A Customs and Border Protection intelligence alert dated April 16 states that the historic surge of migrants at the border is being driven in part by the perception that President Biden will allow migrants to stay. As Yahoo News points out, that’s at odds with claims the White House has made about what is driving the surge.
The alert, dated April 16, appears at odds with the White House’s messaging on the border crisis, which maintains that the increasing number of migrants is being largely driven by corruption, economic chaos and violence in the Northern Triangle countries — Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras — rather than by more lenient policies. The Biden administration has promised to focus on what Vice President Kamala Harris has called “the root causes of migration,” including economic hardship.
The CBP document obtained by Yahoo News suggests some level of disagreement within the government about what exactly is causing the increase. CBP says that “large group apprehensions,” referring to more than 100 migrants, continue to increase at the southern border, and says the surge is “largely attributable to perceptions of U.S. immigration policy changes, economic opportunities, elevated violence and reduced COVID-19 travel restrictions.”
Earlier this month the NY Times published a story titled “What’s Driving the Surge at the Southern Border?” which framed claims that Biden’s border policies were part of the problem as know-nothing spin by Republican commentators:
While Republican commentators have painted this surge as a result of Biden’s softer stance on immigration, experts say this papers over harder truths: The main motivators of emigration from Mexico, Central America and points south are tied to climate change, violent crime and corruption — all issues that the Biden administration knows it must confront if it stands any chance of stemming the inflow of people at the border.
“It’s not possible to talk about any one particular factor, but it’s a confluence of issues that are driving the forced migration,” Vicki Gass, a policy adviser for Central America at Oxfam International, said in an interview.
The idea that this is all spin from Republicans is certainly handy for Democrats and their media enablers who bend over backwards to make any bad news for Dems into a Republicans seize story. But Yahoo News spoke to an anonymous immigration official from the Obama administration who agreed Biden’s actions are definitely part of the problem.
“From the outset, the politics of the Biden campaign promised to reverse Trump’s actions completely,” the former official said. “However, the more the Biden administration attempts to implement humanitarian policies, the more it incentivizes irregular migration from Central America’s Northern Triangle countries.”
Migrants often rely on word of mouth when deciding whether to undertake the journey to the U.S., the former official said. “In the age of social media, this communication — regarding the success or not of the intending migrant — is immediately impactful in result. When irregular migration succeeds, others will come.”
You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to know that “when irregular migration succeeds others will come,” you just have to open your eyes and not behave like a partisan hack. But that’s a high bar for plenty of people in the media like MSNBC immigration correspondent Jacob Soboroff.
It took having the highest number of migrants apprehended at the border in 20 years for many on the left to admit there’s a crisis. Even Biden himself used the word once but the next day the White House told reporters to ignore him so never mind I guess.
Some outlets have gone farther and have simply forbidden the use of the word. Meanwhile, back in the real world, the crisis continues and the role the Biden administration’s policies play in it are not terribly hard to grasp. In fact, acknowledging they are part of the problem would be a lot easier than ignoring it at this point, though the White House would have to admit Republicans were right.