I’m afraid the Fareed Zakarias is engaging in wishful thinking in his latest Washington Post column. He pleads with Democrats to change their position on immigration:
The Democrats are confronting a crisis that could cripple their chances at the polls at the national, state and local level. I’m talking about immigration. It’s happening not only because Republicans are taking advantage of the problem but also because Democrats are unwilling to accept that their policy ideas on the issue are wrong and grossly inadequate to the challenge at hand.
The number of people coming across our southern border, most claiming asylum, has been around 2 million per year every year since Joe Biden took office. Add to that the number of “gotaways”—those known to have entered but not apprehended—at around 500,000 per year and some unknown number of completely undetected border crossings.
Here in Chicago dealing with the influx of migrants has resulted in a 4% budget shortfall. In a city with very nearly if not the lowest credit rating of any major city and a declining population that is a serious issue.
In short the enormous influx of migrants is threatening a collapse.
I see no prospect whatever that President Biden will admit that he was wrong. Candidate Biden ran on letting “asylum seekers” into the country apparently not realizing that along wiht the legitimate asylum seekers we would get an even larger number of illegitimate claims for asylum. Admitting fault is not something that politicians do well.
The question now is whether the federal government will address the problem at all or will merely stand frozen like a deer in the headlights. Addressing the problem and securing the border has always been within the president’s authority: he could order the military to do it. The asylum requests overloading the system could be addressed by imposing a stricter standard than the present hihgly subjective “credible threat” standard. That, too, is within the president’s authority.
One more point. There is broad agreement among Americans that immigration is good for the country. My concern is at is always has been that the large amount of illegal and illegitimate immigration will threaten support for legal immigration and legitimate claims for asylum.
Here’s Mr. Zakaria’s proposal:
There is only one solution to this crisis, as Nolan Rappaport, a longtime congressional expert on the issue, has suggested: The president must use the power he has in existing law to suspend entirely the admission of asylum seekers while the system digests the millions of immigration cases already pending. The British government has passed a law to this effect.
Do you believe that President Biden will do that? That’s the material equivalent of exactly what I said above—closing the U. S. even to legitimate asylum-seekers. The next step would be an outright ban on immigration and I’m concerned that is coming.