Allegations that mounted border patrol officers used “whips” to beat and corral Haitian migrants trying to illegally cross the southern border have become the most recent flashpoint in the ongoing border crisis, largely thanks to Democrats.
The “whips” in question were almost certainly reins and there is no clear evidence that the officers were hitting the migrants, but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from using the incident to criticize the immigration policies left over from the Trump administration and condemn the border patrol.
Even President Joe Biden weighed in on the allegations.
“It was horrible to see what you saw, to see people treated like they did—horses barely running them over people being strapped,” Biden said at a press conference Friday. “It’s outrageous. I promise you those people will pay.”
It’s easier for Biden and the Democrats to scapegoat some CBP officers trying to do their jobs in a dangerous situation than it is to admit that they haven’t been doing theirs. So-called border czar Kamala Harris thinks it’s more important to appear on talk shows than to try to deal with the ongoing border crisis, and it remains unclear if Biden has even been to the southern border in his entire half-century career in politics.
They’ve engaged in all this moralizing and hand wringing about the supposed brutality of the border patrol to distract from the fact that they have no idea how to secure the border.
The Democrats’ only concrete policy on immigration is a pathway to citizenship, but that plan conveniently leaves out the hard work of protecting the border from any further illegal crossings.
Biden ran in 2020 mostly on repealing the “cruel” policies of the Trump administration, and the few details his campaign gave on securing the border constituted vague notions of “better technology” and improving “collaboration” between different agencies.
As for border security itself, neither Biden nor any other prominent Democrat has suggested that preventing migrants from crossing in the first place is the most effective way to stem illegal immigration. Allowing the border patrol to do their jobs and actually prevent illegal crossings is anathema, mostly due to political considerations. If the border patrol has to resort to force to deny migrants entry into the country, that could look bad to the cameras and the voters, after all.
The vast majority of those who successfully cross the border and are apprehended by authorities end up in processing centers. Once they are let out with a court date, many migrants simply disappear into the interior, never to be heard from again. So, it’s often safer and more advantageous for illegal immigrants to be caught by the border patrol since they will be protected and probably released into the country.
To be fair, the Republicans don’t have much of a plan either. Most champion the reinstatement of Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” and other stopgap measures like Title 42, but don’t really have a concrete plan for securing the border or dealing with the illegal immigrants already in the country.
A southern border wall is another component of a successful deterrence-based border strategy, but it is not the complete answer. Republicans tend to be equally vague on the role of the border patrol in handling illegal crossings.
Unlike Democrats, Republicans are stumped on what to do about the illegal immigrants already in the country. A pathway to citizenship is popular with the country as a whole, but it is still a minority view within the Republican Party, and a tiny minority in the powerful Trump base.
Redeploying military forces, especially since the U.S. is now out of Afghanistan, to shore up forces on the border and a mass deportation plan, based on the successful removal program implemented in the 1950s, are still on the table in the right wing of the party. These options, however, are far less likely to play with mainstream America unless there is a massive shift in public perception on illegal immigration.
Republicans have refused to articulate a hardline stance on immigration to appease the base other than half-measures like the wall so they don’t alienate moderates, but they have also failed to create a limited pathway to citizenship option that doesn’t drift into amnesty.
The current border enforcement system not only facilitates illegal border crossings but ensures that they will continue. As long as border patrol agents act as chaperones for illegals once they’re north of the Rio Grande and there is no proactive action taken to prevent migrants from crossing in the first place, the streams of illegals we have been seeing for almost a year will not stop.
Hayden Daniel is the opinion editor at the Daily Caller.