‘We have these teams coming in to play in our Sun Bowl this weekend and the hotels are booked…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) For years, the debate between Republicans and Democrats was how best to curb illegal immigration.
Under former President Barack Obama, who refused to enforce existing immigration law and encouraged families to leave their undocumented minors on America’s doorstep, the Left shifted its argument to “What’s the big deal?”
Now, as the scourge of the weakened immigration policies comes home to roost, leaving both law enforcement and humanitarian agencies overwhelmed on both sides of the border, Democrats have again moved the goalpost, asking “How dare you deny their entitlements?”
The shift in trajectory became clear this week as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, overwhelmed by new arrivals of caravan migrants flooding the border who have brought illness and other critical needs with them, released hundreds—possibly thousands—of formerly detained immigrants into the border town of El Paso, Texas.
ICE’s Office of Public Affairs was unavailable to respond to Liberty Headlines’ inquiry into the official count or reasons for the releases due to the government shutdown. However, media outlets on site reported that around 1,600 had already been released as of Friday with more expected next week.
Some linked it with the Flores settlement’s “catch and release” policy, which limits the length of time children—and thus families—can remain in detention, perhaps indicating that the recent influx of caravan migrants had hit this limit.
The deaths of two Guatemalan children recently while in detention also has led to exasperation at the Department of Homeland Security, which is being burdened by medical screenings on top of a more than 86 percent surge in illegal border crossings over last year.
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a recent statement, “Our system has been pushed to a breaking point by those who seek open borders,” while appealing to politicians and immigrant families alike to stop endangering children’s lives.
Nielsen was expected to travel to El Paso on Friday to inspect the situation firsthand.
Vox, a frequent mouthpiece of the extreme and irrational Left, articulated the angst that liberals now felt over the Trump administration giving them exactly what they had wished for by releasing the detainees:
“Amid growing scrutiny of Border Patrol detention conditions, the new release plan may seem welcome to Trump critics,” it wrote. “But that raises the question of where all those newly released families will go; who will help them adjust to life in the United States; and how they will get to where they need to go while awaiting their immigration court hearings.”
In El Paso, the nonprofit shelters forced to accommodate the influx complained about having the rug yanked from underneath them by the federal government.
Some, after being stretched to capacity were forced to turn away those seeking asylum from the winter cold under their roofs.
Rep. Beto O’Rourke, fresh off one of the most expensive Senate races in history, called on donors to assist while pointing the finger at ICE for creating the crisis.
“ICE made a mistake yesterday,” O’Rourke said Monday, according to the El Paso Times. “I don’t think it was intentional. I think they made a mistake in not alerting the community.”
But some elected officials’ spirit of forgiveness quickly gave way to angry demands that the federal agencies do something to take the problem off their hands.
“This really is a federal obligation, and the federal government needs to step in and build some temporary housing facilities,” said Democrat Rep.-elect Veronica Escobar.
Escobar, who will take over the congressional seat being vacated by O’Rourke next week, said the immigration scourge could potentially wreak havoc on El Paso’s weekend tourism.
“We have these teams coming in to play in our Sun Bowl this weekend and the hotels are booked,” Escobar said, according to CBS News. “We’re facing a real crisis coming up … to find places for all of these [migrant] families.”
But despite the streak of NIMBYism, Escobar, touted as one of the first Latinas to represent Texas in Congress, maintained that her district will continue to welcome the immigrants and provide for them.
“As a community, we are going to do whatever we need to do to take care of these people,” she said. “They are vulnerable. They deserve compassion. And help. And support. And El Pasoans always rise to that occasion.”
With the announcement of another caravan planned for Jan. 15 to transport 15,000 migrants from Honduras to the U.S. border, Escobar will almost certainly be given the opportunity to have that resolve tested soon.