Good intentions gone bad

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Here’s a little hypothetical for you.

Imagine, if you will, that some multi-billionaire (let’s call him Mr. Bigshot) with way too much money and time on his hands decides to offer big cash prizes to anyone who can complete a perilous journey.

Let’s say that journey involves some really dangerous, harrowing stuff – like swimming across a raging river or trudging through a swamp filled with alligators and poisonous snakes or scaling sheer cliffs without a rope. And let’s say Mr. Bigshot makes that offer wide open to anyone willing to try it, even children. All they have to do is make it to the finish line to get their prize.

And let’s say that, while Mr. Bigshot actually means well and is just trying to be generous with his money, a lot of people end up getting hurt or killed trying to benefit from his generosity.

So the essential question is this: Should Mr. Bigshot be held accountable? Does he bear any moral and ethical responsibility for using his wealth to lure people into a dangerous situation?

I would say he does.

And I would also say President Joe Biden and his administration bear a big part of the responsibility for the humanitarian crisis currently playing out at our nation’s southern border.

Given the things Mr. Biden said regarding immigration during his campaign and the policies he has put in place over the past couple of months, it would be hard to argue that he has not put out the welcome mat for just about anyone wanting to enter our country illegally. The fact that a lot of these folk are sporting Biden T-shirts as they come across the border shows they believe they have been invited and will be allowed to stay. Many have said as much to reporters.

And there’s no denying that the journey to get here is perilous – particularly for women and children. Apart from some really unhospitable geography down there, the reality that the entire northern portion of Mexico is controlled by drug cartels is the biggest danger. These cartels are basically using the territory just south of our border as a big immigration toll booth – and they are cashing in big time.

And they’re not just taking money from these immigrants. Remember, these are the kind of people who hang headless bodies from highway overpasses in broad daylight as an advertisement of their power and brutality. There’s evidence that women are being raped, children are being molested, both women and children are being enslaved by sex traffickers, and some immigrants who can’t pay up are being outright murdered and left for the vultures.

Maybe the conditions are so bad in their home countries that these immigrants are willing to risk it. Maybe a lot of them are just looking for better economic opportunities and don’t really know what they’re getting into. And maybe some are getting duped or pressured into making the trek by cartel reps looking to fleece them for money.

And the situation is not just dangerous for the immigrants. While the cartel coyotes are herding crowds of immigrants to certain spots on the border to keep Border Patrol agents occupied, a lot of drugs, weapons, and bad people with bad intentions are pouring in through the spaces left unguarded. Border Patrol has already caught some people on the Terror Watch List trying to get in, and who knows how many have managed to slip in undetected.

With all this happening during a pandemic, and with children (an all-time record of over 20,000 at last count) being packed together at way beyond normal safe capacity in these holding facilities, it can hardly be described as a healthy, humane situation. And banning media from these facilities and putting what amounts to a gag order on border agents can hardly be described as the kind of transparency Mr. Biden promised.

Now I don’t want to sound too critical here, and I do get it. Eager to depart from Trump’s harsh rhetoric and stern policies, the Biden administration is doing a one-eighty and going for a more compassionate, welcoming immigration policy. But just throwing the door open to illegal immigration seems to be creating a lot more human suffering than it promises to alleviate, and it’s enriching and empowering ruthless criminal organizations in the process. And the situation is likely to get even worse over time unless somebody changes the game plan.

Biden’s intentions may be good, but, as the saying goes, the road to you know where is paved with good intentions.

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