Recently, the Washington Post Editorial Team did what they do in voicing its displeasure about a central issue. This time, it was immigration. Particularly, relating to the southern border because, you know, that’s what most people think immigration is. Their beef? Human Rights centered journalists like me criticizing policy based on its oppressive nature regardless of who is in office.
I would never have seen the op-ed if the Department of Homeland Security hadn’t comically emailed me a copy of its text with ICYMI (in case you missed it) in the subject line. Kind of weird, I know. It came across like an abusive narcissistic partner saying, “See, this person validates my abuse, so I must be right!” To say it’s uncanny is to be nice about it.
Calling it propaganda would be more accurate.
“Uncontrolled migration across the U.S.-Mexico border is not in anyone’s interest except, perhaps, for the smugglers who profit by charging people to make the difficult and dangerous trek,” the Washington Post Editorial Board said. “After much hesitation, during which unauthorized attempted border crossings reached an all-time high of 2.76 million in fiscal 2022, the Biden administration acted to stem the flow and redirect it into lawful, more manageable channels.”
They begin their terrible take by dismissing the fact that to seek asylum migrants must be on U.S. soil, according to the law. It’s a topic they conveniently ignore as they bemoan people like me who actually care about human rights over politics. They go on to brag about the drastic drop in “encounters” at the U.S.-Mexico border and claim it’s because of Biden’s policies and not the courts who ended Title 42 – forcing the U.S. to move back to enforcing Title 8.
“Initial data from the Department of Homeland Security shows progress: Daily Border Patrol encounters with migrants fell from 10,000-plus just before May 11, when the policy went into effect, to 3,400 in early June,” the Editorial Board continued. “Set forth in regulations finalized May 10, the plan seems to be preventing the border chaos many had feared would follow expiration of emergency powers under Title 42, a public health law that had allowed federal authorities to expel migrants summarily during the pandemic.”
Overlooking the efforts the Biden administration took to keep Title 42 active while Susan Rice was still there is also an interesting perspective. Yes, the administration challenged the basis of the law on some grounds, but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did its part to keep it in place. The selective nature of the “evidence” presented by the Post’s Editorial Board reeks of deception. Next up: the bothsiderism that keeps oppressive and inhumane policies in place.
“There’s a catch, though: President Biden’s policy has to be consistent with federal law,” said the Post’s Editorial Board. “And critics from both ends of the political spectrum have gone to federal court arguing that it’s not. On July 19, a judge in Oakland, Calif., is set to hear a coalition of immigrants’ rights advocates, headed by the American Civil Liberties Union, who claim, in effect, that the Biden plan unlawfully truncates the right to asylum. Meanwhile, red states, headed by Texas, accuse the administration of the opposite: letting in hundreds of thousands of migrants without sufficient legal authority.”
While they may be right about the “red states” and Republican lies about the border being open (it’s not), they are again overlooking certain aspects of President Biden’s policies that were deemed unconstitutional during former President Donald Trump’s tenure. What was referred to as a transit ban under Trump is a perfect example. The ban required migrants to seek asylum in third countries they may have traveled through before applying for amnesty in the U.S.
Additionally, as they argue that the administration’s policies have “to be consistent with federal law,” the administration sat silent as states like Texas violated those same laws and implemented their own inhumane and tortuous policies. Biden’s White House waited until people were injured or died because of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s abhorrent policies of treating migrants as animals.
It wasn’t until people like myself wrote an op-ed demanding the White House Act in Texas. With the help of Rep. Joaquin Castro’s (D-TX) strongly worded statement that brought my op-ed the attention I intended for it. Two days later, Rep. Castro wrote a letter to the White House on strong legal and moral grounds. The letter was signed by 87 Democrats including the full Texas Democratic delegation and the chairs of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, and Congressional Asian-Pacific American Caucus.
My sources informed me that my op-ed and the letter from Rep. Castro impacted the decision to act. Sources also told me on condition of anonymity that President Biden is surrounded by people who had been advising him to “not touch” the border because of the volatility of the issue. This explains the administration’s failure to act prior to the pressure brought to the White House’s doorstep. Much more impactful than the Washinton Post’s editorial nonsense.
Back to that ridiculousness.
“The ACLU-led suit, however, characterizes Mr. Biden’s policy as a replay of President Donald Trump’s pre-covid attempt to impose a flat ban on asylum for border crossers who transited a third country, which federal courts on the West Coast had blocked, calling it a violation of a 1980 statute providing “any alien physically present in the United States” with a right to seek asylum,” the Editorial Board said.
Here’s the kicker. The Posts Editorial Board cites the law as the courts did under Trump and yet, they still overlook how the administration’s current policy blatantly violates the law. It quickly became clear that attacking human rights advocates is all just part of a plan to influence an upcoming court case. In other words, they threw us under the bus by comparing us to far-right racists and bigots in an attempt to influence a judge’s decision.
“The courts should let the administration’s approach, which includes a two-year time limit, run its course. Some of the legal arguments against it are serious,” the Editorial Board continued. “Yet, so is the Biden administration’s case: that the president is trying to address a major problem through a pragmatic exercise of his existing authority.”
That, my friends, is the crux of the problem with the Editorial Board’s logic. What we would call propaganda in any other country that the U.S. claims is a dictatorship, is just routing business in the United States. The op-ed is riddled with double standards and labels people like me as unreasonable as far-right xenophobes and bigots. While we work tirelessly to address and stop the spread of hate, the Washington Post treats us we are no better than a hate group.
This is the kind of “objectivity” in journalism that needs to die. There are no two sides to many issues. Policies that breed inhumanity and use cruelty as a deterrent to keep migrants away are detrimental to society in the United States. The more we let corporate media justify the deaths and torture of people seeking safety from countries with economies the U.S. is actively crippling, the more we accept the colonialist and imperialist foundation this country was built upon.
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