Opinion: The Cruelty Of Appearing ‘Kind’

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Immigration has been a contentious subject in the United States for some time. While the system might need reform and bipartisan legislation in order to create processes that address the unique border situation in a more efficient way, it is the responsibility of leaders to dissuade people from making dangerous decisions such as coming to this country. 

Americans are saddened and rightfully outraged at the conditions being seen at the border, as well as confused and discouraged by the lack of access that the media has been given by the current administration, preventing them from shedding light on the situation. However, they should also call out the actions which allowed this to happen. The surge of migrants at the border did not happen in a vacuum.

President Biden’s public intention to reverse Donald Trump’s immigration policies, along with his welcoming message to those who would potentially immigrate here illegally, played an integral role in the influx of people coming to the United States.

The Biden administration has placed an importance on being “nice,” but the idea that it is “mean” to dissuade people from coming to the country outside of the proper, safe, legal channels is wrong. Talking someone out of a bad idea isn’t cruel. While the truth can be hard to hear, it is necessary to hear it.

It might appear as if someone is being kind-hearted when they offer something freely. However, it is cruel when the offer isn’t actually free, but instead comes at a dreadful and sometimes deadly price.

During a Democratic presidential primary debate in 2019, Biden had a seemingly kind-hearted message for those wishing to come to the country for better opportunities.

As Fox News reports,

“They deserve to be heard. That’s who we are,” Biden said of those applying for asylum in a 2019 debate moderated by Univision’s Jorge Ramos. “We’re a nation that says, ‘You want to flee, and you’re fleeing oppression, you should come.'”

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos earlier this month, however, Biden changed his tune, encouraging aslyum seekers not to come as the crisis at the southern border mounts and states work to keep up with the influx of migrants, specifically unaccompanied children.

Stephanopoulos asked Biden, “Do you have to say quite clearly, ‘Don’t come’?”

“Yes, I can say quite clearly: Don’t come over,” Biden responded, before adding, “Don’t leave your town or city or community.”

But leaving someone’s “town or city or community” isn’t necessarily a choice. Some people are forced out of their homes due to economic hardship and physical danger. When they hear kind words from an American president and false encouragement, it makes the idea of a dangerous journey with a potentially better life at the end more desirable. It makes the hazardous trek worth the risk.

The idea that Biden’s messaging led to the current crisis isn’t conjecture. Many of the migrants are now openly stating that they have made the journey due to Biden’s promises.

As The Daily Wire reported earlier this month:

Immigrants who are swarming to the U.S.-Mexico border say President Joe Biden “promised” them they would be allowed to enter the country.

“Biden promised us that everything was going to change,” Gladys Oneida Pérez Cruz, a woman who traveled to the border with her son, told The New York Times. “He hasn’t done it yet, but he is going to be a good president for migrants.”

The Times said another woman in tears at the border said, “Biden promised us!”

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers say that some 100,000 foreigners came to the border in February alone, and after weeks of claiming all is well, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Saturday acknowledged that “record numbers” of foreigners are overwhelming U.S. agencies, prompting the department to call in help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

This week, in his first press conference since taking office, Biden pushed back on the idea that his rhetoric caused the surge after being questioned by  PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor. 

Alcindor stated, “You’ve said over and over again that immigrants shouldn’t come to this country right now. This isn’t the time to come. That message is not being received. Instead, the perception of you that got you elected as a moral decent man is the reason why a lot of immigrants are coming to this country and entrusting you with unaccompanied minors…”

Biden responded, “Well, look, I guess I should be flattered people are coming because I’m the nice guy. That’s the reason why it’s happening, that I’m a decent man or however it’s phrased, that that’s why they’re coming, because they know Biden’s a good guy. Truth of the matter is, nothing has changed.”

Biden went on to claim that the reason people are coming to the border is because they always come during this time of year. However, Biden’s response doesn’t give the full story, as numerous outlets have noted that Biden’s policies are at least partially to blame for the surge.

Things have changed and policies have real-world outcomes. But the real “truth of the matter,” in Biden’s words, is that he should not be flattered that people are taking his message at face-value and putting themselves and their children in harm’s way. Biden won’t tell them the harsh truth. Yes, America is a country of immigrants, but it also is a country of laws which define how immigrants are allowed to enter, just like other sovereign nations. The rhetoric of President Biden is misleading at best, and dangerous at worst. It will only exacerbate the false hopes of those seeking to come to America illegally.

Is it harsh to caution people against coming to a country whose immigration system is already overrun and in crisis? The niceties are actually the crueler message. It isn’t kind to encourage people to make a difficult and often deadly journey across multiple countries when there is no guarantee of a system that can, or should, legally take them in. It might sound more welcoming, but it isn’t.

Most Americans don’t place blame on the people who are coming to the southern border. They look at the policies and the people in charge and rightfully demand that they do better. Americans understand why someone would flee a war-torn country to come to the freest nation in the history of the world. They get it because, as freedom-loving people, they would do the same. If they had to get out of a dangerous situation, take their family, and make the trek across oceans or continents, they would do it, too. They would risk their lives for just the slightest chance to live free.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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