humanitarian challenge,” as Pelosi puts it — that’s now unfolding at the U.S./Mexico border.
Even more worrisome is the fact that since Biden’s election, at least 293 COVID-positive “undocumented foreign nationals” have been knowingly released into our homeland, and likely many more. According to FEMA, more than 5% of migrants at the border are testing positive for the disease. You’d think the president would’ve learned a thing or two from fellow Democrat Andrew Cuomo’s disastrous COVID geriatri-cide in New York…
And that’s why the alarm bells are going off for me on this border situation. Because I’m sure Biden IS aware — or as “aware” as he’s capable of being nowadays — of the negative optics of intentionally escalating coronavirus exposures in America as a byproduct of his new, lax border security policies.
Since Biden’s on record as being on both sides of just about every issue over the last 40 years or so (including border security), I don’t believe this reckless disregard for your life and mine is about some sort of fervent political conviction. And I don’t think it’s because his progressive puppeteers are stupid, either. He might be, but they’re not. So it must be about some bigger partisan agenda…
Because clearly, Biden’s irresponsible actions with regard to COVID-infected illegal immigrants are not in sync with the general public’s feelings about border security under these pandemic conditions. In fact, a 2020 national poll found that 83% of respondents — including 73% of Democrats — favored a total lockdown of the U.S./Mexico border because of the coronavirus.
All this begs the question: Why are Biden and the Democrats willing to risk the public outrage and actual harm to Americans of such a controversial position?
As I’m about to lay out, I think it comes down to long-term political strategy. But to explain that strategy, I need to “zoom out” a bit — and give you some context on why Washington in general has never wanted a secure southern border, regardless of the desires and expectations of the people they’re supposed to be serving.
The conventional wisdom says that neither party really wants to solve the border crisis because it’s such a powerful lightning rod for fundraising and galvanizing voters along partisan lines…
In other words, the immigration issue is a big part of how America’s two major political parties distinguish themselves from each other. And neither of them want to give that up for such petty things as national safety, security, and identity.
But I want to look beyond the standard thinking on the border question. And I want to start by revisiting a point I made 15 years ago in this very forum.
The Rio de Dinero is still flowing south
It would take me weeks of research to really get granular on the data side of the point I’m about to make — and I don’t have that luxury as a regular contributor to this e-letter. So right up front, I concede that what follows here involves some quick-and-dirty calculation, and a reasonable assumption or two.
But even if I’m off on some of the figures, you’ll see what I’m getting at. Here’s what I’m trying to convey, as best I can with limited research time…
Each year, illegals in the U.S. send billions of dollars back home. Mexican migrants alone sent $40.6 billion back to their homeland in 2020. Using data from Pew Research and the Migration Policy Institute, almost all Mexican emigrants live in the U.S. (+/- 97%), and roughly half of them (5 to 5.5 million, conservatively) are unauthorized…
So assuming somewhat higher average earnings, even after taxes, among legal immigrants versus illegals — and a fairly uniform rate of remittance between these two groups — I think it’s reasonable to believe that around a third of the money flowing back into Mexico from the U.S. could be coming from illegal immigrants.
If I’m close with my assumptions, that means those illegals are now sending around $13 billion back to Mexico every year. That’s the equivalent of more than 1% of Mexico’s GDP. The kicker is that nowadays, Mexican nationals only represent around 68% of all immigrants in the U.S. from below the border. So illegals from other nations to our south could be sending billions more back home, too.
Each year, the cartels push up to $64 billion worth of drugs into the U.S. That’s according to Mexico’s former Public Safety Secretary, Genaro Garcia Luna. Other analysis has put this figure at closer to $30-$49 billion — but I’m inclined to believe Luna. After all, Forbes named him one of Mexico’s most corrupt officials, with alleged long-time ties to the infamous Sinaloa drug cartel…
So he’d know, right? And when you crunch this estimate against the 450,000 people directly employed by Mexico’s cartels — and the over three million more people whose livelihoods depend on those cartels in other ways — $64 billion a year doesn’t sound out of the ballpark, does it?
Think about it: If 3.5 million Mexicans are supported by the drug cartels, and if their rate of pay — from the lowliest errand-boy up to the highest kingpins — averages only $15,000 a year (still less than Mexico’s average salary), that’s over $52 billion dollars in payroll alone.
Whatever the actual numbers are, though, Mexico controls 70% of the narcotics coming into America. So that nation’s illicit drug trade undoubtedly accounts for many more billions flowing south every year.
The point is this…
Between illegals sending money home and cartel revenues from drug sales and human trafficking, tens of billions of off-the-books dollars are generated for nations to our south each year as a direct result of our permeable border and too-soft, ever-changing, and easily abused immigration policies.
There’s literally a river of money flowing south — and people flowing north — day after day, year in and year out. And the Washington establishment has never really seemed to want to stop it. Even under Trump, when the GOP had the government trifecta, they hemmed and hawed and quibbled and nitpicked, leading to a border that’s only half secure.
All it would take to solve these problems is forceful, uncompromising border enforcement — with walls, people, tech, or some combination of them — and firm, straightforward immigration policies with meaningful punishment for violators.
We, the People have known this since at least the Carter era. We’ve railed for it, we’ve protested for it, and we’ve voted for it. More than once, and in solid majorities. The fact that it hasn’t happened just means that our leaders aren’t telling us everything about the border situation.
Under those circumstances, I’d ordinarily just “follow the money” to approximate the truth. But things might be a little different now. Here’s why…
Old joke: How can you tell if a politician is lying? His lips are moving.
Whenever there’s a persistent gulf between public opinion and government rhetoric and policy, you can logically infer the presence of unseen or undisclosed motives. And when Washington engages in mass deception of the American people — like it’s doing in the case of border security — it almost always seems to be about two things: Money and power.
So with that in mind, you can be sure that the real reasons why America’s southern border remains infuriatingly porous after over 40 years of debate, campaigning, and indecisive partial measures are far removed from the humanitarian, financial, or logistical explanations we’re hearing out of The Swamp.
That leaves people like me to endlessly speculate about things like this…
Is our lack of action because Mexico — our #1 trade goods partner — would turn a cold shoulder to us on commerce if we dam up the illicit Rio de Dinero?
Is it to keep prices low in labor-intensive American industries like agriculture, hospitality, manufacturing, construction, contracting, and more?
Is it because of lobbying by the private border security and immigration detention industry, which has scored over $55 billion in government contracts since 2008?
(An interesting aside on this last point: High-level execs and employees of key firms in this industry gave three times more money to Biden than Trump during the 2020 election campaign, reversing a 10-year trend of GOP support. So clearly, these firms know The Wall would work and derail their government gravy train.)
Or has it been about all of the above reasons — and a dozen more we can’t even imagine — the main focus of them being money?
As lowly American citizens, we’ll never know for sure why Washington has kept our southern border insecure all this time. But I think we’ve got a pretty good idea of the main reason why that border will remain open for the foreseeable future…
Our Swiss-cheese border may have once been about money, but now it’s about power — meaning votes
Right-of-center circles have theorized for years about how Democrats wanted illegal immigration to persist so that they could one day convert those immigrants into legal voters…
Because Hispanics have been a reliable voting bloc for the Democratic Party in the last 11 presidential elections, stretching all the way back to 1980. In 2020, for instance, 66% of them broke for Biden, 65% for Hillary in 2016.
I’ve been stewing and vacillating on this point for a long time. On its face, it seems plausible. But it would take a lot of policy changes to make it happen — like mass amnesty and fast-track citizenship, and/or radical changes in voting laws.
So I could never really wrap my head around how Democrats imagined they could get away with anything like that without massive backlash among moderates and Independents. And I think Republicans basically felt the same way, or else they’d have plugged the border up tight when they had the trifecta under Bush 43 or Trump — funding and financial consequences be damned.
But I’m thinking now that the GOP may have gambled and lost on this, and that I was wrong not to take it more seriously as the Democrat “endgame” on immigration.
Because right now, between Biden’s aggressive push toward mass amnesty as part of a sweeping progressive immigration reform agenda…
The Democrats’ alarming new stance on voting reforms — which I’m sure I’ll talk about in a future article…
And the increasing ability of liberals and their Big Media and Big Tech cronies to paint anyone who resists amnesty or unchecked immigration as racist…
It sure looks to me like the Democrats are moving pieces around the board for a massive vote-grab in three to eight years, depending on when illegals currently in the U.S. could attain citizenship under Biden’s proposed new amnesty rules.
Under normal circumstances (not in a pandemic, in other words), a majority of Americans may or may not favor a total, airtight lockdown of our southern border. But for illegals who make it into this country, we seem to overwhelmingly support making citizens out of them.
In 2016, 84% of U.S. adults — including 76% of Republicans — favored granting illegals a conditional path to citizenship. And even in the COVID-ravaged America of today, 65% of us overall still support it, in principle…
So is it really any wonder Biden and the Democrats are propping open the door?
Freedoms Editor, Whiskey & Gunpowder