If Americans were concerned that Joe Biden hadn't held a press conference, imagine how concerned they must be now that he has. After smashing the 100-year record for radio silence, most people assumed that the 78-year-old president would be a little more prepared to meet the press. What they got instead was a painful, hour-long confirmation that the fragile man leading our country has absolutely none of our crises -- the border, China, COVID, or fair and free elections -- in hand.
If it weren't for a sympathetic press and Donald Trump to blame all of his problems on, Thursday's media event would have been a complete and utter disaster. As it is, even Biden's usual cheerleaders are starting to wonder where all of that "transparency" he promised has gone. ABC News's Cecilia Vega, who struck a nerve when she directed something other than a softball question to Biden, said, "We have pushed the White House more than two dozen times to get into some of these facilities... There's [one] in Donna, Texas, that is at more than 1,500-percent capacity. We're talking about severe, extreme overcrowding." When she asked the president if that was acceptable to him, he got angry. His only strategy seems to be lying his way through the mess and using his predecessor as a foil for everything that's gone wrong. There's just one problem with his strategy, experts are firing back: the facts.
"Where are the disinformation police?" Jim Geraghty demanded. "Yesterday, President Joe Biden stood before the American public and insisted that 'nothing has changed,' and that everything we were seeing -- to the extent the Biden administration is allowing the public to see it -- was normal." The same number of migrants come flocking to the border every year, he claimed. And President Trump, Biden argued, dumped them in the desert to starve. He shut down detention facilities and crammed kids in cages. His policies never worked.
That's interesting, since even Mexican President Andrés Obrador says he misses the strong hand of Donald Trump. Despite the White House's deflections, Obrador has been quite candid about where the blame lies for this surge, and that's with the current administration. "Expectations were created that with the government of President Biden there would be a better treatment of migrants. And this has caused Central American migrants, and also from our country, wanting to cross the border thinking that it is easier to do so," he said on Tuesday. Even the New York Times conceded that officials throughout Mexico appreciated Trump's strict approach because it helped "less[en] their load by deterring migrants from attempting to make the journey north."
As for the rest of Biden's whoppers about the Trump policy, they're easy enough to refute. NRO's Rich Lowry spilled more than 5,000 words on the subject, angrily reminding Americans, "No, the Trump administration didn't send kids into the desert -- it returned them to their home countries. No, it didn't dismantle our immigration system -- it found an approach at the border that worked. No, it didn't irresponsibly close shelters at the border -- it shut down surge facilities when they were no longer needed, and under intense political pressure from the Democrats."
And what has Biden done? Stopped construction on the border wall, refused to hold asylum seekers in Mexico, put a freeze on deportations, taken border agents off the line to process paperwork, and reinstated catch and release. Congressman Brian Babin (R-Texas), co-chairman of the House Border Security Caucus, couldn't get over how Biden's alternate reality on the crisis. That press conference, he said, "was a big bunch of nothing." "We have 15,000-16,000 illegal juveniles -- unaccompanied children in custody," he shook his head. "We are well on track to be the highest in history and all at the expense of the American taxpayer. And coming in with COVID positive cases during a pandemic and in a recession... and what do we keep hearing about? ... The cruelty of the Trump administration." As a senator, Babin pointed out, Kamala Harris said that holding kids over 72 hours was "inhumanity." "I wonder what she would say now that they're crammed into spaces for weeks on end?"
Of course, he says, "they used to be called cages when President Trump was in office. Now they're 'facilities for influx in care.'" But no matter what they are, Babin argued, they were meant to hold 80 people -- not 694, as we've seen in some detention centers. "It's a really, really dire situation." All we're doing, he said, is empowering the cartels. "Look," Babin argued, "Nobody comes across that border unless they are paying the cartels, or they are working for the cartels. You will lose your life if you do not do business with the cartels. That's the way this thing works. They have coyotes that carry them in. They've got scouts that are up on the hills." They look for the gaps and start "human trafficking right through it."
The Biden administration is failing the American people. It's time to send some forces to the border, like Congressman Babin says, and step in the gap that's been created by this White House. "Start protecting the American people. Protect us from crime, protect us from terrorism."