The Red Herring of Immigration
Two of the subjects I have always been loathe to write about in TRUTH: In 1000 Words or Less are immigration and feminine hygiene products. That’s because I know conspicuously little about either one. And given my dearth of knowledge on these subjects, I find myself lacking in the type of moral conviction necessary for harbouring a decisive opinion on either matter. But given the recent political skirmish over a proposed immigration bill supported by both the Senate and Joe Biden, I can tell you something of substance related to each of those topics. First, Republicans have zero interest in actually making inroads on this divisive issue. And second, I may not know much about other feminine products, but watching Donald Trump trying to sabotage this legislation for his own political gain makes me realise that I still know a douche when I see one.
That’s because the burgeoning reality of the new Republican Party, the one still orchestrated by the bloviating windbag that is Donald Trump even though he is no longer President and has never won a majority of the popular vote in any national election, is that they are not here to solve problems but to create them. They don’t want to govern; they just want the power that goes with political office. Their path to political victory is to highlight problematic issues within our nation, then wilfully prevent any viable solution that Democrats prefer to solve them, so that they can then harness the angst they have sown and wield it on the campaign trail.
Even though this bill would make it much harder for folks who have crossed the border illegally to then apply for asylum and would place strict limits on any asylum protections for days where the border is overwhelmed, Trump has urged his Republican colleagues to defeat the bill and his lackey in the House, Speaker Mike “Somebody Please Touch My” Johnson, has already suggested that the “bill is dead on arrival”. But why? This is exactly the type of legislation they have been pushing for, giving stronger authority to the President and border officials to take much-needed action along the Southern border. So why are they now stifling any potential progress on the immigration issue?
The answer, of course, lies in politics. Trump and his Republican colleagues believe that any legislation that helps alleviate the burden currently being pressed on the border security system will only be seen as a victory for Biden. And that is to be avoided at all costs, even if it means the detriment of the nation as a whole. They know that a recent CBS poll found that 70% of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of the immigration issue, and this is the Albatros they plan to hang around his neck come November. Especially at a time when the stock market is hitting new highs, inflation is levelling off, and unemployment numbers have reached lows not seen during the entirety of the Trump presidency, Republicans understand that they cannot afford to let Biden take a victory lap on the one issue where they feel they can take him to task. If they let Biden solve the problem, how are they going to campaign on it come November?
But let’s face it, we do have a major problem confronting us on how to handle the waves of would-be immigrants flooding over the Southern border. Right now aerial footage suggests that illegal border crossings from Mexico have reached an all-time high of 12,000 per day. I have generally wanted this country to live up to its motto of welcoming hard-working foreign immigrants looking to make a better life for themselves and their families, but those numbers are simply unsustainable. It is putting a strain on resources that are impacting the ability of local governments to be able to meet the needs of the people who are already living there.
In Denver, for example, a city with a total population of just around 710,000 people, nearly 40,000 immigrants have arrived in just the past year. Denver Public Schools, with a total student population of just over 90,000, has witnessed an influx of 3000 immigrant children, most of which know little to no English and many of which have never spent a single day inside a classroom. These kids, through no fault of their own, require specialised classroom settings with needs that sap the limited financial resources needed to educate the remaining 90,000 students. Meanwhile, Denver Mayor Mike Johnston estimates the city will need $100 million over 2024 to pay for housing, schooling, health care and other services as a result of the unexpected influx of migrants. And that’s in Colorado, a full 1400 miles from the Southern border. Imagine what the impact must be like in states like Texas and Arizona. I’m no fan of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, but suddenly I can understand why he may want to bus some of these well-meaning immigrants to other parts of the country so that they can share in the burden of their care and thus have a better appreciation for just how severe the immigration issue has become for border states.
Has Biden been a big part of the problem? Absolutely. But now that he is taking steps to alleviate the predicament with immigration, Republicans want nothing more than to thwart those efforts for the cynical purpose of personal political gain. Trump and his cronies are not here to Make America Great Again. They have no desire to govern or solve problems. They just want to ensure that it is crappy enough that voters will hold Democrats accountable and put them back into the positions of power they never deserved in the first place.
Steven Craig is the author of the best-selling novel WAITING FOR TODAY, as well as numerous published poems, short stories, and dramatic works. Read his blog TRUTH: In 1000 Words or Less every THURSDAY at www.waitingfortoday.com