Bordering on nullity

President Biden let it be known first thing yesterday morning that he would visit El Paso this coming Sunday. The visit is notable for two reasons. First, it’s a rare weekend when Biden will not be on vacation. He has spent 40 percent of his term in office so far on vacation. At age 80, the guy needs his r & r.

Second, for “El Paso” read “the border.” For the first time in his political life Biden will visit the border. This can mean only one thing. Biden is preparing to announce his candidacy for a second term in office.

This raises the question whether he will be fit for a second term. We can answer that question definitively in the negative insofar as he is not fit for his present term. Moreover, his faculties are declining. He’s not getting shaper with age.

On Biden’s first day in office as president he undid approximately everything President Trump had done to achieve control of our border. During his campaign for the Democratic nomination he made it clear that he would open the border and he has made good on his promise.

Biden has dissolved our southern border. The official statistics reflect 4,000,000 illegal crossings in fiscal years 2021 and 2022. The first of those two years set a record that was broken by the second of the years. Nearly 5,000,000 illegal aliens have entered the United States since Biden took office.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas has repeatedly assured us that the border is secure. He has established himself as the Baghdad Bob of the Biden administration. He ought to be run out of town on a rail, but it should be noted that he has faithfully executed administration policy.

Biden followed up word of his weekend trip to El Paso with a late morning speech pretending that he will do something to stem the tide of illegal immigration. The White House has posted the transcript of his remarks here. The AP account of his remarks is here.

As usual, Biden stood before a teleprompter in the Roosevelt Room and struggled to read the text as it scrolled before him. Biden opened his remarks by blaming Republicans for the crisis that Mayorkas has declared not to exist. Further into his remarks Biden announced “one significant step we’re taking[.]” He observed: “Over the summer, we saw a huge spike in the number of Venezuelans traveling through — through Mexico and attempting to enter the United States without going through our legal processes. They res- — we responded by using and ensuring that there are two safe and lawful ways for someone leaving the country to come to America. And that was one of the reasons you — you were proposing.” I found the meaning not entirely clear.

He then described the administration’s response to the flood of Venezuelans:

First, if they’re seeking asylum, they can use an app on their cell phone called CBP One — O-N-E — CBP One — O-N-E. That’s to spell it out, not the number “1.” To schedule an appointment at a port of entry and make their asylum claim there without crossing the border unlawfully and have a decision determined by an asylum officer, do they qualify.

Second, in October, we worked with the Mexican government to launch a new parole program. There’s another program called the — you all know it, but the public may not — called the “parole program” that immediately showed results by reducing the number of people crossing the border unlawfully. The way this parole program works: One must have a lawful sponsor here in the United States who agrees to sponsor you to get here.

Then, that person has to go — undergo rigorous background checks and apply from outside the United States and not cross the border illegally in the meantime.

If they apply and their application is approved, they can use the same app, the CBP One app, to present at a port of entry and be able to work in the United States legally for two years. That’s the process.

But if their application is denied or if they attempt to cross into the United States unlawfully, they will be returned back to Mexico and will not be eligible for this program after that.

Biden’s plan to “stiffen enforcement,” as he put it, is to extend this program to those seeking emigration from Nicaragua, Cuba, and Haiti. “We anticipate this action is going to substantially reduce the number of people attempting — attempting to cross our southwest border without going through a legal process.”

And that’s not all: “In fact, today I’m announcing that Mexico has agreed to allow up to re- — to return up to 30,000 persons per month who try, get caught, and get sent back from those four countries who are apprehended while attempting to unlawfully cross the border — the southwest border.”

For some reason 30,000 is the magic number. Biden’s plan provides that the United States will accept 30,000 immigrants per month from the four nations for two years and offer the ability to work legally, as long as they meet the conditions set forth. By my calculation, that will increase legal immigration by 360,000 per year. Even the AP story pauses to note that this is “a huge number.”

In the news stories I don’t find anyone in the world of immigration enforcement seconding Biden’s plan. What are the prospects that it will cut the flow of illegal immigrants rather than exacerbate the problem?

This is ludicrous:

Most people would much rather stay in the country they are if they can feed their families, be safe, send their kids to school, and have opportunity.

It’s not like people — you’ve heard me say it before: It’s not like people are sitting around a table in — somewhere in Central America and saying, “I got a great idea. Let’s sell everything we have. Let’s give it to a coyote, a smuggler. They’ll take us on a harrowing journey for thousands of miles to get to the United States, then we’re going to illegally cross the border. They’re going to drop us in a desert. And we’re — in a place where we don’t speak the language. Won’t that be fun?” I’m not being facetious.

Note the correction of his reference to “President Harris” as he continued:

Well, [Vice] President Harris led this effort — led this effort to make things better in the countries from which they are leaving. And thanks to her leadership, she’s been able to generate more than $3.2 billion from the private sector to create jobs and opportunities in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala to help people stay in their own countries — home countries where it’ll be safer and they have some opportunities.

By contrast with the reference to “President Harris,” the White House has let this stand uncorrected in the transcript: “[S]ince August of last year, Customs and Border Patrol have seized more than 20,000 pounds of deadly fentanyl. That’s enough to kill — kill as many as 1,000 people in this country. Twenty thousand pounds of fentanyl. It’s a killer. It’s a flat killer.” It’s a killer, indeed, when you demonstrate that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

I should add that Biden’s “plan” was decried by the advocates of illegal immigration, although it seems to me highly likely to exacerbate the crisis that it allegedly addresses. There is no app for that hitch in the fix, or “fix.”

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