The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Three Questions On Immigration That Democrats Should Ask


President Joe Biden seems intent on easing entry into the United States at the politically worst possible time. It's not impossible that he has a plan to keep order after he ends Title 42, which has made it harder for asylum seekers to enter the country.

Even if he manages to skillfully handle what will undoubtedly be a new surge at the border, it will lead to more ugly incidents for the news channels. In any case, the move will be interpreted as relaxing border controls, which almost everyone, including most Democrats, fears.

And so why is he doing this seven months before a midterm election? The reason is that Biden and the Democrats advising him are not asking three important questions.

Question No. 1: Who are the "immigrant advocates" pushing the leadership to take a badly timed political step? They are mostly professionals serving the interests of identity groups. They get paid to pressure politicians, not to win elections.

The term is oily in that the great majority of Americans, including most Republicans, say they value immigrants as long as they come here legally. They are actually better advocates because an immigration program that strictly enforces the rules, such as Canada's, enjoys greater public support.

Question No. 2: Who is sponsoring those polls asserting that Democrats are unhappy with Biden's current immigration policy? Answer: the "immigrant advocates."

And that's how we get headlines like the following from The Hill website: "Democratic poll: 66 percent of voters would be 'upset' without immigration reform." Who sponsored the poll? The Immigration Hub, a group that advocates for more open borders.

Here's a headline on the NBC News website: "Biden's handling of immigration gets low marks in his own pollster's survey." That survey was commissioned by a group called the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund.

It happens that both surveys were "conducted" by so-called Democratic pollsters. These polling companies know that the advocacy groups hiring them expect certain results. Like the advocates, the pollsters get paid whether or not their work helps the party retain power in November.

Question No. 3: Over the weekend, CNN's Abby Phillips said that ending Title 42 "is a promise he (Biden) made in the campaign. Now he has to keep it." Who says? The problematic word is "now." Why do Democrats constantly criticize their leaders for not instantly delivering on their vows as candidates?

If there are good arguments for removing this restriction — and there are — why can't it be done after the election? Former President Donald Trump broke dozens of campaign promises, including the big one to replace the Affordable Care Act. I don't recall Fox News hounding him about that or much of anything else.

As the facts change, so should campaign promises. But that's a discussion for another day.

Another CNN host said it was understandable that Sen. Mark Kelly, Democrat of Arizona, expressed concern that the change would start another stampede to the border. But she seemed mystified that Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan would warn of a migrant surge "all the way up in New Hampshire."

Let me explain. The people in New Hampshire, progressives included, tend to be conservative in manners, dress, and respect for the law. They don't want to turn on their TV and see chaos at the southern border. This is about civic order.

In his State of the Union address, Biden said, "We're putting in place dedicated immigration judges in significantly larger numbers so families fleeing persecution and violence can have their cases heard faster and those who don't legitimately here can be sent back."

Fingers crossed. It may be too late to ask the three questions, but Democrats should at least keep them on file.

Reprinted with permission from


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Youtube Screenshot

In late 2011, John Oliver and his Daily Show cameraman made a trek to my office, then in Providence, Rhode Island, to take me to task. I had recently referred to the Tea Partiers who had pushed America to the brink of a disastrous default as "economic terrorists."

Oliver had apparently swallowed whole a series of barbs directed my way by a Wall Street Journal blogger who didn't seem to like women much. The blogger kept calling me the "Civility diva" and a "Baroness Catherine Ashton lookalike." (A member of the British parliament, Ashton was said to be homely.) He was quite the wit.

Keep reading...Show less

Donald Trump and Mike Pence

Youtube Screenshot

Several mainstream media outlets are manufacturing a political narrative that the discovery of classified documents at the homes of both President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence should alleviate pressure on disgraced former President Donald Trump, who not only took a vast trove of federal records but also refused to give them back.

Biden and Pence have both cooperated with federal investigators to recover and return documents that belong to the government, and both situations have rekindled scrutiny at the overall system of federal document classification and retention, which appears to be in serious need of reform. Their two examples stand in stark contrast to Trump’s behavior, and possible misconduct, regarding his own handling of government records.

Keep reading...Show less
{{ }}