The Democrats have a history of flip-flopping on immigration — and it’s become worse. After ignoring undeniable evidence for more than two years of a massive crisis on our border, punctuated by the related violence and crime that comes with it, a single photograph has convinced them that there is a crisis after all.
When the bodies of Oscar Alberto Martínez and his daughter, Angie Valeria, were discovered on the shore of the Rio Grande River, the Democrats changed their tune on immigration. Instead of accusing President Trump of “manufacturing” the crisis, they cited the tragic photo as evidence that we need action at the border.
“Watching that image of Oscar and his daughter, Valeria, is heartbreaking,” former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro said during the first Democratic presidential debate. “It should also piss us all off.”
Talk about late to the catastrophe. Deaths of illegal immigrants encouraged to take the treacherous trek to our border to seek asylum have been on the rise for years. Those deaths are no less tragic, but they are as avoidable as Martinez and his daughter’s.
House Democrats tweeted that America is “facing a humanitarian crisis at the southern border.” Apparently, they were not concerned by the fact that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leading Democrats have declared the crisis “fake.”
Sadly, even though the Democrats have finally acknowledged the gravity of the situation at the border, they still haven’t come to their senses on border security. Instead of implementing policies that would discourage the massive influx of illegal immigrants overwhelming our border security resources and creating this tragedy, the Democratic Party wants to give up on enforcing our nation’s immigration laws altogether.
During the debate in Miami, for instance, Castro pledged to completely repeal Trump’s zero-tolerance policies. Those include the “remain in Mexico” policy, and the metering policy that allows our border agents to turn away asylum seekers after they have taken in all the applicants they can handle. He also said he would implement a “pathway to citizenship,” otherwise known as amnesty, for the millions of illegal aliens already in the country.
The day before Castro made those stunning remarks, House Democrats passed a humanitarian aid bill that would have made it harder for border officials to combat illegal immigration. The Senate had already passed a similar — but less controversial — bill with overwhelming bipartisan support.
That sort of bipartisan cooperation on border security was common back when Democrats supported common-sense measures such as building the border wall. Now that Trump occupies the Oval Office, their hatred for the president shapes their position their position on border security.
Pelosi relented and agreed to back the Senate’s version of the humanitarian aid bill, which passed 305 – 102 in the House. But the fact that she even attempted to exploit the public’s sympathy for the Martinez family to advance her partisan agenda shows how extreme her party has become.
Using pictures of dead children to manipulate public opinion is not a new tactic of the radical left. During the 2015 migrant crisis in Europe, activists exploited pictures of a dead Syrian toddler, Aylan Kurdi, whose body washed up in Turkey following an unsuccessful attempt to illegally cross the Mediterranean Sea.
As passionate as the Democrats may seem about these incidents, though, the tragic deaths of innocent migrants are nothing more than convenient political props to advance their political agenda. It is a cynical commentary on the politics of the left today, but it is true. That much is evident from their apathetic attitude toward the tragic deaths of American citizens at the hands of criminal illegal aliens, and from their continuing determination to obstruct President Trump’s efforts to fight international drug cartels and their cross-border drug- and human-smuggling operations.
Where was the Democrat outrage when the New York Times interviewed victims of the sex trafficking network that thrives on our broken immigration system? Where was the Democrat outrage when news outlets published detailed reports of the violent crimes committed by drug cartels and MS-13 members in American communities?
Democrats realized there was a crisis on the border when they saw a heart-wrenching photo of two dead migrants. Yet, they’ve been indifferent to the many American lives lost due to the same crisis. Their flip-flopping is all the more despicable for its obvious and self-serving duplicity.
Madison Gesiotto (@MadisonGesiotto) is an attorney and serves on the advisory board of the Donald Trump campaign. She was a 2016 inauguration spokesperson and former Miss Ohio.