Republicans and Democrats Are Partially To Blame For Decades-old Migrant Surges at Southern Border

Each election year Republican politicians will play up a migrant horde crisis at the southern border, that caravans of illegals are invading our country and pose a threat to national security.

Republican Govs. Greg Abbott (Texas) and Ron DeSantis (Florida) recently elevated the theatrics further in what some are calling a publicity stunt by busing migrants to Democrat havens NYC, Washington, DC, Chicago and Massachusetts, and leaving them there without local authorities or shelters being notified ahead of time to prepare. The surprise drop-offs caused overcrowding and chaos at sites and reignited debates between Republicans and Democrats over how to deal with migrants crossing the southern border.

Those to the political right praised Abbott and DeSantis for the bus drop offs saying it’s high time that other non-border states get a taste of migrants and the resources they require. But those on the political left called the busing trips a sick ploy that used human beings as puppets for political gain as the midterm election approaches.

Migrant controversy is a real problem
The reason the migrants-at-the-border issue remains effective at scaring voters (especially if they happen to be xenophobic) is because there actually is a real problem. Since Biden became president more than one million undocumented immigrants seeking asylum have entered the country by crossing the southern border. But record-breaking numbers have been occurring for decades, under both Democrat-led and Republican-led administrations.

Migrants from around the world has caught on to this way of entry into the U.S. via Mexico.  U.S. Figures from internal Homeland Security data and court filings show asylum seekers are from more than 150 countries.

It should be mentioned that claiming asylum is legal under current law but it’s arguably being abused as a method of entry – as Republicans say it is.

However, Republican politicians – great at pointing out the problem – have not been willing to work with Democrats on immigration reform, which raises the question exactly how much do Republicans really want to solve the migrant crossings at the Mexican border since raising alarm has been so successful in getting many of them reelected.

Just recently in 2017-19, Republicans had the presidency and full control of Congress. What did they do on comprehensive immigration reform? Nothing. The same for Democrats with their full control these past two years – they accomplished nothing as well.

Immigration reform would help the migrant surge
Immigration reform is necessary to deal with the backlog of cases that have immigrants going through legal channels waiting at times for years to be able to enter the U.S. And waiting for such a long time to enter the conventional way is one reason why many of these migrants are desperate to go to border checkpoints and use the asylum avenue, even though, technically, many of them do not meet the criteria for what a legal refugee is.

Besides addressing backlog, comprehensive immigration reform should also consider an annual cap on migrants seeking asylum that is reasonable and does not overburden local communities as it is now doing.

A vast majority of asylum seekers will not be granted approval to stay in the U.S.
It should be noted that most asylum seekers will have their cases dismissed and be forced to leave the country. Being granted asylum is rare from only 15-28%. And outside of asylum seekers from China, Venezuela, and Turkey (these three have the highest approval rates), chances for getting legal asylum is even lower.

In this light, it could be argued that the southern border “invasion” (this specific word commonly used) is really hyperbole. It’s true that processing, housing, and providing a court hearing for asylum seekers is costly. But an “invasion” is inaccurate. And those who genuinely have the right to be here after a thorough investigative process are few in the overall scheme of U.S. immigration.

Busing migrants is not new; politicizing busing is a first
While busing migrants to other parts of the country beyond the border states is stirring controversy of late, it’s actually been standard practice for decades.

Democrat mayors of border states (not just Republicans) also have bused migrants as a means to help them get to their sponsor/relative living in other parts of the country or to have them be relocated to a specific place that they want to be until their court hearing date. Busing is entirely voluntary and the state and counties are often reimbursed by the federal government for this service.

At times, a vast majority of asylum-seeking migrants will not stay in a border city no longer than 24-48 hours before being bused out. It is exactly for this reason that the southern border crossings – because of the huge number of migrants —  is a national concern. Asylum-seeking migrants are now everywhere in this country.

Migrant situation is a result of both Republican and Democrat politicians inaction
Being that it’s election time, so who’s really to blame for allowing this situation to worsen year after year? Ultimately both political parties should share the blame because both parties have failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Possible reasons for inaction: 1) Republicans get votes by sensationalizing the southern border crisis; and 2) Democrats fear that enacting either too strict or too lenient comprehensive reform could alienate sectors of their base and centrist voters.

If immigration were the only and sole issue from which voters should judge who should get their vote, neither party has done enough to get an advantage. For Republicans to use it as their first and primary go-to each election cycle – the migrant scare at the southern border – this says more about inciting fear than actually having plans for the country. Both parties must come together after the midterm and finally pass a comprehensive reform bill.

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