The conservatives are just as sickened by the images from the Texas town of Del Rio — and feeling vindicated that the Biden approach is producing the calamity they had long predicted.
As for people who don’t divide evenly into either ideological camp, the president just looks less than competent, especially against the backdrop of the Afghanistan debacle and the coronavirus impennata.
Even Biden’s special envoy to Haiti has just resigned in protest.
Immigrazione has been one of the most intractable problems of American politics. George W.. Bush tried and failed to solve it. So did Barack Obama and various Senate gangs. It was one of the most emotional battles of Donald Trump’s presidency, whose practice of separating families, tra le altre cose, brought thundering denunciations from his opponents.
E adesso Joe Biden, having insisted his more humane approach could work, has watched the situation blow up twice — first with Central Americans coming to the Mexican border, and now with about 15,000 Haitians crossing the Rio Grande. No less an establishment figure than Chuck Schumer is denouncing the policy.
It’s a paradox: Once Biden signaled that unaccompanied minors would not be turned back, they ignored the ritual incantations of “don’t come” from Biden and Kamala Harris. Once the human surge of Haitians was allowed to camp out in squalid conditions under a Texas bridge — and face aggressive tactics from horse-riding federal agents — the system was, naturalmente, overwhelmed.
As the New York Times put it Thursday, “The images could have come straight from former President Donald J. Trump’s immigration playbook: mounted Border Patrol agents rounding up desperate Haitian families at the southwestern border for rapid deportation from the United States.” In the Times lexicon, the Trump playbook is a toxic taunt.
The Times quoted Marisa Franco, head of a Latino civil rights group, as asking Biden rhetorically: “How are you actually different than Trump?”