We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.



Ruben Navarrette: Biden promised a more humane immigration policy. We're still waiting.

From the commentary: Immigration rights advocates are furious that Biden has weaseled out of the pro-immigration stance he adopted to get elected.

U.S. Border Patrol agents interact with Haitian immigrants on the bank of the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas, on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, as seen from Ciudad Acuna, Mexico. (John Moore/Getty Images/TNS)
We are part of The Trust Project.

SAN DIEGO — Too many politicians have it in their nature to lie, manipulate and disappoint.

Ruben Navarrete column logo
Ruben Navarrete column logo
Kit Grode / Tribune graphic
From the commentary: Given the size of the egos involved, there was never much of a chance that Gov. Ron DeSantis and former president Donald Trump would wind up sharing a ticket. But now, they might end up sharing a cell.
From the commentary: Immigration is a serious issue. We need serious people who deal with it in serious ways. And these days, the offerings from both parties are awfully skimpy.
From the commentary: It's always the right time to do the right thing. And in this story — besides the girl and her family — no one even came close.
From the commentary: We need a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to threats against the lives of individuals in law enforcement, and it should matter not one bit which side of the political aisle the threats are coming from.

As the consummate politician, President Joe Biden is exceptionally skilled at all three. This is especially true when he finds himself under pressure and dealing with tough issues that cause elected officials to make enemies. Like most politicians, Biden is probably terrified that — if he loses too much support — he could wind up having to make a living in that scariest of places: the private sector.

For Biden, that might as well be another planet. The 79-year-old has been cashing government payroll checks nearly nonstop since he was sworn in, at 28, to fill a seat in Delaware on the New Castle County Council in 1970. If there is one thing Biden knows how to do, it's how to make a promise that convinces folks to vote for him, then weasel out of the commitment. That's Political Survival 101.

Like former president Barack Obama — whom he served as vice president for eight years, learning the tricks of the trade — Biden survives the buzzsaw of the immigration debate by playing both sides. He says whatever he needs to say to placate the left, but he has found a lot to love in the atrocious and racist immigration policies advanced by former president Donald Trump.

During the 2020 campaign, Biden repeatedly told pro-immigration groups that he would stop construction of what Trump liked to call his "big, beautiful wall" on the U.S.-Mexico border. In August 2020, while speaking virtually to Latino and African American journalists, Biden pledged that — if elected — his administration would not build "another foot of wall" on the border. He also said that, while he would make sure the border was protected, his approach would be to rely on "high-tech capacity" methods to protect it.


However, the Biden administration has now quietly given the green light to completing a portion of that same wall. In late May, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would replace a "deteriorated barrier" located near the cross-border Friendship Park in Imperial Beach, south of San Diego. The administration claims that the barrier, in its current condition, poses "safety risks to Border Patrol agents, community members, and migrants."

This isn't the first time that Biden has embraced Trump's immigration policies — the same ones that he criticized during the 2020 campaign. You see why so many Americans hate politics?

Biden promised to end the government's invoking of Title 42, a section of the U.S. Code put there by the Public Health Service Act of 1944 to prevent the spread of communicable diseases in the United States by keeping out foreigners. Trump used the code to exclude people from Latin America, and Biden promised to end that practice. Instead, he continued it.

It appears that Biden tried to keep his promise to end Trump's Migrant Protection Protocols, better known as the "Remain in Mexico" policy. But the federal courts thwarted these efforts and ordered the White House to continue the policy. And when it started the program up again, the Biden administration did something sneaky: It folded Haitian refugees into the mix and sent them to Mexico too. So the courts ordered the administration to restart the program, and the administration responded by expanding it beyond Mexicans and Central Americans. Now the Supreme Court has overruled the lower courts, and given the administration permission to once again admit immigrants and asylum seekers.

From the commentary: Maybe our current slide into fascism won’t continue; we don’t know yet, and the answer will be up to us. But we do have reason to believe that “America First,” means essentially the same thing to My Pillow’s Mike Lindell that it did to Charles Lindbergh.
From the commentary: President Biden is no Bill Clinton. The Democratic Party has been taken over by the hard left and they are not about to compromise on anything, from social issues to "climate change." ... Only if Republicans win the Congress and the White House does the GOP "Commitment to America" have a chance to fully succeed.
From the commentary: Sadly, even assuming a happy ending for a revised Electoral Count Act, that's not the takeaway from this legislative saga. Instead, what stands out is that Congress couldn't get unanimity in either house on its attempts to rewrite a badly drafted 19th century law that was at the center of a bloody attack on the lawmakers' own corridors and, potentially, their lives.
Election administrators and judges are part of the community. We are your neighbors and co-workers, people you see at church on Sunday or in line at the grocery store. I believe I speak for all election officials when I say we are honest citizens who want to serve our community to the best of our ability.
From the commentary: Viewing t.. the Court as just another political institution staffed by the usual hacks, deprives the Court of the grandeur and dignity that an institution without an army to enforce its decisions needs to be respected. The rule of law holds force ... because of the power of our belief, both in the law and in the people enforcing it.
From the commentary: The one thing we can do is build relationships at the local level. The notion of building relationships across differences can feel quixotic. But part of the beauty of being human is that we have the capacity for empathy and kindness, and these feelings can grow even in the most painful circumstances.
From the commentary: So, the ideological, political and legal war rages on. Welcome back, justices.
From the commentary: Progressives tend to blame systems, rather than individual choices, for disparities in everything from income to health. But sometimes, those choices matter more than any system.
From the commentary: Supply chains have become an economic battlefield of the 21st century. In a jarring example, Europe faces an energy crisis for having become dependent on Russia for gas and oil.
From the commentary: On the night of Nov. 8, the focus will be on whether Republicans overturn Democratic control of the House and Senate — and the resulting impact on the Biden administration and Biden’s political future. ... But those secretary of state and gubernatorial races in the six states that decided the 2020 presidential contest may ultimately have a greater impact.

As if. You think the administration wants more footage on the evening news of the "huddled masses" crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, especially in an election year? No way, Jose.

Attention pro-immigration liberal Democrats who thought Biden would be a "kinder and gentler" alternative to Trump: You've been bamboozled. On this issue, the two men are pretty much the same guy.

Immigration rights advocates are furious that Biden has weaseled out of the pro-immigration stance he adopted to get elected.

Good. They should be outraged. But they shouldn't be surprised. For the record, I was never fooled by this particular weasel.


In December 2020, just one more month after he was elected president, I wrote an essay that began:

"(Joe) Biden insists that, with a new sheriff in town, things are going to change. But he still has to convince Congress, and navigate the politics of the immigration debate.

Put me down as skeptical. Biden makes it all sound so simple, but both his track record and the delicate position he's in suggest that he's likely to fall short."

And fall short he has.

Ruben Navarrette can be reached at ruben@wctrib.com. © 2022, The Washington Post Writers Group


This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.


Related Topics: COMMENTARY
What to read next
The Scandia Lutheran Church in Averill, Minnesota, held its last worship service on July 17. It sold off everything that was accumulated in 123 years of service, from the altar to the communion service set to even the metal coat racks that hung in the vestibule.
"Growing up in upper Midwest agriculture taught me the certainty of two things: consistently inconsistent weather and regular disputes between the Farm Bureau and Farmers Union, the area's two largest farm organizations."
Sept. 4 comes and goes with a blur for many. For me there are three dates: Sept. 4, 1863; Sept. 4, 2016, and Sept. 4, 2022. This is really about the Indian Wars, which continue. I think it’s time to end the Indian Wars. It’s also time to understand that forensic facts, are not “critical race theory,” they are what happened. As school begins, let us ensure that history is taught, and that we make good choices today.
"I know 125 years isn't a long time in the whole scope of human history, but it's pretty impressive for this part of the world. What's more impressive to me is that the town hasn't just stayed alive but has recently found new and interesting ways to stay lively."