In case you missed Julio's post earlier, the Biden border crisis is playing out in a predictably insulting way. Axios reports that approximately "50,000 migrants who crossed the southern border illegally have now been released in the United States without a court date. Although they are told to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office instead, just 13% have shown up so far." This is "unprecedented," according to the report, which adds this detail: "Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told Axios that as of Monday, 7,300 migrants in the Rio Grande Valley sector had been released during the past week without court dates. Cuellar said the total number of migrants released since March was up to 55,000." That's a Democratic member blowing the whistle here. This is the opposite of immigration enforcement, the opposite of a "secure" and "closed" border, and it incentivizes more of the same. The Biden administration has maintained illogical travel restrictions on legal visitors from heavily-vaccinated allied countries, yet the free-for-all at the Southern border continues apace. As Julio also noted, there's a COVID component to this, as well:
Authorities in South Texas said Tuesday they've learned that illegal immigrants who have possibly tested positive for COVID-19 were being released from federal custody to a Catholic charity, which booked hotel rooms for them without notifying local officials. The La Joya Police Department said a patrol officer was waved down Monday by someone concerned about a group that appeared to be sick at a Whataburger fast food restaurant. The officer found a family inside who were coughing and sneezing and not adhering to health guidelines, including the wearing of masks, authorities said during a news conference..."We have an understanding based on what was told to us that the hotel in totality has already been rented out," Casas said. "The information we have is that everyone that is staying in that hotel is COVID-19 positive because it's being rented out for them." ... Police later learned that those detained by Border Patrol showing symptoms or who became infected with COVID-19 were being quarantined and then later handed over to the charity group to be placed in hotels in the McAllen area, as well as La Joya, police said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell raised the obvious juxtaposition in a floor speech this morning:
“Under the Biden Administration’s unenforceable catch-and-release policy, just 13% of the 50,000 individuals who’ve been released into the United States since March have actually reported to assigned ICE check-ins. So in a sense, either intentionally or through incompetence, the Administration is already practicing a policy that amounts to functional amnesty in many cases. What Democrats want now is to make that explicit and permanent. They’d effectively like our southern border to be even more open — even during an ongoing public health emergency that has federal, state, and local officials contemplating new batches of rules for American citizens. The message to Americans appears to be: Put your guard back up, even if you’re vaccinated. But to a jaw-dropping degree, the message to people arriving at our southern border seems to be: Come on in, even if you’re COVID-positive! CBP data are reportedly showing a huge uptick in positive COVID tests in the Rio Grande Valley sector. That’s just one sector and that’s just among whatever fraction of the individuals are even being tested. And among individuals in ICE custody, apparently one in three are declining to receive a vaccine. Yet it seems the Biden Administration doesn’t consider a COVID diagnosis any reason to make an exception to its catch-and-release policy. Alarming reports of COVID-positive detainees being turned out into Texas communities even have border-state Democrats sounding the alarm.
McConnell also incredulously pointed out that one of the provisions Democrats are trying to jam through in their massive, partisan $3.5 trillion 'reconciliation' bill is immigration reform. The Kentucky Republican was one of 17 GOP members to vote to advance the bipartisan infrastructure framework in a vote last evening, but he's emphasizing that the bill (which negotiators say is paid for, without raising taxes) cannot be linked to the Democrat-only reconciliation effort, which is Nancy Pelosi's position. There is Republican opposition to the former package, including from former President Donald Trump, but divisions are bursting into the open among Democrats, too. Members of the 'Squad' are openly attacking moderate Senators like Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema, playing the race card in order to try to discredit the bill based on the skin color of negotiators from both parties. This race obsession is hardly progressive in the true sense of that word, but it's a calling card of the new progressive movement:
Good luck tanking your own party’s investment on childcare, climate action, and infrastructure while presuming you’ll survive a 3 vote House margin - especially after choosing to exclude members of color from negotiations and calling that a “bipartisan accomplishment.” ???????? https://t.co/0VF8Z73vAa— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 28, 2021
This from AOC, by the way, is not an argument. It is pure ad hominem that says noting about the bill or its merits.— Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) July 29, 2021
A healthy culture would repudiate her for judging legislation solely by the skin color of the people supporting it. https://t.co/vJO0toah2A
As Hemingway observes, there's no actual substantive argument here at all. It's just race-based ad hominem attacks, which ignore the fact that all Senators were welcome to participate in the discussions. It's as if they don't know how to debate or make substantive points in good faith. I also cannot imagine Sinema is too upset about personal barbs from AOC, which can only burnish her image in moderate, purple Arizona. I also see a lot of tantrum-style histrionics from AOC here; what I don't see is an explicit vow to rally progressives in the House to actually kill the bill. Does she intend to put her vote and her activism where her mouth is, or is just the 'Loud Noises' phase of base-pandering pseudo-opposition? Railing against Sinema is one thing. Mobilizing to kill her bill is another. But the raging part is certainly underway:
Progressives are bankrolling another round of sharp TV attack ads on Sen. Sinema—details here from me: https://t.co/3yYaZTqJlf— Sam Brodey (@sambrodey) July 28, 2021
I'll leave you with my take on Sinema's much-discussed 'opposition' to the Democrats' proposed spending binge, announced yesterday:
Likely outcome: She and manchin will get changes, the $ amount will come down (how much?) and all Senate Dems will vote to pass a reconciliation package https://t.co/9SGxSNLCmH— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 28, 2021
She's not a no. She's a no on that dollar amount.