Opinion by Thomas R. Cuba, Ph.D.
I was not able to listen to the entire press conference, but from what I heard, I thought that President Biden did a good job of presenting the policies regarding the situation at the border. I cannot agree or disagree with the numbers he gave. This report is about the policy.
He was spot on when he said that the immigration issue needs to be addressed at the source, explaining that people come here to escape the hunger or high crime in their home country, and that solving that social situation would reduce immigration. He, however, diminished his credibility when he accused President Trump of starving children to death by not allowing them to enter.
Where I have a problem is in two areas. The first arose when he explained that when he was vice president, he sent contractors to a foreign nation to install street lights which would reduce crime in that area. The theory of solving the problem at its source then comes up against the question of responsibility.
If we step in, as in that case, what motivation will any foreign nation have to solve its own problems? Installing street lights ought to be the responsibility of that government, not ours. And the responsibility to demand that street lights be installed ought to be that of the people in that country.
The second departure from agreement is on the policies of asylum. A person seeking to escape an oppressive regime needs only to remove themselves from the oppressive nation. Therefore, a person seeking to escape conditions in Honduras, need only get to Mexico or another bordering nation in order to do so.
Using the nearest-neighbor theory of asylum, the only people who qualify for asylum in the United States would be Canadians, Mexicans, and people from a smattering of Caribbean nations. In addition, asylum is reserved to those seeking reprieve from an oppressive government, not poor living conditions.
In conclusion, President Biden did a decent job of explaining his policies, and I now better understand the motivation for those policies, but they remain counterproductive.
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