Anti-Trump New York Times Columnist Calls on Biden to Finish Border Wall

immigration
AP Photo/Richard Drew

Bret Stephens, a Never Trump columnist for the New York Times who backed Hillary Clinton in 2016, has published a column in which he calls upon President Joe Biden to finish Trump’s wall along the southern U.S. border.

Noting that “the Biden administration’s concept of compassion” is also “an inducement to recklessness” among migrants, Stephens writes:

That’s a conclusion I’ve come to reluctantly, and not because I’ve abandoned my disgust with Donald Trump. Walls are ugly things: symbols of defensive, suspicious, often closed-minded civilizations. Walls are, invariably, permeable: Whatever else a border wall will do, it will not seal off America from unwanted visitors or undocumented workers — roughly half of whom arrive legally and overstay their visas.

Walls also cannot address the root cause of our immigration crisis, which stems from a combination of social collapse south of the border and the pull of American life north of it.

But a well-built wall should still be a central part of an overall immigration fix. It’s an imperfect but functional deterrent against the most reckless forms of border crossing. It’s a barrier against sudden future surges of mass migration.

It’s also a political bargaining chip to be traded for a path to citizenship in a comprehensive immigration-reform bill. And it’s a prophylactic against the next populist revolt, which is sure to overtake our politics if the Biden administration cannot competently control an elementary function of governance.

Read Bret Stephens’s full column here.

Earlier this week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who opposed Trump’s border wall and has called Trump’s policies inhumane, was reported to be considering resume wall construction to fill gaps that encouraged illegal crossings, amidst a political crisis for the new administration.

Last year, Stephens called the coronavirus pandemic Trump’s “Chernobyl.” He did occasionally praise Trump for successes, such as the flourishing of peace in the Middle East after Trump broke with the Beltway foreign policy consensus and moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, as Congress had directed decades before.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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