Issues & Insights

Shock: The New York Times Admits Biden’s Border Policies Encourage Illegal Immigration

After two years spent either ignoring the crisis at the southern border or refusing to blame President Joe Biden, the New York Times tepidly confessed this week that his border policies have, indeed, contributed to the surge in illegal immigration. Why now?

In an email to subscribers, the Times senior writer David Leonhardt writes:

When the U.S. makes it difficult for people to enter the country illegally, fewer people make the journey north to try. When the U.S. sends signals that people will be able to cross the border even without permission, and potentially remain here for years, more people attempt to do so.

(Before you know it, the Times will be telling readers that water is wet.)

But Leonhardt isn’t done.

The pattern is clear. Donald Trump was the most anti-immigration president in decade. … Joe Biden ran for president in 2020 promising a more welcoming approach, and after he won the election, the number of people trying to enter the country without permission spiked.

He even includes a chart (similar to the one below) showing Customs and Border Protection data on annual “encounters” with illegal border crossers.

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Control. I&I Chart

For the Times to report anything that reflects poorly on Biden is a minor miracle. But these statements also run directly counter to what the “newspaper of record” had been telling readers for the past two years. Namely, that the surge in border crossings had little to do with Biden’s welcome mat and everything to do with “root causes” down south.

Here’s what the Times was asserting two years ago: “Blaming the increase in arrivals on current immigration policy only papers over harder truths, experts say.”

It said that “the recent increase in migration had begun well before Biden took office, and the reasons behind it form a complex web that was a long time in the making.”

The “newspaper of record” also argued that “the main motivators of emigration from Mexico, Central America, and points south are tied to climate change, violent crime, and corruption — all issues that the Biden administration knows it must confront if it stands any chance of stemming the inflow of people at the border.”

Climate change. Really?

To the extent that the rest of the corrupt mainstream press covered the Biden border crisis at all, which was always grudgingly, they echoed the Time’s narrative. The border wall won’t work. Stricter enforcement won’t work.

Plus, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas repeatedly told Congress that the border was secure, without a whisper of protest from the supposed truth-to-power press.

Politifact – the alleged fact-checking service – at one point even asserted that Biden’s policies couldn’t be to blame for the surge because “no policies have been changed that would make the borders more open.”

But now that Title 42 is about to end, and as the nation faces a mass invasion of illegals that even the press can’t ignore, it’s become impossible to pretend that Biden’s policies aren’t playing a role.

So, two years too late, the Times fesses up. Will anyone else in the news media?

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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