South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott delivered the GOP response to President Biden’s April 28 address to a joint session of Congress. Sen. Scott’s speech was eloquent, conciliatory, unifying, and upbeat. Most importantly of all, it was a defense of America as a land of opportunity for all. Unfortunately, there was an elephant in the room: immigration in general, and the southwestern border crisis in particular.
While President Biden mentioned immigration in his address, he did so mainly to offer generalized platitudes in favor of mass migration. And he once again promoted amnesty and citizenship for illegal aliens while refusing to take any responsibility for his self-inflicted border crisis, which he only mentioned in passing.
Admittedly, Sen. Scott could not have possibly addressed every single element of President Biden’s long speech. But glossing over immigration in general – and the border crisis in particular – in silence is a mistake. That’s because immigration and border (in)security are rapidly becoming Joe Biden’s Achilles’ heel, and therefore a scathing indictment of the new president’s “leadership.”
Moreover, immigration is a key issue – not merely just one of many issues – because our borders and immigration laws both define and protect sovereignty as a nation. Their violation – along with the chief executive’s actions adding fuel to the fire – are a slap in the face of the American people and a serious dereliction of duty. On a practical level, immigration (both legal and illegal) overlaps with or impacts many other important issues, including school overcrowding, out-of-control government spending, taxation, public safety and health, national security, and others.
Failing to mention immigration in a year when the border is relatively secure, or the government is at least doing its job and attempting to stem mass illegal migration, is one thing. But remaining silent when we are facing a border security and humanitarian crisis at the Southwestern border that is already dwarfing the 2019 crisis is quite another. According to a Border Patrol official, we are on track to apprehend more than 1 million illegal aliens at the U.S.-Mexico frontier this fiscal year, which would top the apprehensions for FY2019. According to internal government estimates reported by CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez, the Border Patrol may even encounter 2 million illegal migrants!
The rebuttal speech was an opportunity to bring the attention of the American people to the growing disaster at the Southwest border and emphasize its gravity and urgency. Sadly, Sen. Scott missed this opportunity.