An Outrageous Betrayal On The Border

Egyptian army soldiers patrol the border wall with Egypt in Rafah, Gaza Strip, on Thursday. Feb. 1, 2024. Negotiations are advancing for an agreement to pause the Israel-Hamas war and free civilian hostages captured by Hamas, people familiar with the matter said. Photographer: Ahmad Salem/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Ahmad Salem/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, appears to have just won re-election by the single largest margin in modern democratic history. The official results aren’t final yet, but he reportedly captured nearly 90% of the vote. That’s a massive jump from five years ago, when he received a little over 50% .

Outside of North Korea, you don’t see numbers like this very often. They sound way too high to be real. But in El Salvador, they’re not that surprising. All of the polls predicted precisely this outcome. There were massive parties in the streets celebrating Bukele’s re-election before it even happened. So, when Bukele was named the winner, everyone saw it coming. It made sense. There were no angry mobs storming parliament, alleging fraud or putting their feet up on some politician’s desk. Instead, this weekend, here’s what El Salvador looked like:

Previously, I’ve gone into some detail about why Nayib Bukele is so popular. But I can restate it here very quickly because it’s not that complicated. Bukele is historically popular, and was just reelected by a vast margin, because he puts his own country first. He protects his own people, looks out for their security and well being, and makes his communities safer and more livable. That’s it. It’s that simple.

When Bukele took office, gangs controlled roughly 80% of the country. These gangs had killed more than 100,000 citizens over the past three decades, making El Salvador one of the most dangerous countries on the planet. But shortly after he took office, Bukele started rounding up everyone affiliated with these criminal gangs — who usually weren’t hard to spot, given that most of them have tattoos making their affiliation very clear. 

This infuriated “civil liberties” groups, but it worked. Homicides in El Salvador are down 92% compared to 2015. 90% of the country views Bukele favorably as a result, and it’s not hard to see why. They can go out at night without getting shot. They can operate businesses without getting extorted.

Of course that won’t stop civil liberties groups from complaining, claiming that some people in El Salvador are now falsely accused of gang involvement. They want us to believe that El Salvador’s government should err on the side of protecting civil liberties at all cost. “It’s better for 100 guilty people to go free than for one innocent person to go to prison,” as the common refrain goes. The problem with this argument, which is now obvious to everyone in El Salvador, is that you can’t enjoy civil liberties when there’s a total breakdown of law and order. 

You don’t have any constitutional rights whatsoever when you’re dead. The civil libertarians had their chance in El Salvador, and they failed to safeguard civil liberties. 

WATCH: The Matt Walsh Show

The history is very clear on this. In 2012, El Salvador’s president at the time brokered a truce with the country’s most powerful gangs — MS-13 and the 18th Street Gang. The idea was that showing leniency might lower the murder rate. To that end, many gang leaders were transferred from maximum-security prisons to low-security prisons. Gangs also had free rein to expand their territory and communicate with their leaders in prison. The result? Within two years, the truce broke down. The violence resumed. And El Salvador became one of the most dangerous countries in the world, averaging 105 homicides per 100,000 people.

El Salvador learned from that mistake. In fact, El Salvador’s government went on to pursue criminal charges against the former president who brokered that truce. There is not a single reasonable person in El Salvador who believes in “compromise” anymore, because they know where that leads. The country is now overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing the rule of law, without regard for the concerns of humanitarians or civil liberties organizations. 

Whether you think that’s a good outcome or not — and again, almost everyone in El Salvador thinks it’s good — it really doesn’t matter. What happened in El Salvador will happen eventually in any country that disregards its duty to protect its citizens. At a certain point, people can’t take it anymore. They restore order, one way or the other.

I wanted to begin with El Salvador because the situation there is such an obvious and important contrast with what happened in Washington, DC this weekend. Unlike the leaders of El Salvador, politicians in this country are still committed to some platonic ideal of “compromise,” rather than upholding their constitutional duty to protect this country and the American citizens who live here.

To that end, even as hundreds of thousands of illegals stream across the border every month — including criminals from places like El Salvador — a bipartisan group of US senators just agreed on a “border deal” that would do absolutely nothing to secure the southern border.

I’m going to elaborate on what this bill would do because it’s such an unbelievable betrayal that it’s actually hard to believe it’s real.

But before that, it’s important to emphasize that no “border bill” or compromise is necessary at all. Under existing laws, including the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, the president of the United States can turn every single illegal alien away at the border if he determines that it’s necessary to safeguard this country. There is no requirement that we entertain fraudulent asylum claims, or even legitimate asylum claims (as rare as they are). There is no requirement that we allow a single noncitizen into this country, period. All that’s necessary to secure the border is for the president of the United States to start enforcing the law. This does not need to be complicated. We don’t even need an El Salvador-style crackdown to accomplish this. We just need to enforce existing laws as they stand.

But if the White House actually adopted a simple, straightforward solution to the border crisis, then two things would happen. One, the Democratic Party would lose out on hundreds of thousands of future loyal voters, because their longstanding plans for demographic replacement would be stymied. And two, Congress would miss out on a great chance to launder millions of dollars. And Congress never misses out on an opportunity like that, so here we are.

Here are the details. The border proposal that the Senate is advancing would allocate another $60 billion in military aid to Ukraine. It would send $14 billion in military aid to Israel. That’s a grand total of $74 billion that’s going to other countries. By comparison, the bill would allocate just $20 billion for border security. To restate: our leaders just agreed to a plan that would spend roughly 400% more tax money on foreign countries than on securing our own borders. And it gets worse.

Even the money that’s supposedly going to be used at the border will actually just facilitate the illegal entry of millions of illegal aliens into this country. Specifically, the legislation would provide another $2.3 billion to, “refugee and entrant assistance activities,” including “grants or contracts with qualified organizations, including nonprofit entities, to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services, including … housing assistance, medical assistance, legal assistance, and ease management assistance.”

So that’s more than $2 billion to support the Left-wing nonprofits that exist to find creative ways to sneak as many illegal migrants into this country as possible. We’re even throwing free legal services for illegals in there as well, just to sweeten the pot. This bill is actually creating more incentives for illegals to come here.

You may have seen reporting that the bill states that the Executive Branch must close the border on an emergency basis if, “during a period of 7 consecutive calendar days, there is an average of 5,000 or more aliens who are encountered each day” — or, if “on any 1 calendar day, a combined total of 8,500 or more aliens are encountered.” That’s how various outlets, including NBC News, have reported on this bill. It’s also how Oklahoma Senator James Lankford — who’s supposedly a Republican — has pitched this legislation. They all say that once 5,000 people come in every day for a week, then the border has to be shut down. 

Here’s what Lankford wrote last night: “The emergency authority is not designed to let 5,000 people in, it is designed to close the border and turn 5,000 people around.”

But that’s not true, for three reasons.

First of all, the bill gives Joe Biden the authority to waive this “border emergency” authority at any time. He can simply ignore the bill, effectively. So can the DHS secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas.

Secondly, the bill doesn’t even count unaccompanied minors from countries other than Canada or Mexico in the number of encounters. In other words, many illegal migrants from Guatemala, Haiti, El Salvador, India, Honduras, the Philippines, China etc. — just flat-out don’t count towards the 5,000 total. They’re illegal migrants, but they’re just not relevant, apparently.

And then, on top of all that, the bill doesn’t actually close the border, even if this fraudulent “5,000-migrant threshold” is reached. This is a direct quote from Senator Chris Murphy, one of the authors of the bill, from last night: “[The bill contains] a requirement that the President … funnel asylum claims to the land ports of entry when more than 5,000 people cross a day. The border never closes, but claims must be processed at the ports.”

Catch the contradiction there? Chris Murphy, one of the bill’s authors, says: “The border never closes.” At the same time, James Lankford, another of the bill’s authors, says, “It is designed to close the border.”

So our leaders are either liars, or they’re bumbling idiots who can’t even keep their story straight. Or maybe both. But if you read the bill, the implications of the text are pretty obvious. It says that once we hit 5,000 illegals per day for a week, we don’t actually close the border. Instead we direct them to ports of entry, where they can make their asylum claims, and then enter the country from there. So this is a complete scam, essentially. And it’s intended to be a scam that runs for a very long time. The bill has a sunset provision three years into the future. The idea is to bind a future Trump administration to the terms of this deal.

Now you might say — wait a minute. Let’s say that the 5,000-person threshold is reached. And then these migrants have to report to a port of entry and make an asylum claim. Surely, you might think, we wouldn’t simply allow all of these migrants into the country, right? That would be insane.

But if you thought that, you’d be wrong.

In one key respect, this border compromise would actually lessen the already minimal standard for allowing asylum applicants into this country. Right now, migrants who arrive at a port of entry supposedly need to show a “significant possibility” that they can establish a “credible fear of persecution” on the basis of race, national origin, political beliefs, or membership in a social group. This isn’t a very high standard. It doesn’t require migrants to present any evidence for anything they say. They can just make a claim, which they’ve rehearsed, and get into this country. That’s the status quo.

But this border bill would lower that standard even further, from requiring a “significant possibility of persecution” to “reasonable possibility of persecution.” So in practice, we can assume there’s basically no way anyone claiming asylum will ever get turned away. And then, once these fake asylum applicants are here, this bill will shower them with new benefits, including guaranteed work permits and free lawyers.


And there are other giveaways in here as well. For example, family units and “unaccompanied minors” will be released into the country when they’re caught. They won’t even be detained. I could go on, but suffice it to say, this proposed bill is an abomination. It’s not simply inadequate or ineffective at securing the border. It makes the border even less secure than it already is — which is a remarkable feat that few, if any, people imagined was even possible.

Fortunately, it does appear as of today that the House will not consider this Senate bill. The speaker, Mike Johnson, and majority leader Steve Scalise have said it’s “dead on arrival” and won’t even receive a vote in the House. That’s good news, but it doesn’t begin to explain why Senate Republicans thought this bill was reasonable in the first place. And it doesn’t get us any closer to securing the southern border.

We are in this position for one reason, which is that we’ve assembled a government composed almost entirely of anti-Bukeles — people who despise their own citizens and whose top priority is the safety and security of countries thousands of miles from their own shores. And they know it, because when you point out their complete dereliction of duty, they don’t defend their record. They don’t offer any explanation for how they’re keeping illegal immigrants out of the country. Instead they call you a racist and say you’re a bad person for asking them questions. That’s what happened just a few months ago at a hearing in the Senate. Watch as the DHS Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, responds to questioning from Josh Hawley:

This is a guy who, under this new border bill, has total discretion over whether to turn people away at the border or not. Mayorkas justifies his failures on the border by commenting that his mother was a Holocaust survivor. It makes no sense and has no relevance to anything. But it does show you how little respect these people have for our intelligence. And it’s not just the Biden administration that thinks like this. Republicans in the Senate just agreed to this bill. And keep in mind — Democrats are getting decimated in the polls. Most Americans do not support this administration. There is no political calculation that justifies any Republican Party support for this proposal. But Republicans in the Senate backed it anyway.

Whatever the reason for that — maybe they wanted to reward their donors or interest groups, or maybe they’re completely incompetent — it’s irrelevant. These people simply cannot lead us any longer. No one is buying the idea that we need a lengthy, multi-billion dollar giveaway to Ukraine and Israel in order to enforce the law and defend this country from invasion. No one seriously thinks it’s appropriate to pay foreign countries vast sums of money to secure their borders, while we allocate a fraction of that money to open our borders up even more. It’s just too much.These people have looted the treasury for too long. Because of what they’ve done, America is careening at high speed towards its own El Salvador moment. And it can’t get here fast enough.

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