A recent House hearing aimed to shed light on America’s border fiasco, but made only one thing clear.
Rather than acknowledge the problem, let alone pursue real solutions, the Left cares only what words are used and labels anything it dislikes as racist—ignoring the fact that the drug cartels don’t discriminate.
American citizens are being kidnapped and murdered by Mexican gangs near the border, as in the horrific attack Friday that left two of four visiting Americans dead after they crossed from Brownsville, Texas, into the Mexican city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas.
Three threads during the House Judiciary Committee hearing, titled “The Biden Border Crisis—Part 1,” demonstrate the tendency of lawmakers on the Left to play down the reality of the threat at the southern border.
1. It’s Not an “Invasion”
Since President Joe Biden took office Jan. 20, 2021, over 5.4 million illegal aliens have entered the nation.
If you believe that qualifies as an invasion, prepare yourself to be called a racist xenophobic who spews nativist rhetoric.
As Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., put it during the commmitte’s hearing: “Nativist rhetoric, words like invasion and flooding, have actually been used throughout the history of this country to demonize immigrants.”
In Arizona, Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels, who has 38 years in law enforcement and operates closely with Border Patrol agents, sees things differently.
Fully 45% of his jail population is in for border-related crimes, Dannels said at the Feb. 1 hearing.
“I didn’t drive out here 2,000 miles [to Washington] with a political agenda. It’s a public safety agenda,” Dannels said.
The sheriff noted that the drug cartels are the winners as long as they control the border, and requested judicial oversight to address illegal aliens’ asylum and “credible fear” claims.
Rep. Wesley Hunt, R-Texas, sharply condemned divisive claims such as Jayapal’s, stating: “I’ve been black for a long time, so I get it. And I’ve been a minority in this country for a very long time. This is not about race, this is actually an issue of public safety.”
From Texas, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego testified that using “racist” language such as “invasion” encouraged violence like the 2019 shooting at a Walmart in El Paso that left 23 dead and 23 more injured or wounded.
“There is no invasion of migrants in our community, nor are there hordes of undocumented immigrants committing crimes against citizens,” Samaniego, a Democrat, said. “Claiming this continues a false racist narrative against individuals that perpetuates violence that the El Paso community is all too familiar with, when our citizens were targeted with a racially motivated mass shooting.”
Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, was quick to tell Samaniego to “watch his words” when attempting to link border security advocates to the El Paso mass shooting.
Later on, Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, read headlines from El Paso news sources, among them “Violent Crimes on the Rise in El Paso” and “El Paso Cops Arrest Two Migrants in Overwhelmed Border City.” Nehls also noted that El Paso has seen a 27% increase in crimes involving weapons, effectively countering Samaniego’s earlier points.
Ironically, much of the hearing revolved around the Left’s accusing the Right of “fear-mongering,” yet using a mass shooting to perpetuate hate toward another political party is a prime example of fearmongering by the Left itself.
2. Illegal Aliens Don’t Carry Drugs
If you suggest that illegal aliens play a role in the nation’s rampant fentanyl problem, you’re a racist, according to the Left.
Samaniego, elected in November to a second term as El Paso County judge, asserted that immigration and drugs aren’t correlated.
“Trying to talk about drugs and trying to talk about immigration gets so mixed up that you can’t resolve it,” he said. “It’s not the migrants that have that issue, it’s at the ports of entry by Americans.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., seemed emboldened by suggestions that illegal aliens bring drugs into America.
“Many representatives in Congress seem intent on demonizing migrant families and asylum-seekers, portraying them as fentanyl traffickers and violent criminals,” Schiff said.
“If I call this an invasion, sir, I’m not racist,” Hunt replied. “I can assure you, I’m not racist. What I can assure you is that I want to make sure that fentanyl doesn’t indiscriminately kill any race, religion, color, or creed. Because fentanyl doesn’t care where you’re from, fentanyl doesn’t care about race. Fentanyl kills indiscriminately.”
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, also weighed in on the deadly threat posed by the drug.
“The idea that fentanyl is caught at ports of entry and that that is the only place that it’s coming through is belied by the facts,” Roy said. “Border Patrol can’t catch all of the fentanyl at ports of entry, nor catch the fentanyl between ports of entry.”
Roy then asked Dannels, the Arizona sheriff: “Is it your experience that fentanyl pours in between the ports of entry, and that fentanyl does in fact get into our communities in mass quantities today due to our open border?”
Dannels quickly responded: “Yes.”
Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Wis., asked Dannels whether he agreed that the domestic surge in fentanyl “is not tied to illegal border crossings.”
Tiffany told Democrat colleagues that they could continue to “wear blinders” and take “photo-op trips [to the border] like the president.”
But, he said: “You’re going to hear the truth here, from people like the sheriff. From the fentanyl families. And I hope you’re meeting with the fentanyl families, because it’s directly tied to the border.”
3. It’s Not “Biden’s Border Crisis”
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., appeared to be bothered by Republican lawmakers’ repeated use of the phrase “Biden’s border crisis.”
“This hearing is titled ‘Biden’s border crisis.’ That is completely wrong, it is not Biden’s border crisis,” Lieu said. “It is simply a false narrative that this is Biden’s border crisis.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., asserted that his Republican colleagues’ tweets about fentanyl (which also routinely refer to the border as Biden’s crisis) are “just cheering on chaos.”
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., accused the House’s new GOP majority of “showboating” because “we keep hearing from our Republican colleagues that the border is open, and that Biden caused this crisis.”
Having heard enough, Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., insisted that the Judiciary Committee’s hearing was not a show.
“I’ll be the partisan one here: It is Biden’s problem,” Van Drew said.
Van Drew is right. It is Biden’s border crisis, but the American public is shouldering the brunt of the president’s open border policies. Biden seemingly is unconcerned by overrun cities, rampant crime, or taxpayers’ mounting costs.
The Left long has used words such as “racist,” “xenophobe,” and “nativist” when their colleagues on the Right refuse to budge.
The Republican majority need not back down when such ad hominem attacks are thrown their way.
As Tiffany put it: “The American people are seeing very clearly what’s going on, and now that we’re in the majority, you’re going to hear about this as much as possible.”
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal