The old rule in politics was never to let a crisis go to waste. In 2023, the rule seems to be to take advantage of every opportunity to blame any crisis on the other side. That is certainly the case with the situation at the U.S. southern border.
Earlier this week, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre accused Republicans of trying to turn the border crisis into a “political stunt,” while also insisting that President Joe Biden is “doing everything he can to deal” with the influx of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“What I’m saying is that the president, without the help, without the help of Republicans, is doing everything that he can to deal with the border,” she responded.
“While Republicans try to push forth a CR to limit – to take away – the federal agents that we see at the border… they’re trying to politicize it and make it worse,” Jean-Pierre continued, referencing recent efforts to avert a government shutdown. “That’s what Republicans are trying to do and turn it into a political stunt. The president is actually dealing with the issue that’s in front of him by getting record funding, 25,000 federal agents at the border. That is something that this president has been able to do.”
Passing the Buck Again!
It is simply the latest time that the press secretary has tried to pass the buck on the border.
It was two weeks ago that she also insisted the president was doing everything in his power and during a White House briefing said, “We have taken steps without the help of Republicans in Congress to do everything that we can to deal with this issue.”
Earlier this week, Jean-Pierre said that there have already been three things that the White House has done to help tackle the border crisis, Fox News reported on Monday.
“There’s enforcement. And so we’ve deployed additional troops and federal agents to the border and removed or returned more than 250,000 individuals since May 12 alone,” she said.
“And deterrence, we’ve had the largest expansion of pathways in decades,” Jean-Pierre continued. “And we’ve made clear that attempting to cross the border unlawfully will result in prompt removal, a five-year ban on re-entry and potential criminal prosecution.”
She then noted, “And let’s not forget the diplomacy that we have done with the region, including Mexico, to deal with this issue, because… this is a regional issue that we’re seeing as it relates to unlawful migration.”
Since she made those comments on Monday, Jean-Pierre’s words have been closely fact-checked and it was noted that while she touted the “record funding” that led to more Border Patrol agents, most of those agents have become “processing coordinators” during the Biden Administration. In other words, they’re doing less patrolling and more processing.
It would also seem that neither the “enforcement” nor “deterrence” were all that successful. Even before the one-month record in September for encounters with illegal aliens, at least 5.8 million illegal immigrants had entered the country since Biden took office in January 2021, the Daily Signal reported, citing Department of Homeland Security Data that was compiled by House Republicans. Some 1.6 million migrants evaded arrest.
The news outlet further noted that 5.8 million migrants would be larger than the population of 29 states.
More Than Migrants
In addition to the jump in “undocumented” migrants, there has been a sharp increase in the amount of fentanyl that has been smuggled into the United States. It is now the leading cause of death for Americans ages 18 to 45.
Though the crisis shows no signs of being resolved, it seems for now that both sides will continue to point fingers. It is just the latest political theater playing out in real-time.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.
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