Whew! If not now, when? As Ronald Reagan asked in another context. Maybe — as those of us closer to the situation; e.g., Texans, view it — not for a period stretching to the crack of doom.
Democratic whips tell leaders of their party’s would-be juggernaut, ready to ride those vicious Republicans into the moist soil of Washington DC, that the votes just plain aren’t there.
New strategies may be pursued — for instance, passing the plan in chunks, instead of as a single, sizzling dish. The trouble is that the Biden plan, whose aim is to sweep illegal immigrants and asylum into the American system with scarce thought for potential consequences, is seen as enjoying stunted appeal.
Why would that be? One obvious answer is that — like the $1.9 trillion ‘pandemic’ bill — its vast and divergent ambitions fit ill together.
I mentioned Texans a moment ago. Why would that ‘Neanderthal’ bailiwick matter to anyone? (I refer, you will infer, to Biden’s characterization of Gov. Greg Abbott and his decision to make mask-wearing a matter of personal choice after next week.)
Texas’s experience with a 1,254-mile Mexican border illustrates, along with the benefits, the challenges that any immigration policy brings.
The great majority of people from abroad seeking refuge in the United States cross, or try to cross, our southern border. That is in part on account of the border’s length and accessibility. It is in part due to the turmoil in Central American countries — economic, criminal, climatological. Central America is in bad shape. Fast-growing numbers of its people want out. ‘Out’ means the United States. The United States means in practice to Texas (as well as to California and the less promising venues of Arizona and New Mexico.) In Texas jobs are plentiful, especially in construction.
Additionally, Mexicans have integrated themselves into the life and culture of Texas since — well, forever. Honestly, we Anglos took the place from them politically — not in any other sense — going on two centuries ago. John Wayne’s film epic The Alamo, which I have been watching as part of my annual Texas independence commemoration, shows discerningly the complexity and, frankly, the excitement that proceeds from the mingling of two discrete peoples with nothing particularly against each other — save maybe some contrasting ideas as to Madisonian governing theory. Lots of Texans speak a little Spanish; they dote on ‘Tex-Mex’ food. They get along: much of the time quite well.
Especially striking in this context was the news last November that Donald Trump — Donald Trump! — had won virtually all-Hispanic Zapata County — way, way down there near the Mexican border — by six points: reversing Hillary Clinton’s 33-point win four years earlier. The issues that proved instrumental, as in other Hispanic venues that went for Trump: employment, abortion and pandemic shutdowns. Immigration wasn’t talked of so lustily. Now it emerges large as life, due to the Democrats’ ideological insistence on dissolving the border.
Neither Anglo nor Hispanic Texans yearn to make the southern border disappear, to the muddying-up of just about everything, including the question: who belongs here? Can’t the Biden administration get through its skull the notion that you can’t just let into America everyone who, on whatever ground, wants to come? It’s not about race. The historic racial complexity of Texas would seem to prove that. It’s about doing things the right way.
The right way in 2021 from the Democratic perspective is mostly about depicting Trump as a slavering racist out to collar and cage as many Hispanic asylum seekers, children especially, as possible. Funny thing: with Biden’s accession to power, word is out in Central America that it’s about to become OK to show up at America’s doorstep and demand admittance. Facilities in Texas meant to house limited numbers of new arrivals are beginning to overflow.
What’s the plan, Joe? Another speech? Another outburst against those mean old Neanderthals — the last oppressed minority Democrats haven’t sought to court?