Featured image by Timur Brave. Follow the link for more of this artist’s work.
We’re still in the middle of the COVID-19 never ending story. New variants and increased cases in some states will promote either the push to lockdown again, or to extend already established lockdown orders. People continue to be out of work, still continue to rely on the crumbs that the government doles out in fits and starts as we pump more and more money into our floundering economy with little regard for the long-term consequences.
But along the Southern Border, it is still chaos. Mexico is pushing back against the Biden Adminstration, unable to cope with the Codger in Chief’s expert level ineptitude at handling the messaging and policies along the Southern Border. He wants to be what former president Trump was not, an empathetic, kind-hearted man, full of compassion to the people of the world. Trump was, to some extent, those things in private, but his public persona (the thing that contributed the most to his electoral loss in my opinion) was a harder line and more pro-America nationalist/populist than #46. But it is this contradiction in tones, and seeming unwillingness to see the trends, that is getting President Biden in trouble.
According to the Washington Post, we are seeing a record level of apprehensions at the southern border. Migrants from many south American countries are fleeing their homelands to come here, escaping poverty, violence, and searching for an opportunity for a better life.
But they are attempting to enter the country illegally, under the impression that the Biden administration will give them some sort of amnesty and pathway to citizenship.
This is problematic, particularly considering how much of the country is still facing some sort of lockdowns, unmoored from any consistent scientific backing to justify it, driven by the need for the people in positions of power and authority to, at the very least, appear to be “doing something.” Reuters recently fact checked a rumor floating around online that “the National Sheriff’s Association is warning the public that upwards of around 50% of illegal immigrants at the border are testing positive.” This fact check was false, but digging into the article, “Estimates are that between 5 and 50% of the persons crossing without documentation are COVID positive. In any other construct, infection rates that high would be cause for alarm by public health officials,” the resolution states. “We now face a serious potential public health crisis along the border.”
This is disquieting by itself. For all the rhetoric about “saving just one life,” the people saying we need lockdowns are mum on how porous the border is. Allowing people to enter the country illegally and either throwing them into makeshift detention facilities or returning to the practice of “Catch and Release.” Since the end of the Trump administration, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, migrants are given notices to appear in immigration court and then are loaded onto Greyhound buses and sent to other parts of the country. Anyone else seeing the problem with this? Bueller?
And, of course, there are the kids in “overflow facilities,” read cages, and sleeping in makeshift detention centers under bridges. The Whitehouse prickles at the notion that it is akin to what the Democrats accused Trump of doing, but it is now exasperated, with nary a peep from the likes of AOC or Nancy Pelosi.
My version of Libertarianism requires the border to be enforced. People should be free to exchange voluntarily, which creates a seeming contradiction with the previous statement. How can people voluntarily exchange when there is a border between them? Well, in pure theoretical terms, you can’t. But we don’t dwell in the world of theory where any one action exists in isolation. Leaving a wide open border leaves open the possibility that people will abuse that for their own gain, and in the process, infringe upon the liberties of others, robbing them of the ability to voluntarily exchange, and instead leaving them without agency.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been expanding on Operation Lone Star to help tackle the fight against human trafficking. Since March, according to KSAT.com, “DPS has made 598 criminal arrests and made over 16,000 referrals of illegal immigrants to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The operation has also led to the seizure of 14 pounds of cocaine, 23 firearms and millions of dollars in currency and the arrests of nine gang members involved in the movement of this contraband.”
You hear about the heart breaking stories of kids being dropped over the border walls, one from April 15th, courtesy of the NY Post. Another from BBC News.
For all of the compassion that the neo-leftists claim to have, their actions show little empathy for the hardships that stem from their policy decisions. They have little understanding of the secondary effects that an open borders mentality has, and the amount of human hardship that comes with it.
I firmly believe that our immigration system is crazy, bloated, corrupted, and rife with inefficiencies. I believe that this problematic system encourages people to cross illegally, and many people profit from this, from cayotes, to cartels, to human traffickers, to businesses in the US that want cheap labor without rights living in constant fear of deportation. Borders matter, not only because they prevent people who wish to do us harm, but because they prevent, in some minor way, harm being done by others.