By John Daniel Davidson
Amid the scrum of news this week about Democrat-led schemes to put former President Donald Trump on trial during the GOP primaries and rig the 2024 election in plain sight, you might have missed a cautionary tale out of New York City, where Democrat millionaires are whining about a migrant crisis they helped create.
A group of more than 120 executives, including Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, Larry Fink of BlackRock, and Jane Fraser of Citigroup, sent a letter to the Biden administration and congressional leaders asking for more federal aid to New York, to help with what they call “the humanitarian crisis that has resulted from the continued flow of asylum-seekers into our country.
Credit where credit is due: These wealthy New York executives seem to have figured out the connection between huge numbers of illegal immigrants — sorry, “asylum-seekers” — and the humanitarian crisis that always follows.
It’s a connection many of us made years ago, back when massive waves of illegal immigrants were overrunning Texas border towns and gathering in sprawling makeshift encampments along the north banks of the Rio Grande. Unable to house or even properly process these people, federal border officials resorted to dropping them off at bus stations in places like McAllen and Del Rio, Texas — relatively small towns with few resources to cope with the thousands of illegal immigrants released from federal custody, sometimes on a daily basis.
But so long as the chaos and crisis stayed in south Texas, Democrats in deep-blue enclaves like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles were happy to tut-tut anyone who claimed there was a problem at the border or suggested that maybe we should do something to stop the flow of illegal border-crossers. If you complained or proposed solutions, you were a racist — just like those Border Patrol horsemen with their “whips.” How dare they try to stop foreigners from illegally entering the country right in front of them?
But now that hotels and shelters are filled to overflowing in these cities, now that the crisis has come directly to open-border Democrats’ homes and places of work, wealthy urban elites want the government to do something about it. (A New York Times story this week mentioned that new arrivals are being forced to sleep outside over-capacity shelters, including one at the Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown, “just blocks away from JPMorgan’s offices.”)
The New York letter, whose list of signatories includes people like Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla and Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf, ends with a plea to Washington “to take immediate action to better control the border and the process of asylum and provide relief to the cities and states that are bearing the burdens posed by the influx of asylum seekers.”
Of course, to hear White House flack Karine Jean-Pierre tell it, President Biden is controlling the influx of migrants at the border and, in fact, has stopped the flow! She actually said that this week, even though as Bill Melugin of Fox News was quick to point out, it’s completely false.
Leaving aside idiotic White House spin, do the wealthy letter-signers of New York realize that one very effective way to “better control the border” is for state and local law enforcement to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to ensure illegal immigrants under an order of deportation by an immigration judge are actually deported? Do they know that kind of enforcement is a powerful deterrent to would-be illegal border-crossers abroad, and lack of such enforcement is a powerful pull factor that encourages more illegal immigration?
It would seem they do not. These are the same people, after all, who tacitly supported a 2019 law making it much easier for illegal immigrants to get a driver’s license in New York, thus shielding them from detection, while also prohibiting ICE and CBP from accessing New York DMV records.
Did the current Democratic mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, support this policy when it was introduced four years ago? He was a state senator for years; surely he knew about it. Today, Mayor Adams says that any plan to address the migrant crisis in his city that does not involve stopping the flow of illegal immigration at the border “is a failed plan.”
I hate to be the one to break it to him, but stopping the flow of illegal immigration at the border means taking away the incentives for people to illegally cross the border in the first place. Making it easy for illegal immigrants to get a driver’s license, for example, while helping to shield them from federal immigration authorities, is a recipe for more, not less, illegal immigration.
New York is of course only one state among many that have passed such laws. Indeed, a vast illegal immigrant sanctuary network has sprung up nationwide in recent years among blue cities, states, and counties that have enacted laws, ordinances, regulations, and policies that hinder immigration enforcement and shield criminal aliens from ICE.
Still, even amid the crisis, with migrant families sleeping on the streets of New York and other major cities, blue-state elites don’t quite seem to grasp what’s happening, which is why they aren’t demanding deportation but better processing and expedited work permits for “asylum-seekers” — policies that do nothing but provide more and stronger incentives for migrants to enter the United States illegally.
And make no mistake: Would-be migrants are acutely aware of the incentives and disincentives at work here. As Todd Bensman of the Center for Immigration Studies noted in a recent interview, “All U.S.-bound immigrants pay very, very close, almost academic attention, to any and all policy pronouncements uttered or implemented by American leaders about immigration. They also pay close attention to news of all immigration-related court rulings. The reason they are so disciplined is because this or that policy or court ruling either makes illegal entry easier or harder.”
Which means, in turn, that surges in illegal border crossings of the kind we’ve seen since Biden took office — a record 2.3 million border arrests last year and on track for the same or greater this year — are driven almost entirely by policy decisions coming out of Washington, D.C., and legal rulings from the federal judiciary.
If New York millionaire Democrats paid half as much attention to border policy as illegal immigrants do, maybe they’d grasp what’s going on at the border, and why. Maybe they could then start to make sense of the anger and frustration of working- and middle-class residents of their cities, who increasingly show up at public meetings to express outrage at the migrant crisis. One woman, a Chicago resident speaking at a recent meeting about a migrant shelter in Hyde Park, was blunt about it: “I don’t want them there. Take them someplace else or send them back to Venezuela. I don’t care where they go. This is wrong. You got 73 percent of the people homeless in this city are black people. What have you done for them?”
Maybe, just maybe the wealthy elites who run our blue cities are beginning to wake up and realize that soon that woman’s question will be on the lips of every resident of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and every other place where Democrats have helped create the conditions for this crisis.
Here’s hoping they can connect the dots. If they can’t, they can always go down to the local migrant shelter and have an asylum-seeker explain it to them.
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