Joe Biden Offers Bold Talk, Timid Action on Immigration

He campaigned against Trump’s restrictionism, but has implemented mostly symbolic initiatives so far.


During the final presidential debate last fall, Donald Trump touted what he considered his biggest immigration accomplishment. "We got rid of catch and release," he boasted. Joe Biden could have easily let the wonky phrase slide past him, focusing on poll-tested attacks of Trump's policy of punitively separating immigrant families at the border. But in a move that undoubtedly stunned the consultants who had carefully coached him on messaging, Biden took the bait.

The former vice president launched into an extended defense of "catch and release"—a policy of allowing vetted asylum seekers to remain at liberty in the U.S. while awaiting a hearing, rather than languishing in jail at the border. He even counterattacked, explaining that Trump had made the situation worse by forcing families to wait in Mexico. "They're sitting in squalor on the other side of the river," he said passionately. 

This highly unexpected exchange was Biden's final pitch to Americans on immigration, and it was the culmination of 18 months in which Biden adopted the opposite position from Trump on nearly every immigration issue. But putting out a position paper for journalists is one thing. Volunteering a defense of a controversial policy on a national debate stage with the presidency at stake is another. It was as clear a statement as you could get: Here was a candidate who was ready to reopen the country to immigrants, especially to asylum seekers and legal applicants. 

Or at least, that's what Biden was saying in 2020.

Biden has been in politics long enough to have been on every side of practically every immigration debate. In the 1970s, he was reticent about paying to evacuate and resettle South Vietnamese anti-communist refugees. But by 1980, he was a leading proponent of the Refugee Act, which led to a massive increase in refugee resettlement from Vietnam and around the world. 

In 1986, Biden voted to legalize 3 million unauthorized immigrants. In 1996, he voted for the harshest crackdown on unauthorized immigrants in U.S. history. In 2006, he voted to build a fence along the southern border. In 2020, he campaigned to end funding for Trump's border wall.

Biden is the Democratic Party's rusty weathervane, and in 2020 he was following the prevailing winds. Not only did a supermajority of Democrats favor legalizing immigrants in the country illegally, Gallup also found that for the first time in its 65 years of asking the question most Democrats wanted to increase legal immigration from abroad. They even wanted more refugees and more asylum seekers. 

Biden campaigned accordingly. His platform was probably as pro-immigrant as any winning candidate since Lincoln. No category of immigration wouldn't see a bump on his watch, he promised, and all of Trump's "shameful" policies would immediately end. He promised to send a comprehensive immigration bill to Congress on day one. He would accomplish what all Democratic presidents before him had failed to deliver: real change.

During Trump's four years in office, America saw more families, unaccompanied children, and other immigrants travel up through Mexico to cross the U.S. border than during all eight years under Obama combined. The vast majority came to request asylum, a legal status for those fleeing violent persecution in their home countries. They arrived primarily from Central America's Northern Triangle—Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador—but also from Cuba, India, Africa, and dozens of other places. 

Stopping this flow became the focus of Trump's immigration policy. Asylum seekers' first choice would be to apply at one of the ports of entry where hundreds of thousands of visitors cross from Mexico to the United States each day since U.S. law explicitly allows anyone arriving in the United States to apply for asylum. But in 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) blockaded the legal crossings, stationing agents at the exact border line to push anyone who said they wished to apply for asylum back into Mexico. The policy (dubbed metering) allowed agents to accept only a token number to cross each day, but the goal was to deter people from coming at all. 

Unable to reach family and jobs arranged north of the border, even immigrant families who arrived with a game plan suddenly faced homelessness, hunger, and crime in dangerous neighborhoods within eyeshot of U.S. inspectors. New York Times reporters described the "grim sight" of destitute families sleeping on pizza boxes in the doorways of public restrooms, surrounded by piles of donations of diapers and baby formula.

Human Rights First, a watchdog group, maintains a database on crimes committed against migrants who have been forced to wait in Mexico. As of December 2020, it contained 1,314 crimes since 2018, including assaults, rapes, and murders, against migrants blocked by U.S. agents. Jasson Ricardo Acuna Polanco and Jorge Alexander Ruiz Duban—two Honduran teenagers—were stabbed and choked to death by thieves in December 2018 while waiting to cross after port inspectors sent them away. 

These dangers inevitably lead many immigrants to cross around the ports of entry. Pre-Trump, those who crossed illegally and requested asylum would be held in temporary Border Patrol facilities and transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers. Asylum officers would interview them to determine if they had a "credible" claim, evaluating whether their claims matched the legal requirements of the law, were internally consistent, and matched other known facts or evidence. If they failed to meet that threshold or had committed any serious crimes, they were placed on the next ICE plane home. If they did, they were usually released to await a final asylum hearing many months from then. 

After briefly trying a policy of separating undocumented parents from their children, Trump officials settled on a more politically palatable backup for deterring comers: If immigrants fear being in Mexico so much that they'll risk crossing illegally and being arrested, why not send them back to Mexico to await their hearings? Given the dangers, they figured, people will abandon their applications and go home.

A "remain-in-Mexico" policy bearing the Orwellian name "Migrant Protection Protocols" (MPP) was born. It had an immediate effect. 

Gangs murdered a Salvadoran man in Tijuana in December 2019 after DHS agents kicked him out of the United States to await his hearing in Mexico. Several dozen rapes of MPPers were reported to U.S. and Mexican authorities, including one that involved Mexican police. And as Trump hoped, many asylum seekers gave up, and nearly all of the 11,000 cases that reached a final resolution ended with orders of removal in absentia. But many continued to wait.

By March 2020, almost 70,000 asylum seekers had been dumped back into Mexico's border cities, and the number of crossings had fallen significantly. Nonetheless, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Trump's White House seized on the crisis to act. It forced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to overrule its senior medical staff and declare that it was medically justified to suspend the crossings of all undocumented migrants. The DHS then used this declaration to "expel" anyone from the United States who crossed the border from Mexico, to completely shut off even the token numbers admitted at ports under metering, and to suspend MPP hearings, so anyone already waiting in Mexico was just stuck.

These moves were a deathblow to America's asylum system. The U.S. government has now expelled hundreds of thousands of crossers. Usually it simply drops them back in Mexico. But the DHS is actually flying political dissidents back to Nicaragua, where there have been reports that the government is arresting and beating them. 

In the debate, Trump understated his accomplishment. He didn't just get rid of catch and release. He got rid of asylum altogether. 

Biden is intimately aware of this humanitarian disaster. Not only did he decry it in the debates, but he lamented in an October 2020 speech the nearly 10,000 Cubans "languishing in tent camps along the border." He guaranteed he would end the MPP on his first day in office. In a July 2020 piece for The Washington Post, future first lady Jill Biden issued a plea to bring the asylum seekers in Mexico back to the United States, arguing that America's identity was "on the ballot" in November. 

The position was so clearly stated that migrants encamped at the border celebrated when Biden won. "This is not only a Biden victory. We migrants also won, and we are very happy," one asylum seeker in Mexico told BuzzFeed News in November. "Seeing Trump once again sit on his throne would have been fatal for us."

Trump may not be back on his "throne," but the king's policies outlived him. 

In December, Biden's choice for Domestic Policy Council director, Susan Rice, told Spanish-language TV that no one should "believe those in the region peddling the idea that the border will suddenly be fully open to process everyone on day one. It will not." At the time, it seemed strange that she would call her boss's campaign promises "peddling an idea," but Biden himself soon provided clarity.

"It will get done," Biden told reporters. "But it's not going to be able to be done on day one." During the campaign, Biden enthusiastically promised to welcome more asylum seekers, but now he characterizes the arrival of more applicants at the border as a "crisis" that would "complicate what we're trying to do." Biden might as well have been quoting Trump, who had constantly used the same specter of a "crisis" to eliminate asylum and impose other restrictions throughout his term. 

In January, Biden signed his first immigration executive orders. He required a review of the country's current asylum policies, but the CDC's health declaration and the expulsion policy that came with it would persist. He attempted to freeze most new deportations of noncriminals, but not for recent border crossers and asylum seekers.

While ports remained completely closed to asylum applicants, advisers quietly leaked to reporters that they planned to include Trump's metering policy as part of Biden's grand plan to fix asylum after they reopened. When Biden called for "guardrails" for the asylum system in December after the election, those same advisers explained what he really meant were "limits being set on the number of people allowed through." Never mind that Congress never approved any caps on asylum.

Biden's DHS did exempt unaccompanied children from the immediate expulsion policy, so they are now transferred to shelters, foster care, or family members who are already in the United States. Mexico has started to refuse to accept some expulsions of non-Central American immigrants in certain places, so a few families who crossed to request asylum are now being released from custody into the United States to await hearings rather than immediately expelled. 

Biden has announced a plan to slowly begin to let MPP participants wait for their hearings on U.S. soil. But the tentative plan—letting in a trickle of about 600 additional asylum seekers per day only after advanced screening and negative COVID-19 tests—stands in marked contrast to the bold policies proposed by candidate Biden in 2020. In June 2019, before MPP and the CDC expulsion policies, DHS encountered and processed more than 4,600 undocumented immigrants per day at or between the ports along the border.

In 2021, Biden has so far chosen to move slowly. Overall, his border policies resemble a slightly less strict version of Trump's policies. As White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in February, "The vast majority of people will be turned away."

What about legal immigration? During his 2019 State of the Union address, Trump told the nation that he wanted people to come here legally "in the largest numbers ever." Ironically, it would be the third straight year that legal immigration declined. 

At first, Trump reduced the flow of legal immigration using a thousand little cuts. One of his first acts was "extreme vetting," which involved banning migrants from several majority-Muslim countries and massively increasing the length and complexity of the required immigration paperwork. In the name of "security," the new forms asked vague gotcha questions that often necessitated the involvement of an attorney, increasing the costs to obtain visas. 

The State Department and DHS came out with new "public charge" rules that effectively created a presumption against approving immigrants with incomes below a certain threshold. In theory, the idea was to keep out immigrants who might use welfare at some point in the future, even though DHS's own statistics showed that most noncitizens near or below the poverty line received no welfare of any kind. Regardless, the rules are creating huge problems for all immigrants. These complicated data requirements force applicants to produce financial records and documentation on an almost unimaginable scale, requesting information that many immigrants don't even possess. Inability to produce the evidence results in a denial.

As soon as Trump took office, word came down that as many people as possible should be rejected, and denials spiked. DHS even started denying anyone who left anything on an application blank—including current addresses for deceased parents. Denials of U.S. citizens petitioning for family members or employees to receive immigrant visas and green cards doubled. And even if the family member's or employer's petition was approved, immigrants were twice as likely as they had been to be denied a visa by the consulates.

The number of new legal permanent residents entering from abroad was down by about a quarter by the end of 2019. Then the bottom fell out.

When the pandemic struck the United States, the State Department closed its consulates, meaning that it could issue virtually no new visas. Trump also added country-specific travel bans for almost anyone coming from China, Iran, Europe, or Brazil who wasn't a U.S. citizen. In April and June 2020, he issued proclamations suspending visas for almost all immigrants and guest workers—bans that have been extended until March 31, 2021.

These visa bans were not based on a concern about spreading COVID-19. Instead, Trump called new immigrants and guest workers a "threat" to the U.S. labor market. Never mind that the unemployment rate for the highest-skilled computer occupations, which dominate the employment-based visa system, barely budged despite the pandemic. And never mind that low-skilled jobs for guest workers have to be offered to U.S. workers before someone can be hired from abroad. That the ban applied even to little children and retirees gives insight into its real goal: fewer foreigners of all kinds.

Immigration plunged by about 90 percent—greater than any full year on record. In January, Trump extended the protectionist visa bans and left office with one of the lowest per-capita legal immigration rates in U.S. history. 

The immigration plan that Biden released before the pandemic was designed to weave its way through America's complex legal immigration system, concluding at each juncture that more was better. More family reunification. More high-skilled visas. More seasonal workers. More refugees. More visas for participants in the diversity visa lottery program, which permits some immigration for nationalities that normally receive few visas under the family- and employer-sponsored system. He even wanted to create a new community-sponsored visa program to deal with "shrinking populations, an erosion of economic opportunity, and local businesses that face unique challenges." 

Biden rarely hedged. His proposal outlined the most ambitious and expansive legal immigration strategy of any winning presidential candidate in at least 150 years. When the pandemic hit, and then when he won the nomination, commentators predicted a move to the middle that never came. Biden stuck by his plan. He called Trump's protectionist visa bans a distraction from dealing with COVID-19. "Immigrants help grow our economy and create jobs," he tweeted. "The President can't scapegoat his way out of this crisis."

Biden had even criticized Trump's decision to enact country bans supposedly to stop the spread of the virus. "Banning all travel from Europe—or any other part of the world—will not stop it," Biden tweeted in March 2020. Biden's view reflected the reasoned judgment of the academic literature on travel restrictions, and Trump's bans ultimately did not keep the pandemic away. 

Yet five days into office, Biden underwent an unexplained 180. He extended travel bans on most noncitizens coming from Brazil and Europe, even though Trump had set them to expire the very next day, and expanded the ban to include South Africa. For the hundreds of thousands of legal immigrants awaiting visas abroad, it was a foreboding signal.

When Biden signed an executive order on February 2 that included in the title "Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems," hope surged that the new president would at least rescind Trump's visa bans on families and workers, reopen the consulates, and restart the legal immigration process in other countries. In the end, however, the order did little more than require agencies to review their current policies.

In February, America's largest trade and business associations wrote a public letter urging an end to the visa ban, detailing how it was separating families and harming their operations. Still, Biden remained silent. Meanwhile, his Justice Department has gone to court to defend his authority to keep the ban in place, even arguing that family separation doesn't necessarily constitute "irreparable harm" to U.S. citizens and their immigrant family members. 

The visa bans are set to expire on March 31, but even if they do, administration officials have shown little willingness to reopen consulates and begin issuing visas again. Each day that passes, the backlog of hundreds of thousands of immigrants grows. Because the law limits the number of visas issued in a fiscal year, many of the visas they would have received will be lost if they aren't issued by September. 

The only positive development on legal immigration is that Biden increased the refugee cap, albeit to a lower number than he initially promised. But his unwillingness to streamline Trump- and Bush-era "extreme vetting" means that the cap will likely not be filled this year anyway. 

Democrats have unified control of Congress, the body that ultimately decides what the laws will be. Well, that's the grade-school theory anyway, and to his credit, Biden has attempted to follow it. On day one, he sent his requirements for a bill to Congress.

While it was not as sweeping as his campaign plan, it was still broad and included a path to citizenship for almost all 11 million unauthorized immigrants and more green cards for workers and families. Congressional Democrats threw together a bill in a month that met its requirements, but even they acknowledged the bill has little hope in the Senate, where Republicans and perhaps even some moderate Democrats oppose it. No effort was made to obtain bipartisan support for it.

Instead, Biden's party is focusing on a few narrow bills that it believes have crossover appeal: legalizations for Dreamers, farmworkers, and participants in the Temporary Protected Status program for those undocumented immigrants who have been granted temporary safety from instability at home. 

What Biden will give up to get these discrete bills to his desk remains unclear. His immigration bill includes no new enforcement measures that would appease the GOP, and he hasn't so far been willing to mix immigration into negotiations over his other top priorities: the COVID-19 response and economic relief. 

That's not new. Presidents Obama and Trump both campaigned promising immigration changes. Both had the advantage of a friendly Congress. But neither wanted immigration reforms to upset prospects for their other major priorities. 

The stalemate leaves the executive branch as the most likely place for change. The Biden administration does have some ability to change policy without congressional involvement. But hopeful immigrants and employers would be wise to remember how conservative Biden has shown himself to be. 

Biden personally understands immigration policy better than almost any president in history. For decades he has played a crucial role in making it, both during his time as a senator and during his time as vice president. This understanding is certainly an asset for good governance. Unfortunately, it also probably also makes him too committed to the current system to take the drastic actions that would be needed to make that system work better. He's also beholden to a complex interwoven system of partisan priorities that could cause him to turn his back on immigration—or enthusiastically embrace it—later in his presidency, depending on what else is going on.

Many advocates were hopeful that the wave of outrage against Trump's abuses would translate into more than just a reversal of those policies. He could streamline or remove onerous regulations and interpret ambiguous laws in the favor of approving applicants, rather than denying them. Maybe these things will happen eventually. The end of the pandemic will undoubtedly help. But so far, the Biden administration seems to have little appetite to wield the powers of the executive on behalf of immigrants as aggressively as Trump did against them. 

Immigration law is a complicated, inhumane mess. But Congress has given the president vast authority to interpret and implement the law in simple and humane ways. Biden currently seems reluctant to use it, whether out of shortsighted political calculation or a lack of genuine belief in the goal.

But that's 2021 Biden. Who can predict what 2022 Biden will do, or any of the Bidens who will come after him.

NEXT: Trump’s Messy Pardon Spree Left Too Many Behind. Biden Must Do Better.

Immigration Joe Biden Biden Administration Donald Trump Trump Administration Government Reform

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53 responses to “Joe Biden Offers Bold Talk, Timid Action on Immigration

  1. Fuck right off, Reason. You’re playing footsie with people who are only promising to kill you last. Fuck you.

    Democrats Are Stuck With a Republican Party Rife With Conspiracy Theorists, Anarchists and Terrorist Sympathizers

    Kyle Bibby, national campaign manager at Common Defense and a former Marine Corps Infantry officer, told The Root that had a foreign entity engaged in an attack similar to the Jan. 6 coup attempt or rallied the support of the main culprit thereafter, the U.S. military would have responded with an offensive strike or at the minimum stiff economic penalties. But he added that the militias and Trump supporters who were there are ultimately not so much the issue as is the Republican Party that empowers them.

    When asked about the violent insurrectionists, Bibby said, “If they were in Afghanistan, we would’ve hit them. Either a raid, drop a bomb on them, whatever it is.” He continued, “But the organizations that are funding this and who are backing this that are creating the political movement behind this are organizations like Fox News, Breitbart, One America News Network, and the Republican Party. If these organizations existed in another country, we would be sanctioning them. We would be seizing their assets for inciting terroristic threats against an American ally or against U.S. interests.”

    …“If Trump wins, these unofficial paramilitaries, the Proud Boys, the Boogaloo Boys, the state militias, all these other groups, are essentially going to become semi-official Brownshirts [the original paramilitary of Germany’s Nazi Party] of the Trump campaign,” he said. “If Trump loses, these people are going to become the Iraq insurgents. They’re going to go underground. They’re going to be furious and, over time, with the Trump campaign leading as the political wing of this insurgency. With a president in exile, those people will resort to armed violence, political standoffs, and terrorism.”

    1. The Root is by far the most vile, racist publication I’ve ever come across.

      1. Just switch a few of the names around and you’d be reading Der Stürmer.

        1. I really want to see someone replace all the proper nouns with pronouns in excerpts from Mein Kampf and some Critical Race Theory literature, then see if people can tell which ones comes from each.

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    2. “coup attempt”

      It’s sad when definitions don’t mean anything. We can call anything a coup. Even a bunch of idiots, allowed into the capital building, taking selfies and breaking a few windows. While unarmed.

      1. Unarmed… except for the pipe bombs and the gallows they constructed out front on the lawn.

        It was armed.

        1. bombs were never in the capitol. Another myth. And last time I checked, gallows were just proper free speech per the left.

          And that is one of the biggest joke articles from Politifact in the last month or two (they have a lot)

          Yes, carrying a gun would constitute being armed. But the definition of the word is much more broad, referring simply to carrying a weapon. So the question is whether this insurrection involved people carrying weapons.

          By this definition every single march in history was armed as you can use a water bottle, bike lock, flag pole, etc as a weapon.

          1. capitol building*

        2. So, a handful of knives, brass knuckles, etc. and the use of makeshift weapons like flagpoles, hockey sticks and fire extinguishers constitutes an ‘armed insurrection’, worthy of being met with deadly force?

          I’m looking forward to seeing this standard applied evenly by Politifact and other Left-wing mouthpieces going forward.

          1. These is no evidence that a fire extinguisher was used as a weapon. The NYT has quietly rewritten their reporting to remove references to one.

        3. You mean the pipe bombs placed at completely different locations on a completely different day, and the fake gibbet that wouldn’t hold a child?
          Even your retarded Politruk link can only come up with an officer’s stolen shield and the discredited fire extinguisher lie.

          Your armed insurrection narrative is dead, White Knight. Even CNN and the NYT have abandoned it.

        4. Do the guillotines antifa dragged out during the summer count too. Stuff your accusations of whataboutism. You don’t like being called a hypocrite.

  2. Again, fuck off, Reason

    Don’t Go Down the Rabbit Hole
    Critical thinking, as we’re taught to do it, isn’t helping in the fight against misinformation.

    Our attention economy allows grifters, conspiracy theorists, trolls and savvy attention hijackers to take advantage of us and steal our focus.
    Our attention economy allows grifters, conspiracy theorists, trolls and savvy attention hijackers to take advantage of us and steal our focus. Credit…Leah Nash for The New York Times
    For an academic, Michael Caulfield has an odd request: Stop overthinking what you see online.

    Mr. Caulfield, a digital literacy expert at Washington State University Vancouver, knows all too well that at this very moment, more people are fighting for the opportunity to lie to you than at perhaps any other point in human history.

    Misinformation rides the greased algorithmic rails of powerful social media platforms and travels at velocities and in volumes that make it nearly impossible to stop. That alone makes information warfare an unfair fight for the average internet user. But Mr. Caulfield argues that the deck is stacked even further against us. That the way we’re taught from a young age to evaluate and think critically about information is fundamentally flawed and out of step with the chaos of the current internet.

    “We’re taught that, in order to protect ourselves from bad information, we need to deeply engage with the stuff that washes up in front of us,” Mr. Caulfield told me recently. He suggested that the dominant mode of media literacy (if kids get taught any at all) is that “you’ll get imperfect information and then use reasoning to fix that somehow. But in reality, that strategy can completely backfire.”

    In other words: Resist the lure of rabbit holes, in part, by reimagining media literacy for the internet hellscape we occupy.

    It’s often counterproductive to engage directly with content from an unknown source, and people can be led astray by false information. Influenced by the research of Sam Wineburg, a professor at Stanford, and Sarah McGrew, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, Mr. Caulfield argued that the best way to learn about a source of information is to leave it and look elsewhere, a concept called lateral reading.

    1. That last bit is great advice. Doubtful they want Times readers to apply it to themselves.

  3. Again, fuck off Reason.
    Capitalism and all its manifestations are now considered dangerous, while advocating for “socialism” — the new requisite philosophy for entering the cool kid’s club — is viewed positively by 61 percent of Gen Z. A third of young adults polled last year supported abolishing the police — more than any other age group. Blinded by myopic visions of cultural revolution, some young people even justify violence. One poll showed 64 percent of college students agreed that last year’s anti-police “rioting and looting is justified to some degree.”

    This rise of orthodoxy comes with a growing intolerance. Alternate perspectives that deviate from the mainstream aren’t just discomforting to young people, they’re treated as a mortal threat. Just over 50 percent of Gen Z college students believe “shouting down speakers or trying to prevent them from talking” is sometimes or always acceptable.

    1. Shutup idiot

      1. Do you get paid for posts under three words?

        Your employer will not be pleased.

        1. He doesn’t even care. He was just that triggered.

  4. So you are saying Joe Biden is a Democrat?
    Well, damn.

  5. Ted Cruz was let in America from Mexico. A start.

  6. I don’t understand how this open borders stuff jives with the $15/hr minimum wage. Doesn’t sound sustainable.

    Doesn’t sound possible in the real world.

    Oh, wait, this is Reason?

    nvm. carry on.

    1. The members of the informal economy will continue to be members of the informal economy. They may not want to be deported for a DUI, but they sure don’t want to pay income tax either.

      1. They will if they can make more money. Many work on fake papers and have tax deducted anyway. Those who work under the table, I have known plenty of non immigrants who do that, will take a regular job if it still results in more take home than their present gig.

        Some of those without documents have trades they could pursue but can’t get licenses or legit jobs doing them. You could be a hairdresser, electrician, mechanic, whatever. But they have to settle for what they can get.

        Tax rate from 14-50 k is around 12% so if I can make 20% more I will.
        Also legit jobs usually have other benefits.

        1. Not to dispute anything you stated, but the point is that if there’s a $15 minimum wage and open borders then new arrivals are more likely to oversupply the market, making the MW increase (or the easier immigration path) largely a moot point.

          1. The minimum wage increase is a bad idea for a lot of reasons.

  7. Look, I’m happy someone from the Koch-funded Cato Institute is writing for Koch-funded to promote Charles Koch’s open borders agenda.

    But really, you’re starting to sound ungrateful. I mean, Drumpf literally ran concentration camps and put kids in cages. Biden immediately liberated those camps once he took office. Shouldn’t we celebrate that?

    Yeah, I want unlimited, unrestricted immigration as much as any Koch / Reason libertarian. But Biden’s Presidency is like a month old. Give him some time.


    1. Give him some time.
      SleepyJoe don’t have much time.

  8. “Many advocates were hopeful that the wave of outrage against Trump’s abuses would translate into more than just a reversal of those policies.”

    Maintaining national sovereignty is an abuse, apparently.

  9. And while immigration was dropping, working class wages were rising.

    I wonder why the billionaires want open borders?

    1. “working class wages were rising”


      As if THAT is what determines a healthy economy.

  10. “They’re sitting in squalor on the other side of the river,” he said passionately.

    AKA, “shitholes.” They’re every where, and if that is a condition for immigration, get ready for a really big fucking influx.

    1. Pretty much all of our ancestors came from shitholes.

  11. One article I saw described Biden’s proposed bill as ‘swinging for the fences.’
    I’d call it political theater. He’s hoping his supporters won’t notice the bill has not chance of passing.

  12. Democrats, “Here kitty-kitty. Vote Democratic! You didn’t VOTE for the Democratic Party?? Bang-Bang..” — Repeat.

  13. U.S. Constitution

    Article I, Section 8, Clause 15 —


    The words “immigration”, “tolerance” and “assimilation” are being used to PROMOTE a program of GENOCIDE against White people.

    According to International Law, open borders, FORCED integration, and assimilation is GENOCIDE.

    Except they don’t call it GENOCIDE when it’s done to White people.

    Then they call it “multiculturalism”


    Multiculturalism means chasing down the last White person.

    1. Fuck off Jeff and take your shitty astroturfing racism bit with you.
      You’re not fooling anyone.

      1. Or it could just be a different poster who is an actual racist. That’s also a possibility.

        1. When someone writes like a retarded white progressive’s imagining of a racist, rather than an actual racist, you know it’s phony.

          From your defense I’m guessing you were the one who wrote that garbage. If you want to know what an actual racist sounds like for the next time you astroturf, go read Misek.

      2. What exactly is racist about it?

  15. Is North America a “white country”, Kemosabe?

    1. De facto*, not de jure.

      *Or so the diversity office tells me.

    2. Did you get banned and have to make another account?

      Also… why do you think Chinese genocide isn’t an issue, is it because you need your 2 dollar cheap plastic toys?

      1. We have not changed the behavior of the Chinese government at all with current policy. If anything it has gotten worse.

        To get anywhere you need a multilateral agreed upon strategy. A real strategy not just tossing things around to see what floats. To get anywhere you have to engage. Isolation doesn’t work.

        I don’t expect it to get any better with the current admin.

        Cheap toys, well Apple and Tesla are expensive toys and they are building new factories there right now just to get around the tariffs.

    3. Our founding fathers thought so. As a political construct, it was. As a geographical location, it was not.

  16. Those massing at our borders are going to force their way into our nation and I don’t see Biden’s failed immigration policy as symbolic.
    As a resident of a border state all illegal immigrants do is cost me money.
    They contribute little to our society and need to stay in their home countries and fix their country instead of cowardly running away.

    1. Just think if all of our ancestors had thought the same way the original inhabitants would be happily running things instead of being forced into the crappy shitholes they are in now.

      Everyone should stay where they were born. Is that what you are saying?

  17. Is David Bier calling Mexico a shithole country? He says border crossers shouldn’t have to wait there because the country is so deplorable. I will not stand for such racism. He should be cancelled.

    1. Who is David Bier? His bio at the Cato says he publishes in the the usual bolshevik suspect media site (NYT, Wapo, USA Today). Given the historical bigotry against Italian Americans at the NYT And USA Today-Frank Gannett was a noted bigot towards Italians in his home town of Rochester NY..he never hired them except as sports reporters you would this Mr. Bier would know better…
      Perhaps he has an issue with certain “ethnicities”…?

  18. Biden’s handlers can read polls, which shows little enthusiasm for massive immigration at this point. Some polls show that 60% of Latinos oppose migration.

    Nobody is eager for thousands of outsiders to enter the country to code, knowing that they’ll become a part of the nation’s covid mess and may introduce new covid variants. Year long riots and shutdown of mainstreet have devastated Latinos who work there and covid fatality is high in that demo. There’s a reason why Trump made slight gains in that group.

    This is a reason why libertarians will never govern. Right now they lose elections because they trot out unserious candidates and do not make an effort to spread their gospel. But even if they got their shit together mounted a serious challenge, their dogma will give center voters pause.

    If your country is in a deadly pandemic and 40 thousand migrants travel across Mexico (another covid zone) to reach your borders and your policy is to “let them in, they help the economy”, most people won’t take you seriously. Not when their own businesses are shut down and their own freedoms are restricted.

  19. Family member (second generation Mexican American) is a border patrol officer..he was very upset when Trump lost as he knew the “catch and release” policy was back. South of Tucson he said the last month has been a nightmare..he spends his days picking up illegal aliens and then trying to find Catholic Churches or other private charity orgs to take these folks..they are full and he has to just drop them off in the street. They are never going to show up at an asylum hearing…but I’m sure they will need taxpayer help. This author seems to want the rest of us to pay for his conscience…reason needs to understand libertarians are not for open borders..nation states protect liberties and self identify…for us that means a belief in liberty and natural rights. The country is too in debt to take on any other countries failed policies..

    Focus on the Fed, wars, the educational complex and the attack in the name of “wokeness” of our liberty…

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