Joe Biden is losing the war for the border to Donald Trump

By Andrew R. Arthur on February 29, 2024

New York Post, February 29, 2024

On Thursday, President Biden and Donald Trump offered Americans a split-screen view of the border in Texas — Biden in Brownsville, on the Gulf end of the Rio Grande, and Trump upriver in Eagle Pass.

Each location was carefully chosen, Biden from what Texas Gov. Greg Abbott termed a “sanitized location,” and Trump on the border itself, to showcase Texas’ efforts to fill Biden’s enforcement void and do what the administration won’t — secure its border with Mexico.

As Abbott noted after Trump’s remarks, concertina-wire barriers and state personnel, elements of a Texas border effort called Operation Lone Star, have “wired” Brownsville “shut.”

The results are telling.

Apprehensions in that area fell from 30,000-plus in January 2022 to about 15,000 one year later, before falling below 7,500 this January.

Dog that caught the car

Plainly, Biden didn’t want to be shown up by Texas’ barriers and troopers.

The tip of the Lone Star spear is Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, where Trump appeared.

Overall, rank-and-file agents are grateful for Texas’ aid, but the state’s wire barriers there rankled somebody in Biden’s Department of Homeland Security.

So agents were ordered to cut and remove them last September.

Texas sued to stop that destruction, so the Justice Department went to the Supreme Court to win the administration’s right to keep cutting Texas’ wire.

While the justices were deliberating, Texas upped the ante and seized Shelby Park, a border recreation area, and laid down even more wire.

By the time the court ruled in Biden’s favor 12 days later, he must have felt like the dog that caught the car.

The legal battle to destroy the wire barriers undermined his claims that he was doing all he could to secure the border.

You’ll notice DHS hasn’t touched the wire since the justices ruled.

Shelby Park is the new Alamo, and Biden doesn’t want to be seen as the modern-day Santa Anna.

In his border remarks, Biden blamed Republicans for not passing the “comprehensive” immigration bill he introduced on Inauguration Day and for blocking recent “bipartisan” Senate border legislation.

The former is a massive amnesty bill that even Democrats wouldn’t touch, while the latter would cost billions and give Biden even more power to release illegal migrants.

Trump’s remarks focused on migrant crime, a salient topic following the killing of Laken Riley in Georgia last week, allegedly at the hands of a Venezuelan migrant Biden’s DHS released.

Released to prey

That killing has sparked a debate over whether illegal migrants commit more or fewer crimes than Americans.

The Washington Post fact-checker weighed the evidence — including an analysis from my employer, the Center for Immigration Studies (which found the data suggested “more”) — and concluded on Thursday that “the results can remain subject to dispute and interpretation.”

That’s not only not helpful, but it also misses two key points.

First, legal immigrants show that they have clean records before they’re allowed in.

Illegal migrants don’t, and the perfunctory vetting DHS does before it releases them depends on its ability to access their records back home.

Venezuela’s government has no interest in helping us.

Second, every illegal-migrant crime is preventable.

If migrant criminals weren’t released, they couldn’t prey on Americans — citizens and lawful immigrants alike.