Faced with a rebellion within his own party, Biden did the Bidenian thing: He adjusted his position.
We might recall that once upon a time–in 2007 to be exact—Biden had been something of a hawk on immigration,
declaring, “No great country can say it is secure without being able to control its borders.” And yet over the years, he has moved left on the issue, alongside his party. So now, further going with the flow, Biden has actually
joined with his critics in lambasting his own executive branch for attempted border enforcement.
Speaking to reporters on September 24, the president said of the fake-news images, “It was horrible . . . to see people treated like they did, horses nearly running them over, people being strapped.
It’s outrageous.” Warming to his new stance of pandering to the left, the always talkative Biden said of the border patrollers who had done their duty, “I promise you, those people will pay . . . an investigation [is] underway now, and there will be consequences. There will be consequences.”
Furthermore, lest he not be heard by Maxine Waters, he piled on some more: “It’s an embarrassment.
It’s beyond an embarrassment. It’s dangerous. It’ s wrong. It sends the wrong message around the world. It sends the wrong message at home.”
Immediately, the Biden administration released about 85 percent of the Haitians, some 13,000 in all. Most likely, one way or another, they are all now here for good. This leniency, of course, sends an obvious signal to others who might wish to come here (the population of Haiti, for instance, is about 11.2 million).
Haitian migrants walk across the Rio Grande river carrying food and supplies from Mexico back to their makeshift encampment under the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas, on September 17, 2021. (Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)
Haitian migrants continue crossing the Rio Grande river from Mexico to their makeshift migrant camp under the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas, on September 19, 2021. (PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)
In fact, on September 30, we learned that the Panamanian government has been monitoring the movement of another 87,000 or so Haitians—and getting no help or guidance from the Biden administration.
And then, on October 1, we learned that the number might be up to 125,000. So what number will be the next report reveal?
Rep. Carlos Giminez (R-FL) warns, “This thing is getting out of control, will be and continue to be out of control, until the Biden administration changes their policy.”
Giminez added some blunt advice to the Biden administration: “Basically, it just has to revert back to the Trump policies and most of this will stop.”
As we have seen, Biden
did want the influx to stop—and then he was hooted by fellow Democrats, so he stopped wanting that. And now, perhaps he can’t decide what to do. That’s disjunction.
In the meantime, it’s not hard to see that Biden’s words will have a crushing effect on CBP morale.
Who among the border patrollers should want to take physical risks to enforce the law, and then face the further risk of legal and disciplinary wrath from on high? And on September 29, even as some MSM outlets were admitting that the “whips” were actually reins, the White House stood firm in its condemnation.
Okay, so it’s possible that by capitulating to the open-borders left, Biden has placated fellow Democrats, and that might seem to solve his problem, at least within his party.
And yet what about the rest of the country?
With Biden’s cavalier condemnation of the CBP, we see just how easy it can be for a commander-in-chief to trash those under his command.
And that trashing was too much, even for Jake Tapper at CNN.
On September 26, Tapper questioned Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on whether a fair investigation into CBP is even possible, given that the president has so noisily prejudged the situation.
Mayorkas answered by saying that Biden’s words and his own should not matter to the investigators. Fat chance of that, and it’s also worth recalling that Mayorkas was also a prejudger. He had said that the misinterpreted images “horrified us.”
Tapper persisted: “Some of the initial descriptions of those images were just patently false. There’s now video out there that provides more context. Having seen the video, are you certain that there was actually wrongdoing?”
Mayorkas mumbled around some more, and Tapper pressed him some more: “Can the Border Patrol count on you and President Biden, who has said that people will pay, to come to a determination based on the facts, and not based on Twitter outrage?”
Then Mayorkas, perhaps belatedly mindful that he has to actually
lead the homeland security department and its employees, chose to suddenly praise the CBP’s “heroism.”
To which Tapper snapped back, “The nice words you said about them, you should probably share with President Biden.” Snap, indeed!
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaks at a White House press briefing on September 24, 2021, about the Haitian migrant encampment in Del Rio, Texas. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
From Tapper’s TV discontent we can move to the larger—and more consequential—discontent of the American people.
According to a September 27 poll from Echelon Insights, public approval for Biden’s immigration policy stands at 39 percent, with disapproval at 55 percent. And while immigration is not the most important issue in the mind of the public, it is the third most important issue.
Which is to say, Biden should be mindful that the whole country is watching him on the immigration issue, not just his left flank.
And so if he is focused only on appeasing the left, he’ll likely lose sight of pleasing most Americans.
Why, even former president Barack Obama, the father of DACA, said on September 28 that we need genuine border enforcement.
So again the question: Where’s Joe? (And we might also ask: Where’s border chief Vice President Kamala Harris? Remember her?)
This is disjunction: A weak president skitters back and forth, seeking to tamp down discontent among his base, while losing track of the more important task of appealing to the middle.
Indeed, Biden’s overall approve/disapprove polling number has been drifting downward, to the point that he is now three or four points underwater.
Not a good place for Biden to be barely nine months into his term.
For those of us who remember Jimmy Carter, it’s all familiar. And for those who don’t remember the 39th president, here’s the key fact to keep in mind: He was a one-termer.