Immigration and the ‘Silly Season’

The collapse of a proposed border security bill is an example of the situations created by political gamesmanship

It is an election year in the United States and time for what Americans themselves call the “silly season.”

But among all the foolishness that may accompany election needs, it is also common for serious measures to be adopted, influenced by the political moment. In the case of issues with possible extra-border consequences, what will always prevail is the immediate domestic political interest, not local or international conveniences in the long-term.

This is the case in what Republicans have defined as the border crisis, a combination of overwhelming images of caravans with thousands of alleged asylum seekers from Central and South America — later piling up on the Mexican side of the border — and the entry of drugs such as fentanyl, with its deadly impact on the United States; thus, putting the issue at the center of the domestic political debate and cornering the administration of President Joe Biden, who is seeking reelection.

The collapse of a proposed bill on border security, negotiated in the Senate but rejected by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, is an example of the situations created by political gamesmanship.

Toughening measures to prevent the arrival of Central and South American asylum seekers crossing through Mexico and into the United States has been a Republican mantra since former president and presumptive candidate Donald Trump first ran for office in 2016.

But now Republicans have rejected the legislation with the avowed intention of keeping the border insecurity issue alive during this election campaign year.

The Biden administration, meanwhile, is looking for ways to show it has made progress on the border as it denounces Republican flip-flopping and a growing number of Democrats taking a hard-line stance against the arrival of refugees without legal documentation.

This week, Biden highlighted a 50% drop in illegal border crossings in January compared to December.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “the reduction is thought to be primarily thanks to increased immigration enforcement by Mexican police, at the behest of the Biden administration.”

The crackdown by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to deal with the influx of migrants across the Mexican border has the open support of the Republicans and the U.S. right, but it raises a complex constitutional issue of jurisdiction.

At the same time, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the next decade’s labor force will be 5.2 million people larger than projected, which is expected to translate into a $7 trillion increase in U.S. Gross Domestic Product and up to $1 trillion more in federal revenues.

And still, the problem remains.

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About Stephen Routledge 180 Articles
Stephen is a Business Leader. He has over twenty years experience in leading various major organisational change initiatives. Stephen has been translating for more than ten years for various organisations and individuals, with a particular interest in science and technology, poetry and literature, and current affairs.

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