Joe Biden Complains Donald Trump is Blocking World’s Poor from the United States

AP-NORC poll: Americans agree on many aspects of US identity
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Joe Biden says the Statue of Liberty invites the world’s poor to migrate into Americans’ workplaces, schools, and housing, but they are being stopped by President Donald Trump.

A January 5 tweet from Biden said:

Our Statue of Liberty invites in the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Donald Trump has slammed the door in the face of families fleeing persecution and violence.

The tweet rewrites the statue’s pro-democracy message, and it claims that the world’s migrants traveling through Mexico are not economic migrants.

In the video, Jill Biden portrays the economic migrants as asylum seekers who are trying to escape persecution and violence — despite endless testimony from migrants that they are looking for jobs and better lives.

Three million Central Americans, or almost ten percent of the combined populations of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, migrated into the United States before 2018, mostly for economic reasons, says a December 2019 report by the Inter-American Development Bank.

Another five million Central American residents want to migrate into the United States, according to a Gallup survey published right after the 2018 midterm elections. Gallup also noted that “three percent of the world’s adults — or nearly 160 million people — say they would like to move to the U.S.”

In reality, most Americans are sympathetic to migrants, but strongly oppose companies’ use of imported workers to replace Americans. Most GOP supporters and swing voters also want immigration levels cut. Those preferences are rational because migration transfers wealth from wage-earning Americans to older investors and to political donors by flooding the nation’s labor markets, real estate markets, and public schools.

Jill Biden also revives the Cold War claim that Americans’ homeland was not a land of pilgrims and settlers, but is instead a chaotically diverse “Nation of Immigrants,” saying:

You know, to treat our fellow human beings like this, you know, it is man’s inhumanity to man … These people are asylum seekers. They’re being persecuted in their own countries and they’re coming to the United States to escape from persecution and violence … This is not who we are as Americans. America is a land, a country of immigrants. you know. These people are asylum seekers, and that’s why we need a change in our administration because we can’t treat people like this.

The “Nation of Immigrants” claim was invented to boost the economy for the Cold War against the Soviet Union. It was used to help pass the 1965 immigration act that quickly ended 40 years of low migration and rising incomes. In October 2018, Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., explained the purpose of the “Nation of Immigrants” claim:

Few felt it as deeply as President John F. Kennedy. In his 1964 book A Nation of Immigrants, recently re-released, my great-uncle outlines the compelling case for immigration, in economic, moral, and global terms. “The abundant resources of this land provided the foundation for a great nation,” he writes. “But only people could make the opportunity a reality. Immigration provided the human resources.”

The tweet’s claims about the migrants were echoed by three pro-migration advocates. Their quotes echo the increasingly extreme pro-migrant views of the party’s base of “woke” white progressives.

“I think the hard thing is is that we know that between Tijuana and [Matamoros], there’s about 57,000 [migrant] people that have been impacted by MPP (Migrant Protection Protocols),” said Helen Perry, a Mexico-based staffer with an aid group. “All of them need medical care,” she added.

“They’re not dangerous — they’re in danger,” said Mike Benavides, with Team Brownville. “Our government has left them in a dangerous country … I’m representing what America really is, what America represents.”

“Unless something happens to MPP soon — which we don’t expect — We’ve got to prepare everybody for the long haul,” said Rep. Filemon Vera, D-Texas.  “That’s why everybody here has stepped up.”

Trump’s MPP program has helped shrink the cross-border inflow to roughly 30,000 in December 2019, down from 144,000 in May 2019.

The MPP program works because it prevents migrants from getting jobs in the United States while they wait for their asylum hearings. When migrants know they cannot get jobs, they also know they cannot repay their smuggling debts to the cartel-backed coyotes, and so they are less willing to migrate up to the border.

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