Why do Democrats even run for office? Their record on border security and crime proves they have no interest in actually governing.
It’s disturbingly appropriate that Vice President Kamala Harris, whose entire career in public "service" has been little more than an exercise in self-aggrandizement and ego boosting, is the Democrat Party’s point person on illegal immigration and border security. Since taking on the role, all she’s done is hold press conferences designed to boost her own public profile while completely ignoring the problem she’s supposed to solve.
Indeed, to the extent that she and the rest of the Biden administration have done anything at all, it has been to dismantle successful Trump-era policies that were effectively holding illegal immigration at bay, such as the "Remain in Mexico" policy. Her lips may be telling would-be border crossers "do not come," but her actions are sending exactly the opposite message.
The results are as distressing as they are predictable: a historic surge in illegal border crossings, along with the accompanying human misery in the form of crime, exploitation, and disease.
In the El Paso Sector of the border, Border Patrol agents have apprehended or encountered more than 135,000 illegal immigrants over the past nine months – equivalent to about 20 percent of the entire population of El Paso, Texas. Across the entire southwest border, nearly 189,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended in June alone, and Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Vally sector reported a 900 percent increase in the rate of COVID infection among those they encountered.
The public health implications are certainly alarming, especially as the country grapples with a resurgence of the pandemic brought on by the Delta variant. But disease is not the only consequence of Democrat policies that encourage hundreds of thousands of people to pour across the border. As has always been the case, floods of undocumented migrants also bring crime with them – motivated by both desperation and opportunity.
The cartels that effectively control large portions of Mexico have for years been infiltrating American cities, using the violent tactics they’ve perfected at home to displace the criminal gangs that once controlled the distribution of narcotics in our inner cities.
That’s a terrifying prospect under the best of circumstances, but it’s being made far worse by the abdication of another core governing responsibility by elected Democrats.
Driven by the irresponsible "defund the police" rhetoric of the Party’s far-left wing, Democrat leaders in cities all over the country have been tying the hands of law enforcement and leaving their own citizens to the mercies of violent criminals.
In Oakland, California, where the City Council has voted to reduce police funding despite the strenuous objections of the city’s mayor, former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer was recently mugged in broad daylight.
Another city that has defunded its own police department – over the strenuous objections of Republican Governor Greg Abbott – is Austin, Texas, which just so happens to be right on the front lines of the border crisis. Last August, the Austin City Council voted to cut the police department’s budget by a whopping $150 million, resulting in the elimination of the department’s gang unit.
"Public safety is job one, and Austin has abandoned that duty," Abbott said in response to the defunding, adding that the decision "paves the way for lawlessness."
That’s exactly what happened. In June, 25-year-old Douglas Kantor was caught in the crossfire of a gang shootout while visiting Austin. Had the police gang unit still been operational at the time, it’s likely that officers would have been in position to put a stop to the shootout before it even began, because they would have been monitoring the communications of known gang members who posted their intention to be at that location on social media.
Kantor’s family is now suing the Mayor and City Council of Austin, arguing that their decision to slash funding for the police department was a purely political decision with obvious and predictable consequences for public safety.
This wasn’t about balancing a budget or adjusting policy priorities; it was about tying the hands of the police department as a means of making a public political statement.
I spent a great deal of my adult life in public service. It’s unbelievable to me that anyone could ask voters to entrust them with such a grave responsibility and then use their power to prevent the government from doing its most basic duty to keep citizens safe. But that’s exactly what today’s Democrats are doing.
This op-ed originally ran on FoxNews.com.