Thomas Friedman, the world ambassador for Bad Ideas, has a brainstorm in the New York Times:
According to news reports, the recent surge of migrants from Latin America flooding our southern border was largely a result of the end of a Trump-era Covid policy. I beg to differ.
It’s the result of a new world.
And this new world is going to challenge both traditional Republican and traditional Democratic views on immigration. As I’ve argued before, there is only one way to deal with the waves of migrants who will continue to come America’s way. And that is with a very high wall with a very big gate.
Democrats don’t want to hear about high walls, and Republicans don’t want to hear about big gates. Too bad. We need both.
Donald Trump was a fraud on immigration. He never wanted to solve the problem. He exploited the fears of an uncontrolled border to stop immigration and appeal to racists and white supremacists in his base. And stoking those fears worked for Trump.
In my view, President Biden should out-Trump Trump. Do everything possible to secure the border like never before—more walls, more fences, more barriers, more troops, the 82nd Airborne—whatever it takes. Make Democrats own border security. But not for the purpose of choking immigration: for the purpose of expanding it. It is good policy and good politics.
It’s Time for Biden to Out-Trump Trump on Immigration, May 16, 2023 [Emphases added]
First of all, it’s very wrong to think that mass immigration is good when it’s legal. A woman raped by a Mexican rapist doesn’t feel any better because he has a Green Card in his pocket.
Second, we know from what happened in the Trump Administration, when Trump wanted to defend the border with troops, disloyal generals refused:
During the Trump Administration, the Army and National Guard weren't allowed—by the Pentagon, and disloyal generals—to defend the border: https://t.co/AKp5g3v5nY— VDARE (@vdare) July 28, 2022
We also know that when Trump wanted to build a wall, he faced determined opposition, and he wasn’t able to put razor wire, etc. on the already existing fences, because disloyal subordinates refused—because they were afraid illegal crossers would hurt themselves invading.
Does Friedman think Biden will be able to what Trump couldn’t—because people will know he doesn’t mean it?
Mickey Kaus has a question:
"It’s Time for Biden to Out-Trump Trump on Immigration." Sound advice. It is not going to happen, unless it's in a cosmetic fool-the-Bubbas way. When Biden doesn't do it, will Friedman support a (non-Trump) GOP candidate who would? https://t.co/7G9hWzZRMc— Mickey Kaus (@kausmickey) May 17, 2023