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Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton called on President Joe Biden to reimpose several of Donald Trump’s policies that Biden had reversed.
Biden dismantled the “Remain in Mexico” and “safe third country” policies that led to tens of thousands of refugees remaining outside the United States until their legal cases had been heard. He also lifted the public health exclusion for migrant children that has resulted in the still-expanding crisis in sheltering and caring for unaccompanied minors.
“The Biden administration keeps saying that Trump somehow dismantled the immigration system. That’s false. It was the Biden admin that dismantled three highly effective policies,” Cotton told Fox News Sunday this week.
You have to be deliberately obtuse not to recognize that the border crisis is a direct result of the repeal of these policies.
“The public health exclusionary order, they lifted that order as it relates to minors. Well, guess what we have now at the border? Lots more minors. That’s not a surprise,” Cotton said.
In February, the U.S. began admitting migrants waiting in Mexico for their immigration cases to be processed, part of the Biden administration winding down Trump-era protocols including “Remain in Mexico.”
Biden was so anxious to appear to be the “not-Trump president” that he created a border crisis in proving it.
Cotton touted one more policy, safe third country agreements.
“The so-called safe third country agreement with countries like Guatemala that says if you pass through a country that’s not your own seeking asylum, you have to make that asylum claim in the first country you pass through. That’s the international norm,” Cotton said. “Joe Biden could re-impose all three of those things this week if he wanted to.”
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas made the rounds of Sunday talk shows claiming that the Biden administration was working with a totally broken system.
A repeated talking point by Mayorkas on Sunday was that the Trump administration, which took a hard line on border policy, was to blame because it “dismantled the orderly, humane and efficient way” of dealing with the migrant children. Mayorkas said the U.S. was expelling families and adults but will not turn back “young, vulnerable children.” He said the U.S. was working to address the issue with Mexico and Central American countries where the asylum seekers are coming from.
I guess Biden has an extremely narrow view of what constitutes “orderly, humane, and efficient” if they’re throwing families and adults back into the desert but not kids.
These “unaccompanied minors” — most of them teen boys 16-18 — didn’t just wander into U.S. custody. Many of them have families waiting for them just over the border and will join them as soon as a sponsor has been found. Portraying these kids as homeless waifs is largely inaccurate.
But this rhetoric is a useful political tool to brand those who disagree as cruel and inhumane. Reality is in short supply when it comes to developing sensible policies to deal with the crisis which is why the Biden administration has made such a royal mess of things at the border.