Make no mistake, the refugee crisis along the southern border represents a real danger for Biden and a real opportunity for the fascists.
The Democrats are already swimming against the tide: their majority in Congress is razor-thin, and midterm elections tend to go badly for the party that occupies the White House. A refugee crisis would be just the thing the fascists need to whip up their base and get people to forget what a disaster Trump was.
Remember how the Trump regime was rightly excoriated for the deliberate cruelty of its policy of separating children from their families? Well, now unaccompanied minors are showing up en masse at the border, asking for refugee status. They have, in other words, been pre-separated from their families, largely by the actions of those families themselves.
What does that say, that large numbers of families are now willing to impose the same cruelty on their children that hateful fascists once wished on them? The most logical explanation, I think, is that families are doing so because the conditions the children are experiencing when with their families, both in the refugee camps, and before the families fled their home countries, is so bad that, as bad as child separation is, it is being judged as better for the affected children.
Conditions, in other words, must be really bad for those refugee families.
Any solution to the crisis must therefore be focused on resolving that problem, and not just making things more difficult at the border itself. Such latter measures are unlikely to work very well. Most likely a massive military deployment (with shoot-to-kill orders), and the impressment of the survivors into Nazi-esque forced labor and death camps would do the trick, but obviously that’s beyond the pale for any civilized country to so much as contemplate.
Measures that fall much short of that are unlikely to be sufficiently discouraging. Remember, families are already volunteering to send their children into concentration camps that fall short of death camps. The border wall is both incomplete and porous (it is easy to defeat with standard tools, and smaller individuals, such as children, can squeeze through the slats).
The conditions that are pushing refugees across the border must be addressed. The quickest short-term fix would probably be to fund improvements at the holding camps in Mexico. Once COVID-19 is under better control, we can (and should) resume admitting refugees, and on a widespread scale.
The fascists will howl that the latter is being done to destroy their vision of America, and they would be right. This is very much a reason why we need more immigration to the USA.
Letting more immigrants in is good for many reasons, and one of those reasons is that it dilutes the power of the fascists, because recent immigrants tend not to become fascists. Immigrants, as a rule, simply make for better citizens of an open and free society than does Trump’s base of Christian fascists. It is probably politically toxic to admit this, however, so don’t expect any establishment figures to do so. (Such frankness is something I can get away with, because I am just a semi-anonymous nobody with a blog.)
That said, however, it is far better to not be compelled to flee one’s country of birth in the first place than to be admitted as a refugee in a foreign country. That is going to be a harder nut for establishment politics to crack, because it means questioning U.S. neo-imperialism, which is directly responsible for regimes like the one in Honduras (installed with the approval of the Obama administration) that are prompting so many to become refugees in the first place.
The bottom line is that Biden must move swiftly and decisively on addressing the issues that are forcing Central Americans to move north. Failure to do so would not only be a moral weakness, but a weakness from the standpoint of realpolitik as well.