Blue State Blues: The Border Will Define the 2024 Election

by JOEL B. POLLAK 30 Dec 2022

The crisis at the southern U.S. border continues to be the greatest failure of Joe Biden’s presidency — one that he refuses even to acknowledge — and it will define the 2024 presidential election more than any other issue.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court preserved the one remaining mechanism for border enforcement: Title 42, a pandemic-era rule that allows the U.S. to prohibit immigration to the country for public health reasons.

President Biden once declared that wanted to drop Title 42, just as he got rid of every other mechanism that former President Donald Trump used to enforce the border — notably the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required asylum applicants to wait before entering the U.S.; and the border “wall,” which is one infrastructure project, along with the Keystone XL pipeline, that Democrats somehow could not find the money to fund.

Now the Biden administration is trying to wash its hands of the Title 42 controversy, claiming that it would drop the policy only under duress, thanks to a court order — one that the administration initially sought. The fact that thousands of people are flocking to the border every day is causing some in the White House to realize that the mainstream media cannot ignore the problem forever, and that blame will eventually be assigned.

The official Biden administration position is that the border crisis cannot be resolved until Congress — i.e. Republicans — passes “comprehensive immigration reform,” including a path to citizenship for illegal aliens.

That argument is hostage-taking dressed up as compromise: the administration is saying that Republicans must either accept millions of new (Democrat-voting) citizens now, or there will be millions more in the future.

Of course, there is no guarantee that any compromise on immigration will stop the border influx. The lesson Republicans have learned from past failures is that border security must come first, or it does not come at all.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is playing for time, hoping the crisis somehow disappears and that people forget all the lies the White House has told about it. (Remember the claims that migration was “seasonal”?)

But the border issue is about much more than the border. It is about drugs, and the fentanyl pandemic that is killing upwards of 100,000 Americans every year, thanks to cross-border smuggling.

It is about terrorism, and the large number of people on terror watch lists who are taking their chances on the southern border.

It is about crime, and the shadow of fear that has fallen across American cities as cartels and gangs grow more brazen.

The border issue is also about equality — about rich liberals in Martha’s Vineyard praising their own piety as they ship migrants to a military base after 24 hours on the island, or declaring states of emergency over a few dozen arrivals in big cities, while small towns in Republican-voting border areas are swamped by hundreds of thousands of people.

It is about democracy — about American citizens seeing their votes potentially diluted by people who refuse to follow the rules, and by politicians who are violating their sworn oaths to uphold the law.

Republicans do not agree on much these days. Establishment leaders seem to believe the biggest problem is Donald Trump. Trump seems to think the biggest problem is the 2020 election. Social media activists seem to be most exercised over vaccines, or drag shows. And no one seems to care about federal spending anymore.

The one unifying issue is the border crisis. And the candidate with the most credible border policy will prevail.

Blue State Blues: The Border Will Define the 2024 Election (