You Need to Pay for Your Principles

Immigration crisis together with overall economic
problems will cost Democrats the presidency in 2024.
The problem is not immigration itself, but the number of immigrants.

Image by Joseph Keppler, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

At the end of 2020, the US immigration crisis intensified and there were already 1.73 million migrant encounters at Mexico-US border in 2021 fiscal year. That number increased to 2.4 million in the FY of 2022 and had overwhelmed processing capacities, federal infrastructure, and border communities. People from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Haiti, even Brazil just cross the US border through ports of entry (legally) or not (illegally), escaping economic hardship, gang violence and environmental disaster in their home countries. Maybe the worst thing is that an increasing proportion of current migrants arriving at the Mexico–US border are children and most of them are unaccompanied.
Nobody really knows what to do in such cases.

All of the refugees can be understood and pitied, but the governors of the southern states deserve the same attitude because they have to deal with a real human tsunami every day. Governors demand help from the federal government because they cannot cope with on their own, and some, like the governor of Texas, send immigrants by buses to New York, Washington D.C. and other sanctuary cities.
Mayor of New York Eric Adams, a Democrat, has recently admitted that city shelters were at the 'breaking point' after Texas bused nearly 11,000 migrants there. Florida's governor also sent two refugee planes to Massachusetts in September 2022... There's a real war going on between Republicans who are pretty tough on immigration, and Democrats whose immigration policy is much softer.

Pew Research Center has summarized the key features of the Biden’s immigration policy:
Since President Biden took office in January 2021, his administration has acted on a number of fronts to reverse Trump-era restrictions on immigration to the United States. The steps include plans to boost refugee admissions, preserving deportation relief for unauthorized immigrants who came to the US as children …, lifting (some) visa restrictions for immigrants ..., updating existing family-based immigration system, revising employment-based visa rules and increasing the number of diversity visas… Biden’s biggest immigration proposal … would allow more new immigrants into the US while giving millions of unauthorized immigrants who are already in the country a pathway to legal status.

The total number of undocumented immigrants in the US is around 11 million, so Mr. Biden's determination to resolve this long-standing issue is probably to be welcomed. However, it can be resolved in the direction of giving asylum to all seekers or refusing it to all. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle between those two extremes. It is also possible to do nothing in the expectation that the influx of immigrants will decrease, but the number of arrivals each month is staggering now, and President Biden is forced to adjust his welcoming policy.

In March 2021 he told migrants "don't come over" and that the migrant adults "are being sent back" in reference to the continuation of the Trump administration Title 42 policy for quick deportations but made no efforts to follow through and migrants continued to cross into the US.
In December 2021, Mr. Biden reinstated a Trump-era policy that requires those who arrive at the US-Mexico border and seek asylum to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed, but that didn’t help either.

Frankly, Mr. Biden looks helpless in this crisis, despite his recent brave and almost futile visit to the southern border. In March 2021, he appointed Vice President Kamala Harris to tackle the 'root causes' of immigration, but she seemed to have dissociated herself from the assignment and because of that, in particular, even some Democrats said that “the administration is making Democrats look weak."
So far, President Biden has agreed with the Mexican government to quietly return the refugees to Mexico after they entered US territory and Mexico agreed to receive up to 30,000 of them per month. It's like communicating vessels with a coefficient of efficiency about 0.

The governors of the southern border states (and Republicans coincidentally) can be understood. They apparently do not share at all the Biden’s Administration immigration policy, the “sanctuary city” concept and don't want to pay with state money for ideas of Democrats. And their demarches of sending immigrants from their states to big sanctuary cities work well: New York mayor Eric Adams has recently visited the southern border himself and called on the President to quickly take the burden off the cities.

The US immigration policy has always been based on principles of reunification of families, admitting immigrants with skills that are valuable to the US economy, protecting refugees, and promoting diversity. Now these principles are working against the United States.

America has created an attractive picture of “Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness” in its Declaration of Independence that really made the US great in due time. Now the US provide only Life (the safety) for its citizens and do that basically well, but "Liberty" and "Pursuit of Happiness" are downgraded to "work, work, work" duty for the Americans to make ends meet from my subjective point of view. However, “Life” alone (the physical safety) is most important and this is what is currently driving hundreds of thousands of Southern and Central Americans to leave their homes and embark on long and risky journeys. They are not interested in inner problems and conflicts of the US. They know for sure that there are sanctuary cities in America that promised to take care of them.

The rightness or wrongness of principles is being tested by life, and if life breaks the principle it means either it was wrong from the beginning or it stopped working because the situation has changed. Monthly encounters between U.S. Border Patrol agents and migrants attempting to cross into the US at the US-Mexico border remain over 200K, which is the level not seen in more than two decades.

The main question is not about immigration itself, but about the specific number of immigrants arriving in a particular place of a particular country. Apparently, the Biden administration doesn't know what to do about the current influx of immigrants, which means that the Democrats' attitude toward immigration is now wrong and they will have to change it or step aside.

Americans have been calling immigration one of America's biggest problems for the last few years and if the Democrats can't do anything about it and the country’s economy (also one of the biggest problems) they will have to cede power in 2024. Then the same thing will happen to the Republicans and it will continue until the US collapse, and then each American state will have its own immigration policy.

The fact is that immigration crisis is a trap for the US as a whole, not just for the Democrats. The immigration inflow will not dry up because it became dangerous to live in Mexico and many Southern and Central American countries. I have written before about the situation in Mexico. There is practically a war of drug cartels among themselves and with the state, counting tens of thousands of deaths per year. I still believe that Mexico will be the first of the major democracies to fall apart because of its inability to protect its citizens from armed gangs and rampant corruption.

And the U.S. will apparently never give up its principle of protecting refugees. Even Republicans will not be able to deny access (even temporarily) to all refugees and asylum seekers. Pew Research Center survey published in September 2022 showed that “about three-quarters of Americans (73%) say increasing security along the US-Mexico border to reduce illegal crossings should be a very (44%) or somewhat (29%) important goal of US immigration policy. Nearly all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (91%) say border security should be an important goal, while a smaller majority of Democrats and Democratic leaners (59%) say the same.

I just want to specify that “reducing illegal crossings” at the US border as maximum means not allowing people to seek asylum in the US. In a similar study of Pew Research Center done in 2021, 48% of Americans were “very” (22%) or “somewhat” (28%) interested in that (not allowing) while 46% (22% +24%) opposed. The question of allowing/not allowing people to seek asylum in the US hasn’t been included into the 2022 study.

New York mayor Mr. Adams said about the immigration crisis to MSNBC’S "Morning Joe" on January 25, 2023:
We have to have real comprehensive immigration policies, and I think that the Republicans have blocked it for many years. We have to come to the table to do so, but that's a long-term plan. What's the short-term plan? If my house is burning, I don't want to hear about fire prevention. Let's put out the fire. And the fire right now is the over-proliferation of migrant and asylum seekers in several cities in the country.

That is, the mayor of a large sanctuary city sees the influx of immigrants as a disaster and he seems to have to pay money himself to fight for his sanctuary principles and prove in practice whether they are (now) right. Democrats and Republicans have been hardly sitting down at the negotiating table for last 6 years on more important issues, so there is no way out for the US and the immigration crisis will only deepen and aggravate other internal problems of the USA.

P. S. Dear Reader! I am very much interested in your opinion on the subject of this article. Please, write a comment or ask a question if you want to clarify something.
Igor Chykalov
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