DANIEL VAUGHAN: Biden's Border Disaster Grows

 April 1, 2024

One of the more bizarre moments of President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech was when he finally decided to talk about the ongoing border crisis. It was late into his speech, and Republican Representatives were heckling him to say Laken Riley's name. Riley was murdered by an illegal immigrant on the University of Georgia's campus.

Biden ended up calling her Lincoln Riley, held up the pin with Laken Riley's name on it, and said, "I know how to say her name ... That's right, but how many of thousands of people are being killed by legals." Presumably, Biden was trying to downplay the threat of illegal migrants across the border. But we ended up with a news cycle over him getting her name wrong and the White House backpedaling Biden saying "illegals."

However, the really bizarre part is his downplaying the danger. Laken Riley is not some isolated incident. Sarah Root, a 21-year-old student, was killed by an illegal immigrant drunk driving on the day of her graduation. A Michigan woman was killed by an illegal immigrant who was deported under Trump but returned. Rhode Island arrested an illegal immigrant who killed a one-year-old.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says it arrested more than 200 illegal immigrants for drug trafficking and worse in a targeted 12-day operation. A separate sting swept up nearly 20 illegal immigrants who were sex offenders of varying degrees.

These targeted operations happened after the State of the Union and in so-called sanctuary cities. These are the same cities, like Boston, that claim they're so overrun by illegal immigrants that they're sticking them in veterans housing. And more are coming every day. A viral video showed hundreds of unlawful migrants crashing through a barrier, trying to get into the country.

It's worth noting that all these numbers, stories, and more are just what we know. ICE and other federal agencies routinely don't catch people crossing the border.

And that's the real problem. What we don't know presents potential threats that are harder to handle. The New York Post talked to national security officials who are concerned that ISIS-K could slip through the border, committing similar acts that we witnessed in Moscow, Russia. That attack led to 143 dead after a concert hall became a shooting gallery.

The White House said it warned Russia that such a terrorist attack could happen and warned American citizens to stay away from crowded locations. Last fall, US officials cautioned that Hamas could cross the southern border into the United States.

That brings back the President's words at the State of the Union: how many are killed? Given that this is a growing problem and a national security issue, the better question is: Why does that matter?

The President asking that reveals his hand for everyone to see: he doesn't care about that border. It's a non-issue for him. He's responding to it because the news cycle is terrible for him, but it's not a problem as an actual issue.

Asking how many are killed suggests that if it's only a few, it isn't a problem. If that's the case, then Biden's remarks of knowing what it is like to lose a child fall on deaf ears. His condolences on that front ring hollow as is because his son died of cancer. Laken Riley died because the federal government has not made immigration enforcement a top priority.

One of these is a medical tragedy, and the other is preventable. That Biden brings up his son's death at every moment he's attempting to console someone is understandable on one level, but has become empty and trite as he uses it as a shield to block criticism.

The President asks how many people have been killed. I would ask the President how many people have to hear his story of Beau Biden dying from cancer as a way to relate when an illegal immigrant or terrorist kills someone. The southern border demands a distinct policy change to fix a growing problem.

Democratic governors and mayors are demanding a policy response. The state of Texas is changing state laws to corral the issue. The only person who continues to mope around as if this isn't an issue sits at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

I get that Congress has a role here. But pretending that Congress is the only group that can take action is foolish. Biden made the border a central strategy of his executive orders when he entered office. He can certainly use some of those powers now while negotiating with Congress. 

None of these things happen because Biden doesn't see the issue. How many people have to die because he changes his mind? 

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Thomas Jefferson
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