On Tuesday, reporters were finally granted access to one of the Texas facilities being used by the Biden administration to provide temporary shelter to unaccompanied children who’ve illegally crossed the U.S. border in recent weeks. What they found were incredibly overcrowded conditions. The facility, that has a capacity for 250 people, contained over 4,100 children.
According to the reporting, some of the 3,200 square-feet plastic-walled “pods” are holding over 500 children. That’s about 17 times the number of individuals that the CDC says it can hold safely under our current health-crisis conditions. In other words, the facility is at 1700% pandemic capacity.
Between 250 and 300 kids enter the facility every day, and “far fewer leave,” according to a U.S. Border Patrol executive officer.
The problem, of course, stems from President Biden’s well-publicized change to U.S. border policy, done in the name of humanity, that allows minors — who are seeking asylum and don’t have an adult escort — to enter the United States.
There’s certainly a thoughtful legal and moral debate to be had about how to best handle such a scenario, but — as is often the case in politics — logistical concerns and considerations of rhetorical consequences pretty much fell by the wayside.
As we learned through previous administrations, when you signal an easing of border restrictions to the world, more people are going to try to cross the border… or, as in this case, send their children across the border. So, when you do that, you have to be prepared to deal with what happens next.
The Biden administration clearly wasn’t anywhere close to being prepared.
The result is hundreds of children being crammed into these “pods” designed for a few dozen people. Especially young children are being kept in a large, stone-floored room with some mats and playpens, decorated with bright colors to make them appear more appealing. COVID tests aren’t being administered until a child becomes symptomatic, which — with the incredibly close quarters — is pretty pointless by then.
This is the story of merely one facility. Being that it’s overwhelmed, the others assuredly are as well.
And again, all of this was because Biden and many on the left believed Trump’s border policy was inhumane and unacceptable. It’s difficult to miss the irony.
Border security and illegal immigration have always been tricky issues, and by “tricky” I’m not talking about our government’s capacity to effectively deal with them. I’m instead talking about the unwillingness of elected leaders on both sides to take them seriously. It seems that both teams are far more interested in keeping these problems around to use as campaign issues, rather than coming up with actual solutions.
Democrats want to play the humanity and diversity cards, while insisting it’s not at all about expanding their voter base. It sets them up for problems like the crisis they’re dealing with right now, but they know that with an accommodating media, the political damage will be temporary and relatively minimal.
Republicans insist it’s about national sovereignty and security, and use the position as a political rallying cry (as Trump famously did in 2016, and Ted Cruz and other Senate Republicans recently did in their dopey Blair Witch Project videos):
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 26, 2021
— Senate Republicans (@SenateGOP) March 31, 2021
But when the GOP has all the power in Washington (like they did during Trump’s first two years in office), they do virtually nothing on such issues. In fact, Trump and congressional Republicans waited until the Democrats won back the House in 2018 to “try” to pass border-wall legislation and other border security measures. Then, they complained that the Democrats were obstructing them.
It’s all political theater.
In the end, both parties are getting exactly what they want. Unfortunately, what they want doesn’t include fixing anything.
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