Harvey: Don’t overlook Biden border boondoggle in 2022

At this point in the Biden presidency, he is a gift that keeps on giving to Republicans in 2022. From COVID-19 mandates to the Afghanistan and Ukraine debacles, the Biden administration has failed on so many fronts that Republicans have to choose which failure(s) to highlight ahead of the midterm elections.

Ted Harvey is chairman of the Committee to Defeat the President.
Admittedly, it’s a really good problem to have. Historically speaking, Democrats were always bound to lose congressional seats this year, and it doesn’t help them that dozens of Biden allies are retiring from Congress. Nor does it help that President Joe Biden’s first-term failure keeps putting Democrats on the defensive. Republicans are now poised to flip control of Congress, behind overwhelming support from American voters who are fed up with the left-wing policies and identity politics of the Biden era.

But, to secure victory in 2022, Republicans cannot forget about immigration. With so much going on, the U.S. border crisis may get lost in the news shuffle, but not for lack of importance. To the contrary, the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border is the worst it’s been in decades. Crisis became the status quo shortly after Biden’s election, and it’s not getting better.

NH GOP candidate for U.S. Senate Kevin Smith at the Mexican border with Brandon Judd, President of the National Border Patrol Council.
Last year, Mexican border arrests hit a new record, with federal agents recording nearly two million apprehensions. About 20 percent of the illegal immigrants arrested were released into the United States to await hearings on their asylum applications. By the spring, Homeland Security officials are expecting as many as 9,000 border arrests per day—a higher peak than even last year. Residents of Del Rio, Texas personally witness dozens of illegal immigrants crossing the Rio Grande every week.

That is unacceptable. American citizens should not be forced to see illegal immigrants—many of them armed and dangerous—on their doorstep. They should be living in a country that respects its national sovereignty and defends its borders. The U.S.-Mexico border should be protected by those in power, starting at the top. Unfortunately, Biden’s border is more an imaginary line than anything else. As one visitor to Texas recently put it, “The southern border of the United States has become a suggestion, a line that vanishes a little more each day.”

Even more unfortunate, Biden’s policy of choice is to keep the floodgates open. In recent weeks, the Biden administration has secretly transported countless migrants to Texas airports and boarded them on flights to different cities across the country. With illegal immigrants flying all over the country and in the dark of the night, the Department of Homeland Security has essentially turned into the “Department of Human Smuggling.”

Rather than punishing illegal immigrants for breaking the law, the federal government is subsidizing their lawlessness and setting them up to stay here indefinitely. Reward is taking the place of retribution, incentivizing future migrants to also break the law. Blessed with the left’s open-borders agenda, why wouldn’t they?

Now is the time for American voters to punish Democrats in return. The “red wave” is coming in 2022, but only if Republicans keep exposing the utter travesty at the border. This is an unprecedented boondoggle. It’s no wonder that immigration is a top issue for the electorate, with only the economy considered more important (and for good reason, given inflation). Nearly 60 percent of Americans, including independents, disapprove of Biden’s immigration agenda. Hispanic voters are among the Biden administration’s harshest critics.

Of course, immigration is not the only issue in 2022. After all, inflation is at seven percent (and counting). Republicans can and should pounce on the tax-and-spend policies that flooded the economic system with free money, making it more difficult for employers to find workers.

But overlooking the border crisis would be a lost opportunity for Republicans. It could just flip Congress in November.