The congressional correspondent of The New York Times filed this report from Capitol Hill, and, quite unbelievably, the newspaper published it. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Democrats aim to pin the border situation on Trump, and the report dutifully follows suit. The media echo chamber is embracing the 'blame it on Trump' theme.
For months, Senate Republicans have been working with Democrats on a deal they have described as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for a conservative border security bill, and for weeks, they have hinted that they are tantalizingly close to an agreement.
Their timing could not be worse.
As former President Donald J. Trump moves closer to becoming his party's presidential nominee and Republican lawmakers consolidate behind him, he is wielding a heavier hand than any time since leaving office over his party's agenda in Congress. His vocal opposition to the emerging border compromise has all but killed the measure's chances in a divided Congress as he puts his own hard-line immigration policies once again at the center of his presidential campaign.
The report lacks objectivity. It fails to address the severity of the crisis and doesn't identify whose policies have led the country into its current dire straits. It appears to be one-sided and ignores any discussion about sanctuary cities or the growing dispute between Biden and Abbott regarding razor wire.
In short, we are gobsmacked by the Times's chutzpah for pinning the border situation on Trump. As far as laying the blame goes, the Times hit a new low by holding Trump accountable for not solving a crisis that the Democrats, led by President Biden, have allowed for three solid years to fester and cripple the nation.
What an irony that the Times and the media would attempt to shift voters' perceptions on this issue. Americans perceive Trump as stronger on immigration than Biden by a margin of 14 points.
The numbers are astounding - and all the following happened after Trump left office on Jan 20, 2021. According to the House Committee on Homeland Security factsheet from October 2023 titled Final FY23 Numbers Show Worst Year at America’s Borders—Ever:
- Encounters at the Southwest border (SWB) in FY2023 increased over 40% since FY2021, 4% compared to FY2022, and more than 100% compared to FY2019.
- Last month (September 2023), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported a 40% increase compared to September 2021 and 18% compared to September 2022.
- There have been 7.5 million encounters nationwide and 6.2 million encounters at the Southwest border, in addition to 1.7 million known gotaways.
- In FY2023, 169 individuals whose names appear on the terrorist watchlist were stopped trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border between ports of entry. Eighteen were apprehended in September alone.
- So far in FY2023, CBP has arrested 35,433 aliens with criminal convictions or outstanding warrants nationwide, including 598 known gang members, 178 of those being MS-13 members.
- In FY2023, CBP, including Air and Marine Operations, seized 27,293 pounds of fentanyl, coming across the Southwest border—enough to kill more than 6 billion people.
So, how, pray, can Trump be responsible for the border?
In the convoluted thinking that only exists within the Beltway, Senate Democrats finally recognized that the border was an issue and began working on bipartisan legislation by teaming with Senate Republicans last October. That's right. Around the time the House report above came about was the first time that the United States Senate began addressing the issue that had been in the making for over 34 months. And the compromise that both sides have struck after months is suddenly being derailed by, excuse us, Trump, because of his hard-line immigration stance? Rules of grammar do not allow us to add more question marks, but if this were an informal email, we would add at least a dozen.
We have been warning for years that the situation with the border is untenable. In September 2023, we warned in an editorial that illegal immigration is the Democrat's Achilles Heel. Two weeks before the House report was published, our I&I/TIPP Poll concluded that rising voter anger over illegal immigration was a big problem for Biden and the Democrats. Our TIPP polls, including the most recent one, repeatedly show that Americans are aghast at how unbridled immigration has shaken the country's fabric.
We have penned editorials that even sanctuary cities are detesting the invasion - although political correctness doesn't allow them to say as much. These cities are broke. They are so broke that according to the AP, which broke a November story, the mayors of five cities - Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York - pressed to meet with President Biden about getting federal help in managing the surge of migrants they say are arriving in their cities. The AP included a letter that it says it obtained from the mayors.
On Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott fired the opening salvo that could potentially lead to a constitutional crisis.
The federal government has broken the compact between the United States and the States. The Executive Branch of the United States has a constitutional duty to enforce federal laws protecting States, including immigration laws on the books right now. President Biden has refused to enforce those laws and has even violated them. The result is that he has smashed records for illegal immigration.
Abbott argues that the Biden administration's failure to protect the border could invoke Article I of the Constitution, which prevents states from making deals with foreign governments or going to war but allows exceptions when a state is actually invaded or in immediate and unavoidable danger.
The Times story also pushed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's concerns. McConnell, who has done nothing to help stem border flows and is more interested in a border deal only so that he can send $61 billion to Ukraine, evidently "told Republicans privately that Mr. Trump's growing influence has complicated the politics of the border, dividing Republicans against one another on an issue that once united the party."
Trump has had nothing, zero, nada, to do with America's border mess. This one is all on the Democrats and the RINO Republicans. Blaming Trump for not supporting a compromise after the dam has burst is irresponsible reporting. And, frankly, absurd.