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SAUNDERS: November is coming. And Biden has a new immigration plan.

WASHINGTON — “The border is not a political issue to be weaponized,” President Joe Biden proclaimed Tuesday as he rolled out his plan to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. The idea, the president explained, is to “help us to gain control of our border, restore order to the process.”

Note: There was order to the process when former President Donald Trump was in charge. His rhetoric alone discouraged would-be illegal border crossers.

Since Biden took office, some 8 million people have crossed the border and entered into legal limbo as they seek asylum, whether they qualify or not.

New York Times national immigration correspondent Miriam Jordan wrote of those who enter unlawfully, “It is not just because they believe they will be able to make it across the 2,000 mile southern frontier. They are also certain that once they make it to the United States they will be able to stay.


“And by and large, they are not wrong …”

The American public, which is pro-immigrant, isn’t on board. Scenes of caravans reaching the border with the clear intent to flout federal immigration law have taken a toll.

A national poll by the Marquette Law School found that 52 percent of registered voters thought Trump could do a better job on immigration and border security — compared to 25 percent for Biden. Awkward.

So Biden has been engaging in some of the lamest finger pointing ever seen in politics.

In announcing his plan, Biden said, “I’ve come here today to do what the Republicans in Congress refuse to do: take the necessary steps to secure our border.”

It is true that in February, House and Senate Republicans heeded Trump’s advice and did not pass a measure that would have given Biden a win heading into November.

What Biden neglects to mention is that if he really had wanted to fix what he calls “our broken immigration system,” he could have done so during his first two years in office when Democrats (not Republicans) controlled the White House, Senate and House. No need to work across the aisle — but he needed to work it. And he didn’t.

So with the heat on, the Biden plan is supposed to work by suspending and limiting entries at the border if the U.S. Customs and Border Protection reaches 2,500 encounters per day over a seven-day period.

“If the number of people we encounter averages, for seven consecutive calendar days, less than 1,500 then we will lift this bar and we have the right to re-institute the bar if the numbers average 2,500 people encountered a day for seven consecutive days,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas told ABC News.

Problem: As Andrew R. Arthur, resident fellow of the pro-enforcement Center for Immigration Studies, observed, there are loopholes that can make it so that “not all ‘encounters’ count” toward the 2,500 figure.

“The ultimate success of these proposals,” Arthur wrote, “will depend on the willingness of Biden’s DOJ (Department of Justice) to litigate (legal) challenges vigorously, but its track record is not good.”

In 2019 during an ABC News Democratic debate, Biden declared, “What I would do as president is several more things, because things have changed. I would, in fact, make sure that there is — we immediately surge to the border. All those people who are seeking asylum, they deserve to be heard. That’s who we are.”

Which Biden do you believe?

Contact Review-Journal Washington columnist Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com. Follow @debrajsaunders on X.

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