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I don't see why we need a border policy?

I think conservatives exaggerate the problem at the border. Four million people sounds like a lot of folks, but it's really not. If people would just relax the problem would go away. Especially those folks in Marthas Vineyard who got all irritated to have 50 immigrants show up on their shores. Please! Relax.


Immigration and Biden’s Title 42 Catastrophe

Democrats entered office with one fixed idea: Reverse everything Trump. Then the border collapsed.

Daniel Henninger, WSJ


Dec. 21, 2022 5:58 pm ET


WSJ Opinion: How Biden's Border Mess Began With a Reverse Trump Mindset

Wonder Land: The Biden Democrats arrived in January 2021 with one fixed idea: Whatever Mr. Trump did, reverse it. Within months the border collapsed, and the government still has no clear policy. Images: AP/AFP/Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly


If family conversation flags by Christmas afternoon, here’s a pick-me-up question to pour onto the table: Who in American public life is the biggest Trump obsessive? Adam Schiff? Liz Cheney? Don Lemon? No contest. The nation’s top Trump obsessive is our man in the Oval Office—Joe Biden.


The Biden whisperers have let it be known that after the holidays the president will announce his run for re-election, largely because Mr. Biden thinks he’s the one who can stop Donald Trump.


Which naturally brings us to the thousands of migrants wading daily across the Rio Grande into the U.S.


The Biden Democrats arrived in January 2021 with one fixed idea: Whatever Mr. Trump did, reverse it. Mr. Biden nearly broke his wrist signing Trump-reversal executive orders.


By now the catalog of alleged Trump crimes and offenses is thick, but roll back to 2016 when one Trump idea dominated discussion—building a “wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border. Whatever else, Mr. Trump has a knack for creating controversies that he can expand forever like your kid’s Lego sets. Such as “Mexico will pay for it.”


Let us agree: Donald Trump can drive people crazy. Which is OK, if your role in life is not much more than hurling anti-Trump epithets into an FBI-monitored Twitter account. But Mr. Biden is the president. By law, he and the federal government have responsibility for immigration and border control.


Among his first acts was to crack open the southern border. And then he abandoned it. Though asked hundreds of times, no one in the Biden administration—not Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas or White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre—has ever given a clear explanation of what their border policy is. That’s because it wasn’t a policy decision. It was a psychological decision. Reverse Trump.


We knew in March 2021 when Mr. Biden named Vice President Kamala Harris border czar that his policy was next to nothing. The following month Mr. Biden said he would end the Trump health-emergency tool of enforcing Title 42, which allows illegal migrants to be sent back across the border immediately. Since then, according to the U.S. Border Patrol, some four million have arrived on Mr. Biden’s non-watch.


Thus it was no surprise when Chief Justice John Roberts declared that Title 42, set to expire this week, would be extended temporarily. With the border manifestly a crisis and national embarrassment, Chief Justice Roberts recognized he was the little Dutch boy, forced to stick his finger in the border dike until help came.


The Biden White House said it is asking Congress to allocate $3.5 billion to send more “resources” to the border. By resources they don’t mean repairing the border dike. All they want is more receiving personnel on the U.S. side to process inland the thousands more migrants likely in a post-Title 42 supersurge into Texas and Arizona. It’s not unlike the Inflation Reduction Act: Throw money, problem solved.


Explanations abound for the administration’s determined border nonfeasance: Democrats think grateful migrants will fill the party’s voter base someday; the White House crashed the border to force Republicans to negotiate an immigration compromise; most voters don’t care (proven by the midterm results), so why take it on? Or, most plausibly, the Democratic left intimidated Mr. Biden during the 2020 campaign over the Obama presidency’s more than five million deportations of illegal immigrants.


All those issues exist inside the realm of political calculation and deserve attention. Republicans, some anyway, are complicit in the travesty of a great country having no immigration policy. Still, a simple question: How could an administration allow a problem like this to escalate over two years into uncontrollable chaos?


Simple answer: Look at what has happened to civil order in big Democrat-controlled cities.


Simple explanation: They are incompetent.


The new generation of progressive Democrats, for all their public-goodness theories, don’t know how to govern. This galaxy of incompetents includes mayors, prosecutors, city councils and the mostly upper-middle-class voters who make them possible.


Progressives have the realities of governing turned inside out. Their idea of governance is based on achieving abstractions like “justice” or “equity.” Justice is worthy, but since the beginnings of organized society the practical requisite for progress has been maintaining civil order. They have demoted order to a secondary concern, if that.


One could run through a list of former Democratic officials—Ed Koch, Richard M. Daley, Bill Clinton—who never would have let problems like the border collapse or the epidemic of shootings and shoplifting disintegrate so completely.


Oh, one more detail: The concurrent flow of fentanyl and methamphetamine across the southern border (enough for 379 million fentanyl doses this year, according to the U.S.) has created yet another national open wound of opioid addiction.


To be blunt: It is hard to believe this degree of anarchy is actually happening in the United States. Someone said ideas have consequences. So does incompetence. Thank heavens Santa still works. Merry Christmas.


Write henninger@wsj.com.

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