Once upon a time, Democrats laughed at Donald Trump’s plan to build a border wall. Now the Biden administration has decided it has no choice but to follow Trump’s lead. Here is the full story.
More Than They Bargained For
So-called “sanctuary cities” like New York and Chicago have been flooded with thousands of migrants in recent weeks.
A Texas Punt
It’s a problem that has been brewing for over a year, ever since Texas Governor Greg Abbott decided his state couldn’t deal with all the new people coming over the border illegally from Mexico.
You Want ‘Em, Take ‘Em!
To ease the crunch locally, and to prove a point, Abbott started bussing the immigrants to the cities thumping their chests and saying that all were welcome.
Winter Changes Everything
But with winter just around the corner and northern cities now past their capacity to take on more people, the situation has reached a critical point.
Nowhere to Go
Early in October, for example, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker called President Biden for help. There are thousands of migrants sleeping in airports and police stations, they say.
He Wants to Close the Border
And New York City Mayor Eric Adams had more concrete demands for the commander in chief.
Specifically, Adams said that Biden needs to move swiftly to close the border with Mexico.
Biden Is Listening
Now, just days later, it appears that’s exactly what the president intends to do.
Who Needs Laws?
On October 5, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that they were waiving 26 federal laws in southern Texas so that they could make swift progress on their new project.
Plugging the Hole
That new project, as it turns out, is constructing about 20 miles worth of border wall across Starr County.
The Heart of It All
According to DHS, Starr County is right in the heart of a region of Texas that has experienced “high illegal entry” rates this year, and in recent weeks, in particular.
It’s a Constant Battle
In fact, government data shows that about 245,000 people have entered the United States illegally by crossing the Mexican border in this region so far in 2023.
Biden Had No Choice
Those numbers are shocking enough on their own, and when combined with the struggles of New York, Chicago, and other cities to keep up, there was apparently no choice but to take action.
‘Acute and Immediate Need’
As the DHS secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said, “There is presently an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers.”
Clean Air Is Overrated
And so, federal laws like the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act have suddenly become irrelevant to the Biden administration.
Not Everyone Agrees
Not surprisingly, proponents of the 26 laws set aside in favor of the border wall project are none too happy with DHS and the president.
Think of the Animals
Laiken Jordahl of the Center for Biological Diversity says, “…it’s a horrific step backwards for the borderlands,” pointing to the disruption of wildlife migration that a wall will cause.
Things Looking Up?
But longtime wall supporters are feeling a bit more optimistic about the future.
A Turning Point
After ridiculing Trump for his Quixote-like dedication to building a wall, Democrats and the Biden administration in particular seem to be realizing there may be no other reasonable solution.
The Wall Is an Effective Tool
Dan Stein, the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said “A secure wall is an effective tool for maintaining control of our borders.”
Does Trump Have a Patent?
Somewhere, Donald Trump is probably giggling through a mouthful of chicken nuggets and trying to figure out if he can sue Biden for stealing his idea.
The post Biden Adjusts Environmental Policies to Enhance Border Security Measures first appeared on The Public Slate.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Luca Perra. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.