You think the immigration crisis is limited to our southern border? Think again.
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Look at this headline from The Wall Street Journal: “Maine’s largest city strains under asylum seeker influx."
That’s Portland, Maine, close to our northern border.
And just as we were digesting that headline, we find that the caravan approaching our southern border is now over 12,000 strong -- and growing daily.
The Trump-Pelosi standoff did not resolve this crisis. By keeping it going, the failed attempt to get serious about border security probably made it worse. After all, why not challenge America’s border if America can't figure out how to secure it!
And this crisis is not just about security. It’s also about the whole asylum system. The rule now is: You get in; a lawyer tells you what to say at your asylum hearing; the judge tells you to come back months later; you don't come back. You melt into the shadows and stay there waiting for some kind of amnesty. There are 800,000 people waiting for asylum hearings right now. That’s why Portland, Maine, is so stressed. Their shelters are full: 90 percent of their occupants are African asylum seekers.
President Trump wants to reform the asylum rules. Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi are, shall we say, strongly resisting.
A 17-member panel, with Democrats and Republicans, senators and House members, is now meeting, trying to get some kind of deal before the next possible shutdown.
Good luck! It is very difficult to see immigration, asylum and border security resolved any time in the near future. In other words, they will still be the big issues in the 2020 election. By then, countless more people will have crossed the border illegally, countless more people will be asylum hearing no-shows and countless local authorities will be financially strapped, like Portland, Maine!
We are all going to pay the price for a generation of dithering.