[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through VDARE.com]
The border between Mexico and the state of Texas is 1,242 miles long, from Brownsville on the Gulf of Mexico to El Paso deep inland, where the state of Texas meets the state of New Mexico. The entire border, all twelve hundred miles, is formed by the Rio Grande river.
About halfway along that border on the Texas side is the town of Del Rio, population 35 thousand, eighty percent of them declaring themselves Latino. Largest employers: a U.S. Air Force base and a prison.
Across the Rio Grande from Del Rio, in Mexico, is the town of Acuña, which is much bigger—four times the population of Del Rio. I imagine the proportion of Acuñans declaring themselves Latino is very close to a hundred percent, but I can’t find confirmation of that.
If you drive from Mexico into Texas, there’s a fine expressway over the river that eventually becomes U.S. Route 277. The expressway is elevated across the river of course, then continues to be elevated for the first half mile or so into Texas.
Then you come to an official Port of Entry, with a CBP [Customs and Border Protection] station that will process your entry into the U.S.A.
Should you choose not to drive, and so long as the Rio Grande is running low, you can wade across from the Mexican side to the Texas side [Migrants at Texas bridge pose challenge for Biden, Irish Times, September 17, 2021]. That is, you can walk into the U.S.A. Once in Texas, if the sun is really hot you can walk in the shade under the expressway.
You can’t walk far, though. A couple of hundred yards into Texas you come to a chain-link fence patrolled by CBP. So you’re stuck there between the river and the fence, in the shade of the expressway overpass if you’re lucky, otherwise on the bare sandy earth nearby or the adjacent scrub.
At the time of writing here on Friday morning, there are ten thousand people stuck there between river and fence, and hundreds more joining them every hour.
If this were a military operation it would be called a beachhead. All these people want entry to the U.S.A.
Who are they? The greatest number, we are told, are Haitians. They are not actually from Haiti—not recently, at any rate. After the Haiti earthquake of 2010 some South American nations—I’ve seen Brazil and Chile mentioned, but there are likely others—took in Haitian refugees.
Once the Biden Administration threw open our southern border early this year, the word got around to these expat Haitians that instead of living in not-very-rich countries with not-very-enlightened attitudes about black people they could go live in a rich country where blacks are sacred objects who may not be criticized.
So, up they came…and are still coming. You can’t blame them.
We’re told that there are other nationalities in there too—Cubans, Central Americans, Venezuelans, and a sprinkling from everywhere else.
To judge from news photographs, though, the great majority are black, and so presumably Haitian.
So if you are one of the ten thousand—maybe twelve thousand by the time you hear this—parked there under the expressway—how do you proceed?
Well, first you get on line for a numbered ticket. You just take the ticket from a CBP or National Guard guy. These tickets are like the ones you get at the DMV: just a number to put you in sequence to go up and get properly processed. Except of course that while your DMV ticket has some number like 23 on it, presumably the ones CBP is handing out have numbers more like 11,823.
With that numbered ticket you can go stand on line for proper processing. You’ll be standing on line for days, of course. Maybe weeks: Todd Bensman, in a CIS report datelined today, says that “wait times have reached three weeks at current federal resources” [A New Beachhead Opens in the Biden Border Crisis, September 17, 2021].
The feds are of course completely overwhelmed, so that the processing, when you get to it, must be pretty perfunctory. If the feds don’t have anything negative on file about you—and if you’re a Haitian expat whose been living in Chile since 2010, they almost certainly don’t—you’ll get some papers stamped granting you the right to enter the U.S.A. and remain until date so-and-so.
Between now and then you should report to an immigration office…if you feel like it. If you’d rather not, that’s OK; we hardly ever deport people just for being here illegally.
This cannot end well. A three-week wait time, out there in the summer heat, among ten thousand others and with two thousand more arriving every day; wading back across the river to Mexico to buy food; and the sanitary arrangements don’t bear thinking about.
It looks to me like a seriously unstable situation. It looks that way to the CBP guys, too. Another quote from Todd Bensman:
Several officers … expressed fear that, should these immigrants become impatient with the ever-extending process periods under these living conditions, they will riot and easily overwhelm the relatively few available Border Patrol, National Guard, and Texas Department of Public Safety officers available for security.
Local officials and law enforcement say they can easily envision a nightmare scenario in which thousands upon thousands of migrants run through Del Rio.
“We have to be prepared for that,” one CBP officer said. “Because there’s nothing that is going to stop them. All it takes is one person to say, ‘you know what, we don’t need to be here. We can move.’ There’s nothing that we can do to hold them back.”
Yes: in military science, the word that goes most naturally with “beachhead” is “breakout.” Among the thousands stuck there behind the perimeter fence in the heat, trash, and stink of the beachhead, there must be many who know that.
Perhaps the breakout has already happened as you read this. I’m on a deadline; I’m doing my best; just give me credit for foresight.
It’s not as though Haitians are gentle, pacific souls with no propensity to violence at all, other than to the bulls, goats, dogs, cats, and birds they sacrifice in voodoo ceremonies [Of Voodoo And Animal Sacrifice, NYT, January 26, 1992]. A Google search on “Haiti riots 2021” got more than two million hits. Random sample from recent news:
Haiti bid a rowdy farewell to assassinated president Jovenel Moise on Friday as his funeral was roiled by nearby gunfire and protests, prompting a high-level U.S. delegation to leave abruptly and other dignitaries to duck into vehicles for safety.
[Violent protests mar funeral of slain Haiti president, by Dave Graham and Andre Paultre, July 23, 2021]
And then, if news about the Del Rio delays gets back to the Haitians on their way there, surely some of them will figure out that they’ll be better crossing the Rio Grande at some place in the twelve hundred miles of it not near Del Rio; or avoiding the river altogether and crossing further west, in the seven hundred miles where Mexico borders New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
The truly remarkable thing about the Del Rio beachhead is the insouciance of our federal government (J. Biden, Proprietor), which is responsible for border security.
The President of course has no time to spare on the issue, being too busy ordering us to wear masks and carry vaccine passports. His Vice President, who is supposed to be responsible for overseeing border issues, has her hands full fixing the Root Causes, which I think means negotiating bribes with the Central American gangster state s to keep their people home.
If DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has made any official comments about the Del Rio beachhead, I missed them. He has been preoccupied with settling the hundred thousand-odd “translators” recently flown in from Afghanistan—what a lot of translators we had!—and also with matters of internal admin, his Chief of Staff having submitted her resignation on Monday, effective month end [DHS secretary’s chief of staff resigns, by Joseph Choi, The Hill, September 13, 2021].
“To pursue new opportunities” was the lady’s official reason for resigning. That is certainly a good and valid reason for quitting one’s job; but it is also what public people say when they’ve been forced or irritated out of a job, or placed second in some departmental power struggle. I don’t know; I only speculate.
I do know a lot about bureaucratic priorities, having worked in big organizations both public and private for thirty years. I’m guessing that the rank order for Mayorkas’ three big issues are (1) office politics, way out ahead, (2) the Afghans, and (3) the Del Rio beach-head, if he can ever get around to it.
And while we all know that construction of the border wall was all stopped the moment Donald Trump left office, I did not know until the other day that at some time in these past few months, someone has been removing stretches of the wall.
This is further west than Del Rio, on the Arizona section of the Mexican border. The border here was a favorite crossing point for drug smugglers because of the proximity to Tucson:
[President] Trump made securing the area a top priority and was able to construct almost 245 miles of wall along the Arizona-Mexico border, cutting off countless access points that had been used by illegal crossers for years.
That was from a September 12th report by Julian Conradson at the Gateway Pundit: EXCLUSIVE: Large Sections of the Border Wall Have Been REMOVED and Left WIDE OPEN Along Heavily Trafficked Drug Route in Southern Arizona. Conradson then tells us that
In one of the most heavily-trafficked areas in southern Arizona, that is a favorite of Mexican drug runners, large sections of already-constructed border wall have been cut out and have inexplicably been left wide open and unsupervised.
Smugglers are now free to go back and forth as they please. [Emphasis added]
It doesn’t seem likely that the feds cut out those sections of wall themselves. But plainly they have been in no hurry to rebuild them.
Why would they? It was Trump that had them built. Everything that Trump did was bad; it must all, every jot and tittle, be reversed, canceled, annulled, undone. How else are we to attain the World of Null-T?
But please don’t let me leave you with the impression that our federal government has been totally inactive on the immigration front. Heaven forfend! They have, in their own peculiar way, been quite busy.
Thursday evening, September 16, for example, the Federal Aviation Administration enacted a restriction order to ban overflight of the beachhead by drones. Fox News has been using drones to gather pictures of the area in all its overcrowded squalor. Well, no more of that! This restriction order, the feds assume, takes care of the optics.
Ah, the optics! Nothing else really matters, does it? Out of sight, out of mind, right?
Nor have the federal kritarchs been idle. Thursday this week Judge Emmet Sullivan, right, of the D.C. District Court blocked the federal government from continuing to use Trump’s Title 42 order that lets CBP turn back migrants on public health grounds [Federal judge blocks Biden administration’s use of Title 42 policy, by Shawna Chen, Axios, September 16, 2021]. The order was designed to protect us from incoming carriers of the COVID virus. Now, thanks to Judge Sullivan, they can enter without let or hindrance.
Our congresscritters have been busy on immigration issues in their own mysterious way, too. The key aim here: mass Amnesty for all illegal aliens. Our own Washington Watcher has written about this at length; I’ll just give a brief recap.
With the Senate closely divided as it is, trying to pass Amnesty via regular legislation crashes up against the filibuster rule. But the Democrats think they have a way to do it anyway.
Here’s Byron York in the Washington Examiner, Byron York’s Daily Memo: A renewed, intensified crisis at the border, September 16th, slightly edited quote:
Democrats have come up with a new plan to make an end-run around Senate rules … The plan is this: Congress has to pass a budget. The rules allow senators to use a process called reconciliation to bypass the filibuster and pass the budget with a simple majority. But the rules also say reconciliation can only be used to pass a measure that is germane to the budget, that it must have some “fiscal impact.”
The general understanding is that Congress cannot use reconciliation to pass just any policy measure attached to a budget. It has to be germane. Still, lawmakers can propose using reconciliation for all sorts of things. It is up to the Senate Parliamentarian to decide whether the proposal is germane and thus can be included in a reconciliation measure with the rest of the budget.
Executive Summary: The administration wants to give permanent residence, with citizenship after five years, to untold millions—twelve million, twenty million, no one really knows—of illegal aliens…who will then, through the wonders of chain migration, bring in tens of millions of their relatives and fake relatives.
The decision as to whether or not they can actually do this is in the hands of the Senate Parliamentarian.
Who he? Actually it’s a she, name of Elizabeth MacDonough, age fifty-something, appointed nine years ago by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Her job is to see that the Senate rules are properly observed.
Ms. MacDonough’s first job in government—her first real job, so far as I can gather—was as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice handling immigration cases in a law enforcement capacity; so on the upside here, she may actually know something about immigration. That would make her well-nigh unique in Congress.
Although the DOJ experience may also be a down-side. It’s possible Ms. MacDonough developed a bleeding heart for the foreign defendants in those federal courts. Since she wasn’t representing them for a private-practice law firm, it doesn’t seem likely she belonged to AILA, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which is a big open-borders lobby; but it would be nice to know for sure.
In any case, note please that the Senate Parliamentarian is appointed, not elected. The decision as to whether to grant permanent residence and then full U.S. citizenship, complete with full voting rights, to tens of millions of scofflaws rests entirely in the hands of an unelected official.
(Well, almost entirely: the full Senate could, on a majority vote, overrule her decision. The Washington Post, however, thinks that not likely to happen [How the Senate parliamentarian could make or break Democrats’ spending bill, by Amber Phillips, September 16, 2021]. Too controversial, they say; and there’s believed to be an understanding between Schumer and McConnell not to challenge the Parliamentarian’s ruling.)
If Ms. MacDonough does say yes to Amnesty, that will of course be yet another huge incentive to the hundreds of millions of wretched souls living in poop-hole countries to head for the U.S.A.
And I should not leave this business of the budget reconciliation bill without noting that Amnesty aside, the bill includes a huge increase in legal immigration [Legal Immigration Will Explode Under ‘Budget Reconciliation’ Bill, by Robert Law, CIS.org, September 14, 2021]. The details there are knotty, but bear in mind that it’s not just Amnesty at issue here; it’s also the further demoralization and impoverishment of the American middle class.
Contemplating all this folly and treachery, I feel just the way Enoch Powell felt 53 years ago.
It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre.
Speech To The West Midlands Area Conservative Political Centre, Birmingham,England, April 20, 1968
Yes, it really is.
John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.