It’s a lot easier to be supportive of illegal immigrants when they aren’t straining your city services. Just ask two of the most prominent Democrat mayors in the country.
Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser complained recently about the costs of helping those in the country illegally. For months, Texas and Arizona have offered illegal immigrants free bus rides to D.C. That’s significantly increased the number of undocumented immigrants there, and the city can’t handle it
This month, 10 City Council members sent the mayor a letter claiming those helping illegal immigrants are “burned out and overwhelmed.” The letter continues, “Migrants are being directed to existing district systems and resources intended for district residents. Without action, there is a risk of these systems being overwhelmed.”
“We are dealing with a federal issue that the District of Columbia won’t be able to bear,” Bowser said last week in response to the letter. She demanded a “federal response.”
She’s not the only one who’s upset. New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the increase in illegal immigrants is a “real burden on New Yorkers.” He cited the impact on schools and the city’s “overburdened shelter system.” He also wants help from Washington.
These quotes could have come from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott or Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.
The Department of Homeland Security “may resort to releasing groups of (illegal immigrants) in Texas communities whose resources are already overwhelmed,” Abbott wrote in a letter creating the busing initiative. “Texans cannot continue to shoulder the burdens imposed by open-border advocates in other parts of the country.”
These mayors are complaining about a few thousand people. Texas and Arizona have to deal with hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants. There have been around 3 million encounters with would-be illegal immigrants since Joe Biden became president. Officials released more than 1 million of them into the interior of the country. Fox News reported a Border Patrol source said there have also been more than 440,000 known getaways this fiscal year. In May, it was more than 50,000.
One suspects that if 50,000 illegal immigrants went to D.C. or New York City in a month, Democrats would build the border wall posthaste.
The reaction of these mayors is a reminder that major policy decisions involve significant tradeoffs. You can believe all of the following without contradiction:
■ It is understandable why people want to come to the United States and are willing to do so illegally. It’s unjust to reward people for entering illegally, especially as would-be legal immigrants wait.
■ Among illegal immigrants, there are both criminals and people of good character, both those seeking handouts and those wanting to work hard. One problem is that it’s difficult to distinguish between those two groups.
■ It is noble to help the poor. An influx of illegal immigrants can reduce a community’s ability to help its citizens and residents who are here legally.
These statements represent some of the real challenges that come from Biden’s unwillingness to secure the border. No wonder that Democrats’ concerns on illegal immigration change when confronted with them.