The United States, under President Joe Biden, is sailing into uncharted waters. Democrats, for much of the past half century, have leaned in the direction of moving the United States toward the Scandinavian model of the “nanny state,” in which citizens surrender some of their freedoms and significant chunks of their paychecks in exchange for cradle-to-grave security. It represents a social restructuring that the majority of Americans, who envision Venezuela rather than Sweden, continue to chafe at.
While the concept of the nanny state remains anathema to most Americans, the Biden administration is way beyond the point of making government responsible for solving all the problems and meeting all the needs of its citizens. In its first five months in power, it has implemented policies that essentially declare that the United States will be responsible for solving the problems of the rest of the world and meeting all the needs of their citizens.
One of Biden’s first acts in office was to declare that the United States was prepared to assume responsibility for any child, from any country on earth, who reaches our borders. In spite of unprecedented flows of unaccompanied children arriving at our borders, the president remains steadfast that they will be allowed to stay and that all of their needs will be provided for by the American government.
In June, the Biden administration took that commitment one step further by reinstating and expanding the Central American Minors (CAM) program, under which the United States not only admits children from that region, but provides the transportation to get them here. While the children who will arrive under CAM have parents or guardians in this country (most of them here illegally), these newly arriving kids will effectively be wards of the state with American taxpayers covering the costs of education, health care, housing and other needs.
Not only has the Biden administration made the United States responsible for the welfare of any child who shows up on our soil, it has taken on the responsibility of fixing the societies those children are fleeing. As the flow of unaccompanied children peaked in March, the president tasked Vice President Kamala Harris with the thankless task of addressing the fiasco his policies created.
The unprecedented flow of migrants was met with unprecedented hubris, as the vice president embarked on an effort to address “the root causes” of migration in Central America. Noting, correctly, that the impulse to migrate is driven by corruption, poverty and crime, Vice President Kamala Harris has spent the past several months acting as though these are actually conditions that the United States can fix. In furtherance of this charade, the administration has declared its willingness to spend billions of American tax dollars.
And, of course, corruption, poverty and crime are not unique to Central America. By the vice president’s own admission, her root causes campaign is unlikely to affect any appreciable change in Central America anytime in the foreseeable future. But what about the scores of other nations in which corruption, crime and poverty are defining characteristics? Is she going to fix those too?
If taking care of unlimited numbers of unaccompanied children from other countries, and repairing broken societies were not enough of a challenge for this administration, Attorney General Merrick Garland has quietly issued a ruling that anyone whose government is failing to protect them from an abusive partner or rampant crime will be eligible to seek political asylum in the United States.
Under our law, foreign nationals who have “a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion,” at the hands of their governments are eligible to seek protection in the United States. In other words, we are morally obligated to provide asylum to those who can prove they are subject to violence or oppression (i.e. acts of commission) at the hands of brutish regimes.
Attorney General Garland has now included dysfunctional personal relationships and social disorder, from which other governments are unwilling or incapable of protecting their citizenry, as reasons to gain the protection and the care of the American people. He did so by invoking an audaciously broad definition of what it means to be a member of a “particular social group.” Abused spouses from all across the world, or victims of gang violence (in countries that Vice President Harris has not gotten around to fixing) are now loosely defined as a social group and eligible for political asylum.
Apart from the obvious difficulty of investigating and confirming claims of domestic violence in other countries (where if the local authorities were doing their jobs the victims would not be fleeing in the first place), Garland’s ruling essentially makes the United States responsible for the consequences of corruption, negligence and incompetence of every nation on earth.
Regardless of whether the so-called nanny state is a desirable social structure for the United States, at least there are models that we can examine in determining whether we want to go down that path. There is no precedent for any nation assuming the sort of open-ended promise of care and protection for all of humanity, and for good reason – it is an exercise in madness that no rational government would attempt. Until now.