Charlie Spiering: Welcome To 2024 -- Shutdown Fever In Washington Mixes With Southern Border Crisis

Columnist Charlie Spiering writes, "As the weary sunburnt Joe Biden returned from his vacation in the Virgin Islands on Tuesday, he was reminded by a reporter about the ongoing crisis on the Southern border. 'We gotta do something,' he mumbled."

Charlie Spiering

January 03, 20244 min read

Charlie Spiering
Charlie Spiering (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

As the weary sunburnt Joe Biden returned from his vacation in the Virgin Islands on Tuesday, he was reminded by a reporter about the ongoing crisis on the Southern border.

"We gotta do something,” he mumbled in response. Then he complained about Republicans. “They oughta give me the money I need to protect the border,” he said. 

The president knows they can enforce the border without more money, however, Biden has repeatedly feigned helplessness as millions of migrants flow across the border. 

A group of House Republicans who traveled to the border taunted Biden on Wednesday, warning him to get serious about border security or face another government shutdown. “Shut the border down, or we’ll shut the government down. We control the money,” they told Fox News reporter Bill Melugin. 

Welcome to a new round of government shutdown fever in Washington, DC. Only this time it mixes with the border crisis in an unusual way. Facing a government shutdown in December, Congress punted government funding negotiations to the new year. Even Sen. Mitch McConnell warned Biden in December to make a deal on the border or face a halt to funding for the ongoing war in Ukraine. But Biden and his failed “border czar” Vice President Kamala Harris continue doing nothing as the crisis worsens. 

CBP sources revealed to Melugin that border officials counted 302,000 migrant encounters in December, the highest single month ever recorded in history and the first time hitting 300,000. 

It’s hard to envision those kinds of numbers. Since October 1, border patrol agents counted 785,000 migrant encounters at the southern border, already far beyond the population of the state of Wyoming, in just one quarter. 

Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming helped put the issue in context in December comparing the numbers of migrants pouring across the border to those of the Obama administration. 

“Under President Obama, about 21,000 people per year requested asylum,” Barrasso said in a Senate floor speech. “Under President Biden, Border Patrol agents see that same number every two days.” 

We know how this is happening. Illegals approach the border patrol and request asylum, the Biden administration has ordered officials to give them a phone and a court date and wave them through. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas revealed Wednesday that migrants claiming asylum would likely be allowed to remain in the country for six years while they waited for their court case.

Unsurprisingly, the House Homeland Security Committee revealed their plans this week to formally proceed with impeachment proceedings against Mayorkas. 

The number of border crossers combined with known “gotaways” escaping law enforcement is estimated to be over ten million illegals entering the country since Biden’s inauguration as president. That’s over 17 times the population of Wyoming. 

Despite the seriousness of the issue, it is unlikely that a deal will be reached. Even as Republicans threaten to shut down the government, Biden appears quite comfortable trying to blame them for the problem. Good luck with that.

Only 32 percent of Americans in a Pew Research poll said they trust Biden to make wise decisions about immigration policy. But even if he wanted to, Republicans are unlikely to let him claim credit for a compromise deal. With 2024 being an election year, it appears impossible for Washington to reach an effective compromise from either party to address the issue. The crisis will only get worse. 

Charlie Spiering is a Wyoming native who works in Washington, D.C., where he continues writing about the White House, Congress and national politics. A former writer for Breitbart News, The Washington Examiner and columnist Robert Novak, Spiering frequently returns home to the family farm in Powell to escape the insanity of Washington.

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Charlie Spiering