Former President Barack Obama is sure to make many on the left and supporters of Joe Biden uncomfortable today, after he took a shot at America’s failed immigration system, calling open borders “unsustainable.”
Obama called the current state of U.S. immigration policy “dysfunctional,” and said that immigration system reform is “something that is long overdue.”
Obama’s comments come following the latest surge of well over 10,000 Haitian illegal immigrants crossed the border near Del Rio, Texas.
While many on the right will cheer Obama’s comments against open borders, the 44th President coupled that notion with calls for “comprehensive immigration reform” – something conservatives often decry as little more than mass amnesty for tens of millions of illegal immigrants.
On Sunday, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas made what might not be a surprising admission, that a large portion of Haitian immigrants who have entered the country in recent weeks have simply been let into the interior of the country with a notice to appear in court. He said he suspects more will follow.
Obama offered some empathy for his former Vice President in one breath saying,
“Immigration is tough. It always has been because, on the one hand, I think we are naturally a people that wants to help others. And we see tragedy and hardship and families that are desperately trying to get here so that their kids are safe, and they’re in some cases fleeing violence or catastrophe.”
But Obama continued by criticizing the Biden administration for being reactive and not proactive. He continued:
“As big-hearted as he is, nobody understands that better than Joe Biden. And the question is now: Are we gonna get serious about dealing with this problem in a systemic way, as opposed to these one-offs where we’re constantly reacting to emergencies? And I think that that’s something that every American should wanna put an end to.”
Obama put words to the obvious: “At the same time, we’re a nation state. We have borders. The idea that we can just have open borders is something that … as a practical matter, is unsustainable.”
Conservative media watchdog Newsbusters reports that ABC News cut Obama’s “open borders” comments from their TV broadcast.
Instead, the comments appear only in the online article about the interview.
Newsbusters notes that Obama’s border comments come in paragraph 12 of the article.
During a press briefing on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reacted to the former President’s comments. One reporter asked Psaki, “Does President Biden agree with President Obama that ‘open borders’ is unsustainable?”
Insisting that the U.S. southern border is closed, Psaki stuck to her mantra, despite all the evidence to the contrary: “We don’t have open borders. So yes, he agrees.”
Psaki also stated, “There’s an immigration process, immigration proceedings—of course people get their day in court, but they go through that process.”
The truth of that claim is debatable. In 2019, acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan testified before Congress that “90 percent” simply didn’t show up to court.
Critics have blamed the chaos at the border on the Biden administration’s canceling of many Trump-era policies like building the border wall and the remain-in-Mexico policy.
According to a Fox news report, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed more than 200,000 migrant encounters for the month of August, the second month in a row where the number of encounters has reached beyond 200,000.
In August, Mayorkas stated that, “We have a plan, we are executing our plan and that takes time.” Meanwhile, Reuters recently reported that another caravan of immigrants of around 400 people left Tapachula, Mexico bound for the U.S.
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