Why Biden Finally Spoke Up About The Buses Of Asylum Seekers

by | Sep 17, 2022 | Politics

Months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) began sending buses of asylum seekers to liberal cities, President Joe Biden addressed the matter publicly for the first time on Thursday.“Republicans are playing politics with human beings ― using them as props,” Biden declared during remarks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute gala in Washington, D.C. “What they’re doing is simply wrong. It’s un-American. It’s reckless.”AdvertisementIt’s not the first time that a White House official has spoken up on the matter. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had a similarly critical message when asked about it in July, and again on Thursday, noting that many of the asylum seekers – arriving overwhelmingly from Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba – “are fleeing communism.”But Biden had not yet said anything. His decision to finally condemn Abbott – and now, other Republican governors who have followed Abbott’s lead – came hours after the GOP executives took the stunt to a new level.Two buses of asylum seekers, sent by Abbott, arrived at Vice President Kamala Harris’s D.C. residence on Thursday. And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) corralled asylum seekers in Texas into a charter plane on false pretenses and dropped them off at Martha’s Vineyard, a Massachusetts island known for its affluent, liberal vacation crowd. Immigrants gather with their belongings outside St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022, in Edgartown, Mass., on Martha’s Vineyard. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday flew two planes of immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, escalating a tactic by Republican governors to draw attention to what they consider to be the Biden administration’s failed border policies. Ray Ewing/Vineyard Gazette via APAdvertisementAlthough the White House had been quietly deploying federal resources to assist Washington, New York City and Chicago absorb the asylum seekers sent by Abbott, DeSantis and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R), until Thursday, Biden was apparently wary of giving oxygen to an election-year public relations maneuver mounted by GOP governors. That vacuum was mostly filled by Democratic-elected officials from New York City and Washington, D.C., who were eager to denounce Abbott, in particular – and to call his bluff by welcoming the new arrivals.Biden’s initial refusal to take Abbott on directly was a smart political choice, said Ian Russell, a Democratic ad maker who previously served as political director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.“Why accept their terms of the debate? It would only help them,” Russell said. “Don’t let your opponents pick the battlefield.”Biden’s comments on Thursday mark a shift in tactics that reflects a view that Republicans have overplayed their political hand. And it comes as a welcome development to many of his progressive allies.“The White House is right to call Governors DeSantis and Abbott out for their cruelty,” Tyler Moran, a former Biden administration immigration policy adviser, told HuffPost. “While Democrats are working to make the immigration system more fair and humane, DeSantis and Abbott are using people fleeing authoritarian regimes as props. Not very smart for a party trying to build inroads with Latino voters.”Advertisement A woman, who is part of a group of immigrants that had just arrived, holds a child as they are fed outside St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022, in Edgartown, Mass., on Martha’s Vineyard. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday flew two planes of immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, escalating a tactic by Republican governors to draw attention to what they consider to be the Biden administration’s failed border policies. Ray Ewing/Vineyard Gazette via APAbbott and his peers are engaged in a cruel partisan theater, but they are nonetheless responding to a genuine problem with a complex set of causes and no easy, short-term solutions.Under U.S. law, anyone who arrives on U.S. soil to seek asylum from persecution based on their religion, nationality, race, membership in a social group, or political opinion, is entitled to have that claim assessed in a U.S. court. In recent years, large numbers of migrants from the impoverished and turbulent “northern triangle” countries in Central America – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – have paid smugglers to take them on a treacherous route to the U.S.-Mexico border in hopes of receiving asylum.At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mar …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This