When what seemed to be a flash mob of Haitian illegal immigrants turned up on the U.S.-Mexico border in September, the sudden appearance probably came as a surprise to most Americans.
In the months since the Biden administration started its disastrous de facto policy of opening the nation’s southern border, the country had gotten regrettably used to the daily outrage of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens from Central and South American countries crossing the border with virtual impunity.
But tens of thousands of “asylum-seekers” from an island country far from the Rio Grande was unexpected to civilians — even if agencies in President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security had been aware it was coming for months.
According to a report Wednesday by NBC News, DHS agencies including Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the department’s own Office of Intelligence Analysis were all aware that a huge number of Haitians were headed to the U.S. border from Central and South America — but took no action on it.
— The Hill (@thehill) October 7, 2021
Citing DHS officials it did not name, NBC reported that the intelligence was not shared widely enough for top officials to come to a consensus on how fast the latest crisis would arrive or department.
“I don’t think we expected the rapidity of the increase that occurred,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told NBC in a Sept. 20 interview publicized by Breitbart News.
But since security for the homeland is basically what Americans are paying the Department of Homeland Security to accomplish, “we didn’t expect it” isn’t much of an excuse as a rule. In this case, judging by the NBC report, it’s simply insulting.
As USA Today reported on Sept. 21, Haitians have fled their benighted Caribbean country by the hundreds of thousands in the decade since a devastating 2010 earthquake.
Many landed in Brazil, where labor was needed in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Others went to Chile where, according to USA Today, the Haitian population more than doubled between 2017 and 2018, from about 65,000 to about 150,000.
Now, with Biden’s decision to reverse the policies of former President Donald Trump, policies that had established some law and order on the southern border, circumstances had changed.
“The end goal is always the United States,” Eduardo Gamarra, professor of political science at the Florida International University, told USA Today.
“And the pattern is one that wasn’t really begun by the Haitians, it was begun by the Cubans. They’re the ones who set this trail.”
It might be true that Cuban emigres have set an example for those seeking asylum in the U.S. But it’s also true that they’re fleeing a communist regime with a longstanding political and military rivalry with the United States. (It’s the kind of communist dictatorship, of course, that Democrats like Sen. Bernie Sanders love.)
No one has ever denied that there are poorer countries than the U.S. — capitalism has lifted more of humanity out of poverty than collective economy ever will.
But as Donald Trump knew and proved, a nation must have control over its own borders.
In the months since Biden replaced Trump, his administration has deliberately abdicated that primary responsibility of the federal government — as the Haitian invasion shows.
According to NBC, part of the reason for the administration’s paralysis during the months before the crisis forced itself into public awareness was disagreement on what exactly to do to deter it. One group wanted to increase deportations of Haitians in the U.S. illegally as a signal to dissuade those planning a northern migration.
Others, NBC reported, thought that would be inhumane in light of the earthquake that struck Haiti in August (and were no doubt well aware of how deporting black Haitians would play in the identity-politics-obsessed left wing of the Democratic Party).
So, essentially, a combination of poor communication between federal agencies and political cowardice set up the elements for Americans to wake up to the news that a veritable army of illegal immigrants had set up camp on the southern border, and their country’s president had no means of stopping it.
It’s not a big jump from there to call to mind the feckless situation of the federal government prior to the 9/11 attacks, when the U.S. lost the lives of thousands of citizens thanks to an inability to share information between intelligence agencies and law enforcement. That inability was a deliberate product of the Clinton administration, as conservative commentator and author Andrew McCarthy wrote in a 9/11 anniversary piece for the website The New Criterion.
“The wall had its catastrophic effect in August 2001, when the intelligence agents learned that al Qaeda — affiliated terrorists had probably entered the United States but FBI headquarters refused to permit those agents to work in tandem with criminal investigators to find them,” McCarthy wrote. “A few weeks later, those terrorists were part of the suicide-hijacking team that crashed Flight 77 into the Pentagon.”
Two decades on, if the NBC report is true, we have agencies within a single department in the Biden administration apparently not pooling information enough to forestall what amounts to an alien army gathering on the border.
The political impact of that Haitian encampment has been bad enough — the hoax of border agents allegedly “whipping” migrants from horseback has given leftist liars ammunition that will last for years.
The actual impact remains to be seen. Mayorkas has been dodgy about actual numbers, but at least 12,000 of those who ended up on the border have been released into the United States with an order to appear in court, he told Fox News in late September. (Cynics might think those orders are going to be utterly disregarded.)
But the impact on the future is easy to guess. Another surge of almost 30,000 Haitian migrants is expected on the U.S. border by the month’s end, Panama’s foreign minister Erkica Mouynes told the website Axios in an interview last week.
The incompetence and political cowardice that marked the Biden administration’s response to the last Haitian surge doesn’t bode well for its handling of the next one.
And as to the national security implications, it was a similar combination of incompetence and political cowardice that kept American security officials from sharing information with each other in 2001 that helped foster the single deadliest attack on the country in history.
If the Biden administration’s bungling leads to anything similar, Americans, no matter what their politics, will have no excuse for being surprised.
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