Politico, an inside-the-Beltway news site, rarely passes up an opportunity to take potshots at President Donald Trump. Its latest salvo from America’s southern border went even wider left than usual.
Clearly miffed at the administration’s efforts to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, Politico posted a “letter” from Tijuana this week. The key passage read:
“One of the most direct effects of Trump’s border policy is that thousands of foreigners from all over the world have found themselves unexpectedly stuck on the southern border. Since 2017, Trump has turned the country’s immigration system on its head to deter Central American asylum-seekers. But policies meant to address Guatemalan or Honduran migrants have also affected Jewish people fleeing persecution in Hungary; Syrians escaping civil war in their home country; and LGBTQ people fleeing Vladimir Putin’s homophobic regime in Russia. The effects of U.S. border policy are not confined to northern Mexico. They reverberate around the world.”
How much victimology and absurdity can a single paragraph contain? Let’s unpack it.
1. “Unexpectedly stuck at the border”? Who (besides Politico) doesn’t know about America’s ramped-up border security? This has long been a subject of much anxious reporting in the media. There’s nothing “unexpected” about this.
2. Securing the border “turns the immigration system on its head”? Whether migrants are bona fide refugees or run-of-the-mill illegal aliens, national security and the rule of law demand that a functional immigration system determine the difference. A system that fails to effectively vet immigrants is upside-down.
3.“Jewish people fleeing persecution in Hungary.” Unlike every other one of the groups mentioned, these are people who are already guaranteed refuge in a developed Western nation (Israel). They don’t even have to prove that they are being persecuted in Hungary to gain admission. If they are stuck at the border it is of their own choosing.
4. “Syrians … and LGBTQ Russians”? These folks certainly passed through at least one safe country (they’re in Mexico!), and very likely several safe countries on their journey to the U.S.-Mexico border without asking for protection.
Implicit in Politico’s narrative is an assumption that migrants are entitled to enter the U.S. after traversing the globe and skipping through several nations to get here. Summarily admitting people who simply show up to claim asylum is not an immigration system; it’s a mockery of national borders and undermines state sovereignty.
Politico’s bizarre dispatch goes on to blame Trump for Eastern Europeans landing on America’s doorstep, as if that were a new phenomenon. In fact, some of the current figures cited are smaller than those recorded in 2016, the last year of the Obama administration.
But such historical context is only so much niggling detail to Politico, whose founding editor recently mused, “What if [Donald] Trump Weren’t Nuts?”
Who’s unhinged now?