The Sudden Push for Border Security is Smoke and Mirrors

A sorry truth of modern politics is that many elected officials govern in their own interests rather than in the interests of their constituents.

This is true up until the point that they need voters to reaffirm their hold on power, at which point they briefly try to appear to be governing in the interests of the people. Nowhere has this tendency been more transparent than in the sudden transformation of anti-borders politicians into apparent border hawks.

As the presidential campaign kicks into high gear over the summer, it is critical that Americans see through the deceptive rhetoric of Joe Biden and the Democrats and look, instead, at their track records and at the nuts and bolts of the policies they advance. This can be extremely difficult, however, given the tendency of some politicians to stage a convenient enlightenment tour on the need for law and order.

One of the most shameless practitioners of this charade is California Governor Gavin Newsom. Since 2019, Newsom has presided over the Golden State’s descent into chaos. The exodus from the state by fed-up former Californians has gotten so bad that has been dubbed the U-Haul salesman of the year by the Babylon Bee. Because his party has a vise-grip on the state’s politics, however, he survived a recall effort in 2021 and won a second term the following year.

Newsom isn’t even running for office this year. But in what is an obvious attempt to raise his national profile, he is shrewdly attempting to change perceptions of him as the leader of the country’s most extreme sanctuary state for illegal immigration. This is not an unfamiliar task for someone with the political skills of Newsom, who has previously distanced himself from the homelessness and crime that has grown to crisis levels during both his time as San Francisco mayor and now as governor.  

In that pursuit, Newsom announced the deployment of 390 members of the California National Guard to the state’s border with Mexico, with orders to assist in fighting the importing of fentanyl and other illicit drugs. The slick production included a video posted to social media of Newsom at the border, looking presidential while blaming his political opponents—mostly dedicated border hawks—for causing the problem.

To those who barely follow politics and may be unfamiliar with Newsom’s used car salesman-like slipperiness, the rhetoric and optics will likely seem impressive. There is just one inconvenient fact: people fighting the border invasion and covering it have seen no evidence that Newsom’s Guardsmen are doing anything. 

Fox News’ Matt Finn reposted Newsom’s video on X with his observations, stating, “We’re at the CA border right now in Jacumba, Governor Newsom. We see migrants illegally crossing all hours of the day. From China, Iran, Yemen. Nepal. Haven’t seen a single CA National Guard over the past week.”

Bill Melugin, Fox’s top reporter at the border, shared what he learned about Newsom’s action from border enforcement personnel there. “I sent Gov. Newsom’s below post to a BP [Border Patrol] agent in Jacumba, who responded by laughing & telling me CA ‘isn’t doing s—’ to help them with illegal crossings there, and any soldiers that they see there are National Guard from other states working w/ DHS under federal Title 10 order,” Melugin said on X. “He said CA soldiers are helping with drug interdiction at ports of entry—not the mass crossing hot spots in Jacumba. If the Governor’s office has any images of CA National Guard helping Border Patrol in Jacumba, I’m happy to update.”

To date, Newsom has not responded to Melugin’s challenge with any of the requested images.

The media campaign to portray Newsom as fighting the bedlam at the border is a tough sell given that he has done everything in his power until just now to create magnets that attract illegal aliens to his once-idyllic state. 

In 2020, the governor announced a plan to distribute $125 million to illegal aliens living in the state as relief assistance during the pandemic. He has spent most of his governorship pandering to noncitizens with initiatives like universal healthcare and state IDs for illegal aliens.

While Newsom predictably wraps his gifts to illegal aliens in humanitarian beneficence, his giveaways are yet another brazen move to use taxpayer money to feather his own political nest and weaken the country on a number of levels.

California has the highest alien population of all states with more than 3 million at last count. By directing state money to illegals, Newsom is appealing to a growing demographic of noncitizens that he is wagering—probably correctly—will be a powerful voting bloc for himself and his party in the near future.

Chicanery can also be seen at the federal level, with the unveiling of a border proclamation that sounds like it contains tough measures to tighten the border and limit the abuses of the asylum system. An analysis beyond the surface-level talking points, however, reveals that the order not only improves very little, but is wholly unnecessary since the commander-in-chief already possesses the authority to seal the border. So not only is the proclamation at odds with the administration’s previous enabling of the border crisis, but the directives of the action turn out to be a thin gruel that will not improve the situation.

If the current invasion has done anything positive, it has made most Americans more skeptical when it comes to anti-borders politicians having a law-and-order epiphany at the same time on the calendar every four years. Newsom and the framers of federal immigration policy need to stop posturing and come up with real solutions to problems their own policies have created. Illegal immigration should not be a political issue; all parties and all candidates should support a secure border. So far, we are still waiting for that happy day.

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