- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Democrats are still looking for a political defense against the border chaos unleashed under President Biden.

The latest strategy involves Democrats praising Mr. Biden for his recent executive actions and contrasting them with Republicans in Congress who scuttled legislation the Dems claim could have improved the situation in a significant way.

On Wednesday, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, a top Biden ally, looked to shift the public’s attention away from the president and onto the longstanding failure and “lack of courage”  of congressional Democrats and Republicans to find common ground on a solution.

“This inaction that we continue to see to get any form of sensible immigration policy done is impacting all of us, because all of us in local jurisdictions deal with the consequences of this,” Mr. Moore said Wednesday on “Fox & Friends.” “I don’t put blame on a singular political party.”

The boiling concerns over border security once again landed on Mr. Moore’s doorstep after police in Harford County announced over the weekend they had charged a 23-year-old illegal immigrant who entered the country on Mr. Biden’s watch with the rape and killing of Rachel Morin, a mother of five who was killed on a hiking trail in August.

The high-profile killings of Americans by illegal immigrants who entered the country after Mr. Biden took office are creating political problems for the president’s reelection campaign — as well as Democrats across the country — including in states far away from the U.S.-Mexico border.

In recent interviews, Mr. Moore has tried to diffuse the political bomb by pinning the blame on Mr. Trump’s opposition to bipartisan immigration legislation that Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma negotiated over months, only to see most GOP lawmakers line up against it because it would allow as many as 5,000 migrants to flood across the border daily.

Mr. Moore, however, turned elusive Wednesday after host Brian Kilmeade pointed out the legislation would not have prevented the illegal immigrant accused of killing Ms. Morin from entering the country in 2023.

In response, the governor derided both parties in Congress, saying their stalemate over immigration is “allowing people in my state to become victims.”

Mr. Trump and Republicans have been more direct, saying Mr. Biden’s reckless policies have opened the door for illegal immigrants to rape, kidnap and kill Americans.

At a campaign rally in Wisconsin on Tuesday, Mr. Trump lamented the deaths of Laken Riley, a 22-year-old nursing student who was allegedly killed by an illegal immigrant while jogging at the University of Georgia, and Ms. Morin.

“This monster should have never been allowed into our country, and if I was president he would never have been able to come in,” Mr. Trump said of Ms. Morin’s accused killer, sparking chants of “USA! USA!” “When I am elected we will begin removing these criminals — these horrible people — from our midst and we are going to do it immediately.”

Mr. Trump said the contrast is clear: “Joe Biden wants to be the president for illegal aliens, but I will be the president for law-abiding Americans.”

Looking to dig himself out of a political hole, Mr. Biden recently released a proclamation seeking to curtail the number of asylum claims made at the U.S. border.

According to a YouGov/Economist survey released after Mr. Biden announced the move, the effort is not turning the tide: 64% disapprove of his handling of immigration and 29% approve.

Looking to stem the bleeding with his base, Mr. Biden this week announced a program that would make it easier for half a million illegal immigrants to receive green cards if they’ve lived in the U.S. for years and are married to citizens.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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