Much is being made of President Joe Biden’s (D) refusal to address the situation at our Mexico border, with its burgeoning illegal alien flow into our nation, as a crisis. Much is being made of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ parallel overt rejection of the term “crisis” as a reference to that situation.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said that the administration isn’t in the business of “labeling” and that the Biden administration doesn’t take immigration advice from the Trump administration. That last is just a bit of empty-headed snark that Biden spouted as he speaks with Psaki’s mouth, for all that it provides a window into the nature of Biden’s inability to deal with what he has wrought at our border over the months since his election, as Mexico’s drug cartels and coyotes and folks from around the world act on his campaign promises of open borders once he’s in office.
On the larger matter, though, Biden—through Psaki—is right, to a point. Labels by themselves can be pretty meaningless, and they can be misleading.
However, properly done, they can be useful shorthand for referring to complex matters that are being handled or that need to be handled. Properly done, labels can serve to briefly identify the nature of the complex matter and thereby guide development of concrete, actionable solutions.
On the other hand, a problem cannot be attacked and resolved if it cannot be identified and understood.
A situation that is “No Big Deal” wants an entirely different response from a situation that is a crisis.
An influx of illegal aliens that is merely a “challenge” needs only local law enforcement involvement, with maybe a touch of Federal assistance, and some humane detention until the illegal aliens can be properly deported.
An influx of illegal aliens, though (and that influx is just the illegal aliens who actually are caught), that overwhelms not only local law enforcement but Federal agencies responsible for enforcing our borders—all of them—and enforcing our immigration laws; an influx that overwhelms our detention facilities, to the point that children become “housed” in the cages Biden inherited from ex-President Barack Obama (D) and currently is using; an influx that overwhelms our border facilities to the point that Wuhan Virus testing facilities are overwhelmed so that most of the illegal aliens who are actually caught and detained go untested and unquarantined—that influx is a crisis.
That’s the failing—a critical failing—of the Biden administration. It cannot label the situation as the crisis that it is.
And so it cannot understand the problem at our southern border.
Or it refuses to try to understand, which would be worse.